The Future of Web Design
Posted 03 September 2012
For a long time people have been trying to imagine what the future would look like. Technology and science, no matter how much we learn about them always surprise us. I was watching Total Recall (the original version) this weekend and was surprised at how in its imagining of the future it got some things right, such as video calls, for example, and some things very wrong, featuring 80’s style big TV screens, failing to imagine that technology would evolve to build tiny screens that fit in our hands.
This got me thinking about web design and what web design of the future would look like. Although you might think I am wasting my time day dreaming and watching too much Science Fiction, I believe that it is a very useful exercise. Looking into the future and seeing what challenges and new openings lie ahead can help us and our customers create web sites that are more resilient to the changing world of technology.
Also it could help us to move into new directions, not just catching up with latest trends, but setting them.
So thinking about the future and web design of the future, can we really say where it is going to lead us? I think we can and we can do so by analysing where technology, design and web design have been progressing towards in the last few years. I believe that these three are inextricably linked and evolve very much together. Thus the development of new technology, such as mobile internet for example pushes certain developments in web design. Also art and design, both of which have been moving towards simplicity, abstractions and visual intensity, have made a mark on web design.
So by trying to understand in which direction technology and design are moving we can get a rough idea of what it is going to happen to web design. Technology today is moving towards mobile and interactive. According to Mashable, leading Web Design and technology publication, the current technology that are going to shape the future are smart phones, cloud computing and eye tracking and voice commands. This is because in our interaction with technological tools we are looking for more mobility and more interaction. We want our technology to be available to us anywhere we go and to be able to communicate with us in our own terms. This need is what driving commercial technology at the moment and it will continue to do so until this need is satisfied.
Similarly with web design, with the development of mobile browsing web design had to embrace On The Go websites, that are light to load, easy to read on the smart phones and yet effective to attract the attention of a user who is always in a hurry to move onto something else. So as technology advances to more sophisticated forms of mobile browsing, web design would have to follow.
Now lets look at design. Having first made its debut as a standalone discipline early in the 20th Century, it has now established and matured. As Sir Terence Conran, famous English designer, said design is becoming an increasingly more important factor in economy and social sphere. In the competitive environment unique design is something that helps individual product or service to stand out and thus becomes an economical asset and a currency in itself.
Similarly on the online marketplace, web design is moving not just towards being more interactive with its user, but also towards creating a unique environment, which empowers the product or service it represents. Where web design few years ago was all about fitting in as much as possible it a clear way, web design now is moving more and more about content and user experience based, about creating an impact and standing out.
To summarise, there is a lot that is on the horizon for web design, and some of these things we can predict, such as web design will be moving more and more towards gearing websites for mobile browsing. It will also become more original as it becomes more important for companies and brands to differentiate themselves on a competetive market place. Web design will be about telling an individual story, conveying messages through visuals and abstracts.