The Future of Web Design: What Can We Predict?


Whether you are a graphic designer or an average web user, the world of web design is fascinating. But even renowned industry experts will be quick to wish you good luck predict the future of web design.

Looking at websites from the late 1999s or early 2000s is like a blast from the past. Clunky interfaces, ugly fonts, and horrendous color schemes look objectively hideous through our spoiled eyes. However, keep in mind that they really were the best designs in their class for their time.

In 20 years, will we feel the same way about the seemingly beautiful websites we enjoy today?

Somehow, I doubt it. But I do know that web design is destined to evolve even further and in exciting and meaningful ways. So what exactly can we predict about the future of web design? And what makes predicting future changes in web design so difficult in the first place?

Why is it so difficult to make predictions about the future of web design

Let’s explore why making web design predictions is so difficult.

We do not have a crystal ball that allows us to look to the future. The only way to predict web design trends is to look at historical patterns. After that, we can speculate on the variables that could influence web design and estimate how those influences could affect the future.

Even the best web design experts can only look to the future in a few years. Beyond that, we just don’t know what factors might be at play. To get started, consider the following four factors.

1. Technologies

In 2002, it would have been difficult to predict that the future of web design would be governed by the fact that most people now access the web primarily with a mobile device.

Few tech experts could have predicted that mobile devices with Internet access would become commonplace within a few years. Future devices with Internet access may allow us to surf the web in new ways. In that case, our web design fundamentals will necessarily change.

Today mobile devices demand more flexible and responsive designs. Some new future technology might force us to rethink our previous principles. Obviously, we just don’t know what those technologies might be.

2. Consumer preferences

According to Web-page design, another wrinkle is rapidly changing consumer preferences. In 2021, web users will strongly prefer minimal designs, simplistic designs, and muted colors. It would be a bold / reckless prediction to speculate that this will eventually shift to favoring messy or manic designs. However, stranger consumer preferences have emerged in the past. When it comes to the aesthetic tastes of web design, we are at the mercy of consumer attitudes, and consumers are notoriously fickle.

3. Important events

Big world events can affect web design too, at least to some extent. Suppose there is a radical change in government influence over the Internet or a nationwide Internet outage for an extended period. In that case, it could drastically change the way we think about web design, and in unpredictable ways.

4. Push and pull factors

Sometimes designs fall out of favor because they are overused. Sometimes new designs emerge simply because “cool” influential brands use them. Push and pull factors are complex and unpredictable, and even small differences in small variables can add up to have a massive influence on how the future unfolds.

Despite these four factors, and there are more, we can make at least some predictions about how web design will change in the near and distant future.

Optimized coding and better design tools

First, we will definitely see improvements in how we can code and design websites from scratch.

Today almost anyone can easily create a decent looking website for free using one of several free (or cheap) website builders. These tools use WYSIWYG editors and simple mod widgets so that even hobbyists can rebuild a website from scratch.

In the future, this is likely to be even easier and more accessible. Additionally, seasoned web designers and developers will likely gain access to even better tool sets to support their work.

Responsiveness 2.0

One of the most important advances in web design was the introduction of “responsive” design, which forces elements to change according to the size of the device / screen that is viewing the web page. But what if we could take this concept one step further? In the future, we may have the opportunity to interact with websites using a variety of high-tech devices, such as smart mirrors or projected interfaces from the glasses we wear. Could our current web design adapt to these new types of designs?

Conversational layouts

Customer engagement is essential to help your brand grow. This is why so many modern websites employ the use of chatbots and other forms of immediate user interaction when someone visits the site. In the future, we will see even more advancements in “conversational design”, allowing for personalized experiences and more interaction right from the start.

Personalization

Speaking of customization, there is no doubt that the future of web design will hinge on further customization. Companies like Google and Facebook already do their best to track your movements online and better understand who you are, all in order to provide better customer experiences. What if you could offer radically different website designs based on the preferences and stories of the people who come to your site?

AR and VR

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been predicted as total technological revolutionaries. Unfortunately, they haven’t fully found out from the mainstream audiences, but their time is near. Once AR and VR become commonplace, users will expect dynamic interactive experiences from websites in these simulated worlds.

AI and machine learning

These days, artificial intelligence engines and machine learning algorithms are already capable of learning from user interactions on the fly and making adjustments to better serve them. Therefore, we could see better incorporation of these algorithms on websites in the future. This would allow them to dynamically adjust based on the actions of the people who interact with them.

Greater security

Security has become a growing priority for web designers and developers for many years. With hackers and cybercriminals constantly competing to improve their skills, security experts will have to work really hard to keep up. Obviously, the burden of security will fall more on the backend programmers and technical service providers than on the actual designers. However, the entire team will have to work together to ensure web security.

Incredible speed

Speed ​​has always been a priority for web designers and developers. As a result, we will see better support for rendering, processing, and internet speeds in the future, opening the door for web designers to become more experimental and include more novelty elements in their designs. And of course users will also benefit from faster loading times.

One Page Websites

Recent trends have pushed web design towards minimalism and simplicity. Modern designers want users to scroll, rather than click. They want fewer elements and more optimized layouts. In the future, this could evolve even further, leading to the common development of “one page websites”, where all the necessary information is collected in one central location.

Constant evolution

My safest prediction is that web design will constantly evolve.

There may be a handful of sudden and significant breakthroughs. There may be periods of a few years when there are not many changes. But, for the most part, we will see a steady stream of new technology. We will see unique consumer preferences and new cultural trends driving changes in web design. Every year we will see the emergence of new trends, the death of old trends and exciting new ideas that will allow us all to progress.

If you’ve spent any time as a webmaster or business owner with a major website, you know how difficult it is to keep up with the latest web design trends. This is because the principles of web design change very quickly and in such unexpected directions. But if you want to stay relevant and give your users the best possible experience, monitoring these trends is the price you have to pay.

Image credit: picjumbo; Pexels; Thanks!

Deanna ritchie

Deanna ritchie

Editor-in-chief at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor for ReadWrite. Previously, she worked as the editor-in-chief of Startup Grind and has over 20 years of content management and development experience.


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