When you work in the field of web design you can’t afford to take your eye off the ball. Technological advancements happen so fast, it’s essential to keep abreast of new developments to maintain peak performance levels. So as a new decade dawns, we’ve been taking a look at predictions about the directions web design will be taking over the coming months.

#1 Accessible design

Disability App Design

Not surprisingly, accessibility is one of the watchwords for 2020, extending to every part of life, including the digital world. And this has been brought home by a recent court action brought by a blind US citizen who found himself unable to use a mobile app for the Domino Pizza chain. Although the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) of 1990 requires bricks-and-mortar businesses to make online platforms accessible for everyone, regardless of disability, Dominos fought back by claiming mobile apps hadn’t been created when the Act was written. The high court judges disagreed with Domino’s defence.

The UK may lag behind the US when it comes to online accessibility laws, but it can only be a matter of time before we follow their lead. The UK Equality Act of 2010 states that discrimination against people with disabilities is illegal in all forms, so it’s bound to be used to challenge non-accessible websites at some point in the future. That means it’s best to consider the needs of all website visitors, not just the able-bodied ones, when creating or updating your business website. And of course, making websites fully accessible across all platforms opens the opportunities to an increase in sales and conversions, which is, after all, the point!

#2 White space and minimalism

White Space Website

They’re two separate design elements, but in 2020 we think websites are going to be featuring a combination of minimalistic design and large areas of white space.

Rather confusingly, white space doesn’t have to be white – it can be any colour, although there are early indications that black is the new white, at least for a while. White space is sometimes referred to as negative space, and covers the blank areas between images and text. Some website owners don’t like the concept at all, preferring to squeeze graphics and text into every part of the page, but good design is as much about the spaces between elements, as it is about the elements themselves.

Finding the perfect combination of text, images and white space helps to create a calm and ordered feeling for a website. Navigation is easier, and web visitors can quickly identify the pages they need to look at more closely.

But there are further benefits to white space. Used in combination with minimalistic design elements, pages load at lightning-fast speeds, which is essential in the fast-paced online world. Graphics-heavy pages, which are also filled with blocks and columns of text, take a long time to load, and today’s consumers don’t have the time to wait around for them. Pages need to load in three seconds or less, or your web visitors will click back to their search results and choose one of your competitors instead.

#3 Voice User Interface (VUI)

Voice Assistance

We’ve had our eye on developments in voice search for some time now, as it’s inevitably going to become increasingly common. As more and more homes are introducing smart speakers into their homes, such as Alexa and Echo, we’re all going to become a lot more accustomed to talking to tech, rather than typing out search terms. This is potentially going to create a huge change in the way that we interact with our devices, so web designers need to be prepared for VUI to become the next big thing.

#4 3D web design

Augmented Reality 3D Web

Until fairly recently, 3D web graphics were simply too expensive for most web designers to access. But a significant drop in costs means that 3D graphics are about to explode across our screens in the coming months. As with Augmented Reality, 3D graphics give a 360 degree view of objects, making the most of modern screens to create dazzling displays.

The trade off to this highly-engaging technology is that it’s going to increase page loading times. But used sparingly, 3D design looks set to revolutionise websites, creating stunning, futuristic displays that really grab the viewer’s attention.

#5 Fluorescent colours

Bright Colours

With the exciting technological advancements offered by 3D web design, plenty of designers are going to be emphasising the futuristic design elements with flashes of fluorescent colour. But there’s an art to successfully combining the two elements without the finished effort looking too overcooked. A few strokes of neon-bright colour should be complemented by a quieter, gentler colour palette, to keep the overall effect looking stylish, rather than garish.

Of course, just because something happens to be the hot new trend, it doesn’t necessarily follow that every website owner should rush to incorporate it within their own site. Website design is something that needs to be thought out very carefully from the outset, to make sure the finished design appeals to its demographic. This is something that we fully understand at Brookstone. We have experience of working with all types of businesses, across a broad spectrum of industries, so we have excellent knowledge of what works, and what doesn’t.

Like to know more? Contact us to find out more about us, the services we offer, and what makes us one of the best web design agencies to work with!