Ten exciting future trends in web development

Ten exciting future trends in web development

We’re going to be working on some pretty hefty web redevelopment projects over the next six months so I thought I’d swot up on current thinking and future gazing on where the web is going next in terms of design and usability.   Here are some of the trends that are coming our way.  Thanks to the smart team at Net magazine for a great article in issue 198 called Tips and Trends for 2010. Here are my jotted out revision notes. I’ve chosen a neat top ten, there were lots more, but I like neat.

1) Improving  what you’ve got. The return to analytics.

Throwing money at gimmicky one-off micorsites and games will be replaced with a serious assessment of core site usability to increase customer conversions and retention. Analytics will shift from active pages to examining user activity. Google AB testing.

2) Multi-channel design briefs

Companies will move to using the web as a primary source for spreading the message. This won’t lead to mega agencies, but to more creative collaborations with small teams. Designers will take a more holistic approach. Be content aware, user and usability focused.

3) Less choice and more single minded content.

Sites will become more purposeful and single minded, minimising self hosted content to the strictly relevant and using third party services where necessary.

4) It’s still about speed. Find , do , share things – Quickly!

The trend of enabling people to rapidly access information is here to stay. We’ll see a continued rise in the grid system, influenced strongly by print with plenty of white space to enhance visuals.

5) Apps will lead the way in design.

Apps provide quick, usable solutions for people on the go. Many sites will take their design and user experience from their mobile apps rather than the other way round. Designers will simplify and streamline websites for mobile platforms, resulting in sites with better usability and apps that give users greater control over their personal experience.

6) It will move for a reason.

2010 will see a move away from meaningless moving content and towards beautiful interactive style that looks great and adds something to the ease and pleasure of using a site. Flash is not dead, Flash CS5 looks promising.

7) It’s all about web fonts.

2010 will be the year of web fonts. Web designers can now use a wider pool of fonts without resorting to images or flash. Web fonts it will change the look of the web forever.

8) Designing for social engagement and the three universal challenges*

Designers will be optimising sites for things that can be commented on and shared. Designers must optimise for engagement and encourage participation. The three key design and usability challenges for social engagement look like this. 1) Help people understand how the site works. Quickly! 2) Get people to sign up. 3) Turn them into active returning users.

*I honestly have no idea why my number eight is a smiley face. I’ve looked at the HTML but I’m none the wiser. See point 10. Will email Pete on Monday.

9) Mobile and location awareness.

Location awarness will become integral on desktops.  Without relying on user input it will be possible to set a geographical context, enhancing the user experience with services such as localised search.

10) We’ll all need to broaden our skill set.

With the iphone it’s all about software so if you’re a designer who doesn’t know code you should learn. If you’re web page creator who doesn’t know basic HTML you should learn.

All this sounds pretty exciting to me. If you know of any more me drop me a line. Thanks again to  Net magazine.