It goes without saying that usability will continue to be at the forefront of web design, in fact all design, for 2016 and beyond. Engaging people across all platforms and optimising user experience is now an integral part of a designer’s toolkit – as Google dictates, if you’re not mobile friendly mate, you’re not coming anywhere close to our top rankings.
Ever advancing developments in technology continually open up new and innovative ways to use and interact with digital services – and as designers it’s our job to keep up. Aesthetically we need to evolve and reflect these incredibly intelligent advances – so that the look and feel is as intuitive and fresh as the technology itself.
Being a designer today is about far more than type and layout. Increasingly we need to consider behaviour – how things move, flow, transition, sound. And this growing toolkit is not about adding gimmicks and tricks anymore, it is there to enhance user experience – to direct, differentiate and soften a user’s interaction with the digital world.
Branding too no longer stops at logo design and traditional brand guidelines. Increasingly great brands are flexible. They evolve and adapt across multiple platforms and devices – creatively conveying brand values and voice without using a ‘one size fits all’ approach that outdated guidelines would impose. Spotify, Airbnb, Mailchimp and Now TV are all examples of brands which have embraced a flexible, responsive approach to branding – in part to reflect the sophisticated level at which their audience’s interact with, and become part of their brands.
Finally, animation deserves a mention when considering the future of visual and user experience. Visuals so often work better than text and there are plenty of impressive stats that point towards animation as a must have for 2016 and beyond. As a means to engage and inform your user; to convey brand personality and voice and all in a simple and user-friendly manner – animation is increasingly a very attractive option.
So what does 2016 have in store for a dozen eggs? Well, more collaborative projects I hope. Having worked with Nottingham based data visualisation agency Future Fresh on several animations during 2015 we’re about to give our joint services a big push for the year ahead. Being able to offer clients a wider range of services that are inline with the way the market is heading keeps us fresh and forward thinking. Plus it’s an absolute pleasure to collaborate with such a skilled bunch of people.