The year that was & the year that will be...

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

And just like that another year has come and gone. We are another year older and (hopefully) another year wiser. To celebrate, we thought we would share a few of the digital trends from 2017 that we are looking forward to farewelling along with some that team Vivo are hoping will be #ontrend in 2018.

Goodbye 2017

While 2017 was filled with loads of amazing advancements in technology and design, there were a couple of trends that we really wouldn't miss if they were never seen again:

1. Excessive animation.

Don’t get us wrong, we love intelligent and subtle use of animation on websites. However, too much movement can be down right distracting and draw users attention away from where you actually want them to go. Overuse of animation can also result in heavy websites with increased loading times. Our advice is to use animation wisely!

2. Carousels.

A lot of clients love carousels because they can house a large amount of information in the one section. However, from a usability point of view they really aren’t ideal because users have to either watch as the carousel scrolls through all of the information, or manually click through to surface content. With so many creative and more user friendly solutions available, we are looking forward to seeing the back of this element.

3. Unnecessary parallax.

There’s a time and a place for parallax. More and more we are seeing websites using parallax alongside animation, high quality images, videos and other dynamic elements just because they can. Nine times out of ten it becomes too much and ends up detracting from the overall experience of the website. Parallax works best on static websites that need to add dynamic elements and/or movement.

4. SEO “tricks”.

Year after year new SEO hacks crop up and every man and his dog rushes to implement them on their website. You know what we’re talking about - white text on white background, entire sitemaps in footers, listing your website on every directory under the sun and so on… We hate to break it to you, but Google is smarter than all of us. They know all of the tricks and just like those that have come before, this year's SEO “tricks” will soon be blacklisted. Our advice is always and will always be to focus on creating compelling content that your users actually want to read.

 

Hello 2018

The best part about the industry that we work in is that it just keeps getting better! Each year we get the opportunity to work with new and exciting technologies that test and improve our skills. We are literally always learning. Some of the things we are most excited for in 2018 are:

1. Accessibility.

While we have come a long way, we still have so far to go and with every new design trend or technology advancement comes a new set of challenges. 2018 should be the year that designers really, truly commit to designing with accessibility in mind. And we are talking about more than simply meeting a standard of compliance. As web designers and developers, we need to understand the real life challenges people face when using websites and how we can genuinely improve their experience.

2. Progressive web apps.

There’s no denying that apps are the way of the future. However designing, developing and maintaining mobile apps is hard (not to mention expensive) work. Cue progressive web apps. These apps can appear to users like a mobile application, but are actually web pages or websites. The beauty of these apps is that they take advantage of the host of features on web browsers whilst delivering an app-like user experience. Users can have an app icon on their phone screen which opens up a web page when launched. This is definitely a technology we are looking forward to working with more in 2018!

3. Prominent, powerful positioning statements.

The ongoing theme that less is more is one that certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it is up to us to find efficient ways of communicating key messaging without cluttering design. There’s a lot of fun to be had in this space for designers and copywriters alike.

4. Bold use of colours.

A fantastic and increasingly popular way of infusing more personality into a design is through the use of bold colours. We aren’t talking about throwing all of the colours of the rainbow in and hoping for the best, we are talking about utilising colour, gradients and vignettes to highlight information, guide users and create interest. We are loving the look of sites like asana.com

5. Intelligent animation.

Whilst we are not keen on excessive animation, the use of subtle movement on websites such as, moving text, video, transitions and so on have the ability to create life and dynamism on a site.

6. Audible functionality

Everybody seems to be going crazy for this kind of technology at the moment and 2017’s must-have Christmas tech gift is definitely a Google Home. Building on from this technology, the ability for website interfaces to hear, understand and respond to voice commands is a trend that we envision becoming increasingly sought after in 2018.

7. Imagery.

As websites become increasingly static higher consideration will need to be given to the type and quality of imagery used on websites need to ensure that it aligns with the content it is supporting.

8. Clever use of AI.

The advancement of Artificial Intelligence in 2017 was unprecedented. A great example of AI at work in websites is through the use of Chatbots. Whilst this is a fairly new addition to websites, the potential to harness this technology to create Chatbots that have personality and are more attuned to who the user is and what they are wanting to achieve on a site will definitely be a game changer in the coming year.

9. Open and asymmetric layouts.

Gone are the days of “boxy”, symmetric, closed design, our team are far more interested in exploring design that pushes the constraints and finding new and exciting ways to present content.

10. Sticky elements.

You may have noticed this popping up on mobile in 2017 as a means of improve the usability of menus and calls to action. The addition of a sticky element or navigation on the bottom or side of the page makes these elements more accessible to users. This is something that we are starting to see move across to desktop in a big way, especially where campaigns and CTA are concerned. Take murdoch.edu.au, whose live chat element sticks to the side of the homepage and when viewed on a mobile device, the navigation is accessible from the bottom rather than the top.

We’re really looking forward to getting stuck into these kinds of trends this year and discovering what other exciting stuff we can sink our teeth into!

If you want Vivo to exercise their creative skills on your next website, please give us a call on +61 7 3257 3418

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