Web design has come a long way from the dark ages of the internet, where visionary technology was little more than a few glowing green pixels on a dark screen.
And it’s not done growing yet.
Everyday, thousands of websites are adding new features, revolutionary design, beautifully rendered graphics and animations. But this is still the beginning.
Pioneers in website development realize the possibilities of a boundless future to the internet, where users can explore an entire universe with their fingertips.
But, where are we right now? Here’s how web design is being improved by advancements in programming, from simple to complex:
It’s easier than ever to design a website
Perhaps the most important element of the internet is its openness. It was created as a network accessible by anyone who could, its public nature is one of its core values.
So, in theory, everyone should be in on it, right? Well, one of the leading online industries is user-friendly web development. Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Duda, designed to allow users to easily create, customize, and share their websites, have allowed brick and mortar businesses to engage with customers online.
Importantly, the pages created on these builders are mobile-friendly, giving users who aren’t technologically savvy to focus on the aesthetics of their site rather than decipher the necessary coding to allow a website to run smoothly on a smartphone.
Websites are more functional and interactive
And since more and more websites are being accessed on mobile devices, they are required to act intelligently according to the user’s device – which isn’t much bigger than the palm of their hand. Therefore, in order to ensure a fluid, logical experience, the design has to be logical and interactive.
Many websites are adapting to be more like applications. The design functions and UI/UX patterns used in applications – like animations between screens and scrolling layouts – are finding their way into modern web design.
Some UI/UX prototype software like Adobe Experience Design CC and UXPin allow users to transform the elements necessary in their webpage onto a manageable viewing platform, allowing these elements to engage and interact in a natural, intelligent manner.
Decorative design has a purpose
Anton Zykin, founder and CEO of SFCD, an agency that helps clients create functional UI/UX design, believes that the future of web design lies in the unity of decoration and function, with aesthetics and application converging rather than acting separately.
Essentially, modern web design is focusing on creating design that is both beautiful and useful, no space on the page is unwasted.
One way this has become a reality is in the proliferation of modular design – in which pages are built with several, reusable pieces, or modules, rather than choosing and being locked to a specific template.
Interaction outside the usual devices
At this point, interacting with the internet on laptops, smartphones, and tablets is second nature for the average person. But new, interactive technology has given access to a new kind of access to the web.
Smartwatches, once scoffed as little more than overpriced toys, are now accessing LTE networks, allowing app designers to create mobile applications that work independently of the device paired with the watch. And VR? The progress of virtual reality allows for users to immerse themselves in their screen and interact with websites in previously unexplored ways.
It’s hard to say what web design’s next big break will be – interactive online worlds using VR, intuitive mobile sites performing functions we’ll soon wonder how we lived without. Artificial Intelligence will have a huge role to play in the overall internet’s ongoing evolution, and probably soon.
The internet is fluid, constantly changing, malleable to the will of those interacting with it. So what’s next? In a lot of ways, it’s up to us to decide.