We are at the point in the twenty-first century when technology has probably invaded everything we do. The internet is everywhere. Locating us as we travel. Counting our steps as we run. Delivering our news to us before we get out of bed. Still, the internet is nothing without the tech to access it with. Unless you have found a way to browse in thin air.
As marketers we are aware of this technology. Companies like Email on Acid have the inbox testing feature designed for to view an email marketing campaign on various handsets before it is sent. Different technologies render marketing materials in different ways. So, it stands to reason that, at least in part, the future of web design lies in the tech at the consumer end.
Let’s be frank about this. Tech is in control here. A customer will spend their money primarily on the gadgets and gizmos and expect the apps and internet to be optimised for that device. Not the other way around. The eight second attention span will still apply. By that I mean, if your websites aren’t optimised for the brand new fandangleberry, they will bounce to a website that is.
Unless your website is worth throwing £1000’s of device away for of course.
What challenges are coming for the web designers? How is tech going to shape the future of web design?
Foldable mobile phones
Samsung have often let the way with pioneering mobile technology, and this year has been no different. The Galaxy Fold is both tablet and smartphone, folding in and out depending upon what it the user wants it for. Of course, the device already renders websites perfectly, despite going from a slim and sexy handset into a walloping great tablet instantaneously. The tech literally shapeshifts the future of web design, and its potential.
With other brands already trying to follow up with their own version of the Fold, this tech could present some interesting challenges and goals for web design. These new devices will provide designers with a new field in UI design. One that hasn’t yet been fully explored by either web designers or users.
VR & AR
You could be forgiven for overlooking virtual and augmented reality. They are almost exclusively linked to gaming as it stands. With VR headsets you are able to wander through the frozen or dragon scorched wastes of Skyrim, or drive formula one cars. Whereas VR creates and entire world AR overlays digital elements to your real world. It might feel like a novel way to play games, and you might raise an eyebrow at the idea of them shaping the future of web design.
But remember, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo were once novel devices to play games on. Now they pretty much do anything a mobile phone would do.
With the rise of both AR and VR, websites could capitalise on the immersive appeal of this breakthrough technology. Designing for a surrounding sphere of vision will create new and exciting challenges for the web designers looking to increase website engagement.
With the internet available almost at the speed of thought, these rapid connections will open doors for web designers to create futuristic mobile designs that can respond. The expected download speed of 5G networks is in the region of 1 Gbps. This will change the way we optimise websites for mobiles.
Currently heavier sites struggle to race against that 8 second attention span we worry so much about. With that, everything has to be stripped and lightened so that interesting and “cool” features have to be reconsidered. Entire websites have been reconfigured for the expressway of information that the mobile age has thrust upon us. This means certain interactive features are just not available for mobile users.
The increased speed means that these interactive and stylish elements can once again be incorporated as they can be rendered faster.
The future of web design is smart
As the introduction of this article alludes to, we are learning to co-exist with technology. In fact, we are almost becoming cyborgs. Years ago, it was only computers that web designers had to consider. Then it was mobile phones. Now it could pretty much be anything. Like those coffee machines in swanky hotels that have the BBC news website going over the screen. Thing is, everything is getting smart.
By that I mean things like smart watches.
Smart shoes. Smart toilets.
Nothing is sacred in the smart revolution.
So, if you are the sort of web designer that is involved with making apps then the rise in smart devices will certainly up the stakes. The human reliance upon technology has become so enveloping that it has become part of our evolution. As such smart gadgets are only going to become more prevalent as the fascination with technology grows.
Revolutionary video and animation tools
Let’s flog a dead horse for a moment.
Did you know videos and animations increase prospect engagement?
Then let me direct you to a thousand or so articles that will tell you different. The thing is, animation and video has become easier with the technology available, as well as the app-based services you can find on the internet.
Video has almost become inevitable with web design recently. Let’s not forget the prevalence of video on social media. Social media sites are spending disgusting money to ensure the efficiency of video is entirely optimised. And now companies like Adobe are making animation easier even for those who have all the tech-savviness of a baby armadillo.
With this sort of tech readily available, web designers of all levels will be making use of eye-catching animation. With this, more websites will capture that fleeting attention span that we are so used to designing websites for.
Wrapping up the future of web design.
Technology will always advance. We have been worried and excited about it since Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein at the turn of the 19th century. As always, we will look at the developments made with a mixture of fear and awestruck admiration. No matter how often we think that technology can’t advance any more, we will be proven wrong.
With such advances, the future of web design is not only assured, but jitterily anticipated.
Think of the scope that technology will always provide web designers with opportunities to advance and create. What a beautiful mess we will be in trying to build such an interactive future.
If there is anything you wish to add, then please comment below.