On a quiet Monday morning, I sat down with our Assistant Director of Design and Development, although you may know her as the designer who RBJ named Designer of the Year for 2016.
With hot coffees in our hands, Brittani and I discussed the web design trends that we will expect to see more of in 2017.
What do you think the major web design trends will be in 2017?
I'm seeing a movement toward these bold, stark designs with more care given to legibility. Flat and simplified design seems to have reached its peak, and creatives are now reintroducing character in confident ways. Big type with bold messages. Beautiful, unique illustrations in place of bland stock photos as SVGs (scalable vector graphics) continue to gain popularity. A lot more use of video. Or where photos are used, there's now more playfulness—duo-tone or other effects, overlaying grids or lines on top of big images as a style element seems to be popular now. Oh, and transitions. So many transitions.
Tell me about that: How do you plan on incorporating some of that into your work?
A lot of what's emerging now really resonates with me, so that's exciting. Strong colors, strong messages, a clean and effective grid. It's my responsibility to recognize and leverage trends—but only to the extent that they benefit the project and its goals. So that's my plan, investigate the project thoroughly, determine its goals, and put the design to work to achieve success for our clients.
What design trends will ultimately benefit the end-user?
I think, in the end, it comes down to why the designer is buying into the trends in the first place, and how they're being used. It’s important to understand why certain trends make sense. If the designer is being “trendy” for the sake of being trendy, the end product may not stay relevant and may even distract the user from the main message. If smart, informed decisions are made, any of these styles can be beneficial.
What trends do you think will negatively affect the end-user?
It was a bit of a problem in the second half of 2016 and I'm still seeing it now: overuse of transitional effects. A little bit of parallax or fading or sliding of content when scrolling can add impact, but I'm seeing sites where literally every bit of content transitions somehow as it comes into focus. This motion immediately grabs your attention away from the copy itself, and when another block fades in, and then another, and another… it's too visually overwhelming. Next thing you know, you're at the bottom of the page, dazzled by the visuals, but with no recollection of any real message or content or call-to-action.
What is your design resolution for 2017?
To push myself to broaden the edges of my skillset by making time to experiment with new technology and new design approaches. To grow myself as a designer, while continuing to deliver great work for great people.
Brittani, along with the talented web designers and developers at Archer, are excited to bring these fresh trends to life this year and, as always, are dedicated to creating websites that engage, inspire and demand action. If you’re in need of a new or refreshed website, get in touch with us today.