2019 is the final year of the decade — can you believe we’re there already? As a web design agency in Ottawa, it seems like only yesterday that the country was preparing for the Winter Olympics to come to Vancouver and now the decade is almost over. With it, we have seen massive changes across the internet landscape and the mobile web has grown incredibly to become an important part of our daily lives.
Too many acronyms to remember have been introduced — AR, VR, AI, AMP — and you’ll likely not know what they stand for if they don’t come up in daily education, but you will experience them almost every day when browsing the internet.
Traditionally, we have seen either advancement in technology or creativity every year but this year something unprecedented will happen, we will see big leaps in both aspects of web design as aesthetics and technology will see innovation from developers and designers alike. We can tell you now, this is going to be a very exciting year for web design.
Today, we are going to discuss 5 of the most innovative trends we are going to see in 2019, thanks to Lennart de Ridder at 99designs.co.uk, who has compiled the things he predicts will have a major impact on how we use the internet this year. He goes on to urge web developers and designers to make their make before the decade is over.
The Evolution of Chatbots
Let’s start with everyone’s favourite piece of technology at the moment — chatbots. They have been moving upwards for a couple of year now but 2019 will see them become even more pivotal. We have been seeing huge improvements in AI and machine learning over the past few months, enabling chatbots to become more intelligent and efficient.
A new generation of chatbots will be appearing on more and more pages that you use daily and they’ll be much more customisable than we have ever seen before. They will likely have bright colours to make them pop off the page and be more inviting to users than previous generations. A friendly mascot will no doubt accompany the chatbots that will help represent the brand and provide a personable face to blur the real and digital world.
Video Content Explosion
Obviously video content is nothing new for the online world but thanks to changes in the way Google displays search results, businesses are turning towards it more and more. Video allows you to not only diversify the content on your website but also caters to your audience that isn’t viewing your page at home as they can watch a video instead of scanning through paragraphs of text.
As you will no doubt have already seen, Google now shows mixed search results for terms that have video results relating to them, with those appearing above all other results. This change in search engine dynamic is leading websites to prioritise video production over traditional content to try and lead the pack in search results. This also allows them to offer new content in a more efficient and shareable format.
Yes, this is a classic and indeed timeless trend for web design and development, but minimalism is still the go-to aesthetic choice for many websites across the world. The idea is that the less content your audience has to look at, the less they will think about and the more likely they are to become a customer. Of course, this only occurs if you present the content in the right way, showing the user exactly what they are looking for — nothing more, nothing less.
So, it should come as no surprise that minimalism will continue to dominate the digital landscape throughout 2019 and undoubtedly into the new decade. With advancements in the types of animation and effects that are possible, the experience of scrolling through pages will become more engaging. This also allows designers to space out their content more and produce beautifully contrasted white space and clear typography without unnecessary elements to distract readers.
Navigation that is Friendly for Your Thumbs
Browsing websites on mobile devices have firmly overtaken browsing them on your desktop and this is leading to design becoming more and more thumb-friendly. Josh Clark discussed this very phenomenon in his book “Designing for Touch” where he investigated how users hold mobile devices and how this affects the way that movements, particularly of their thumb, should be processed in modern web design.
In 2019, more than ever, we will see companies adopting a thumb-friendly experience. Not only websites but also software developers will be catering to this growing audience. You could even say that Apple was ahead of the curve when they introduced the iPhone X range with its lack of a home button and gesture-based controls.
Socially Conscious and Diverse Imagery
We refer to the online world so often as simply “the web” that it can be easy to forget that the phrase is accompanied by two other very important word — “worldwide”. We are fortunate to be connected with people all over the world through the internet, each with their own cultures, abilities, ages and gender identities. All of these different people want to see themselves represented through their content rather than boring old stock photos.
Small considerations can help this come a long way (think Apple’s inclusion of emojis with varying skin tones) to making people from all over the globe feel comfortable in the digital world we now inhabit. With social consciousness and diversity on our minds more than ever coming into 2019, we should see designers strive towards inclusiveness more head-on than previous years. As a population, the world still has a long way to go to make everyone feel universally accepted but designers can help make steps towards this by demonstrating the real connection people can make online.
Looking Ahead and Where to Read More
These are just half of the predictions that Lennart de Ridder has come up with for the year ahead and you can read about the rest over at 99designs. With them all laid out, what are you most excited to see in 2019? This isn’t a definitive list and there are bound to be plenty of surprises along the way as the year progresses and maybe you will contribute to them yourself! After all, what catches on and becomes a trend is defined by one person… YOU.
Originally published at Web Design Ottawa For Any Sized Project & Budget | DRC Web Designers.