Here’s how I sum up this year: We gave a single phrase explanation to all our design and development fads (cough User-Experience cough) and have now arrived at a point where almost every design looks the same as the one before it.
Is it bad? Not necessarily. The same design concepts being utilized over and over again for the sake of keeping users happy: That’s good intent and sweet results for business owners, even if it means less conceptual diversity for designers and developers.
Now, as far as online store designing goes, here are 5 trends you can expect will be followed by everyone in the year ahead:
You can thank Pinterest and every single template that used Masonry for this trend. Showing your products as Cards is something I can actively get behind, given its simplicity (of implementation) and users’ familiarity with the pattern.
While a lot of us may have realized that the fold is a myth, that doesn’t stop many retailers from cramming all they can on the top half for that first glance. Only, instead of cramming forms up there, we have decided to use ‘above the fold’ area for capturing attention.
With carefully clicked and picked Hero Images, Sliders, Background videos, etc.
The trend is a conversion-friendly trend and it is catching up with e-commerce portals fast.
By the end of 2013, we were at crossroads between flat and skeuomorphic design. We found the perfect solution in the form of Material design, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. Everyone, including e-commerce stores, will be using the cleanliness and performance of flat with subtle enhancements of realistic design with abandon.
Here are some stores who are doing it right:
As the businesses change, so will the marketing trends and practices. 2017 is where multi-channel marketing and retail will truly take off as publishers and advertisers strive to create impactful, specifically targeted advertisements using advertiser data collected across multiple devices. This will help reduce advertising clutter on all devices.
This is to attract the tech-savvy millennials using a whole range of devices to shop.
Marketers were doing it through ads (targeted with geo-location) so far, but Facebook began giving out ‘Place Tips’ to businesses to digitize real-life experiences (or vice versa? I am not a retailer).
Basically: Even if Internet of Things hasn’t started to worry you yet, you should still prepare yourself to create more inclusive experiences as marketer and get ready to implement them as web developer and designer.
God this one is catching on _really_fast, to everyone’s general annoyance. Every single online store I’ve visited lately showed me a pop-up before I even got a look at the products. No, sellers, I will not subscribe or register my email address with you (Well, not now that I know how desperate you are anyway).
Pop-up/interruption marketing to increase social shares or generate leads is gaining traction. But I have to say, if you must do it, do it nicely. Make it trigger delayed (page leave, cursor movement, time delayed, etc.), make the transition smooth (not abrupt as if you’re saying ‘Boo!’).
Try not to go for more than ONE popup per page; you can decide when to show it.
This is for the content people: Stock photos are dying out. Get ready to get creative with photography (Knolling, blur shots, anything else really), but make sure it’s your own so you get to get extra points for being a unique snowflake.
I’m not a fortune-teller, but my belief that these ‘trends’ will persist in the coming year is backed by the current opinions in web designer community.
You’re free to treat these as hogwash. Or share your own opinions for added enlightenment in the comments section below.