Web Design Trends We Would Like to See in 2018
The new year is upon us and as always, we can’t wait to see what trends in web design are going to take the lead. Below is a list of some things I would love to see happen in 2018.
1. GIFs Used More as Thumbnails for News Stories
I personally think these can add a lot of value to a story. A short 5 second looping GIF can really get a lot of information across, especially for news articles. I have seen a few websites doing it so far - Bloomberg uses GIF's (in moderation) for some story headlines, and it works really well in telling a story visually.
2. Smarter Checkout Screens
Checkout screens don’t need to be that complicated. If you have the user’s zip code, you know what city, state and country they are in. Providing auto-completion on forms will save users time, and make the checkout process much faster and easier, especially on mobile. I'm hoping to see online checkout processes streamlined more this year. People love the convenience of online shopping, as yearly growth in e-commerce continues to trend. Making the process easier through smarter checkouts will accelerate the growth of online shopping even faster.
3. The Death of Auto-Play Videos
"I wish videos would just play automatically for me wherever I go on the internet" - said no one ever. It drives me (and many others) completely bonkers. This is considered a dark pattern in design and all it does is annoy users and distract their attention. However I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Google Chrome is in the process of rolling out a change to it’s browser that will prevent videos from automatically playing with sound. It’s a good start, one that I’m hoping that leads to the death of this very frustrating trend.
4. Design Systems
Responsive design is a good answer to all of the various viewports in the ecosystem. I think the next step will be having strong design systems. The easiest way to describe what a design system is to consider it as branding guidelines for the web. The practice of following a well-structured design system will help websites grow and evolve whilst keeping a unified look.
5. Less Desktop Hamburgers
Ever visited a website and had to pause to find the menu, only to discover it behind three little horizontal lines? Also known as the "hamburger", this method of containing site navigation is very common on mobile sites and helpful due to the small screen space. It has, however, become more prominently used with desktop/large screen views in recent times as well. Unfortunately many users do not expect this and tend to take extra time to find the menu as it is considered to be hidden. It’s been over a year since Nielsen Norman Group’s research showed that hidden navigation hurts UX metrics. In my opinion, I think the hamburger is here to stay on tablet and mobile but it’s overstayed it’s welcome on desktop. It provides little benefit to the user besides maybe looking cool. And think about all those extra clicks a user has to take to get where they want to go.
Bonus: Better UX on Warning Systems
Most people are aware that Hawaii received a false alarm for an incoming ballistic missile recently because the user clicked the wrong option. Check out the user interface the operator was using. I’m going to go out on a limb and call it the worst UX design mistake ever made. Hopefully this one doesn’t get topped…ever.