With every new year, arises the need for change. And yes, this also applies to the development and design of your website. If you are thinking about upping your web development offerings, you will have to incorporate the rising new website design, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) offerings as well. Because no matter how much you update your content to keep up with your business’s progression, you will not attract more customers onto your site and retain them if you are not on par with rising user expectations and behavioral changes.
Here is a list of the top 10 trends that we feel will change the digital landscape in 2019!
One great way to increase your website’s conversion rate is to have a more personalized user experience. Applications such as Spotify, iTunes and Netflix to name a few are early adopters of this practice. If companies want to succeed in having a steady flow of users and continuous return of customers, it’s always great to have a personalized user experience approach – because let’s face it, it’s always great to feel like you are a valued customer. Software companies; especially in Sri Lanka should be ready with the proper resources and infrastructure required to the changing diverse needs of the market.
Voice User Interface
A fairly new technology, Voice User Interface (VUI) is a technology interface that allows users to use their voice to input commands and control devices. This technology has gained traction in America and Europe and is slowly gaining traction in the South Asian Regions with India being the most prominent. Technologies and gadgets such as Siri by Apple, Alexa and Echo by Amazon and Google Home by Google are VUI centered designs.
It’s time for local companies to take the initiative to develop and build such technologies and web designs in Sri Lanka in order to put our country on the map as adopters of emerging technology.
Practicality and content centered UX
Practicality based web development is something that has been lacking for a while but will be experiencing a drastic change in 2019. Previously web developers gave precedence to a more ‘cluttered’ web layout because they believed that everything must be laid out in a bird’s eye view of a user. But this isn’t always practical, as this will cause the website load time to increase drastically, often causing users to switch to simpler, cleaner websites that load faster.
This layout design loads faster and is saving time, as users today have a very short attention span. The website design must be easy to use, with simple and legible content that is able to quickly grasp the end user’s attention. This means, taking out any unnecessary content, images and graphics which will overwhelm the user. This is something software companies, engaging in web development in Sri Lanka must keep in mind.
A classic example is Yahoo! – the brand’s homepage was cluttered with clickable icons and links to various news articles because the Yahoo! team thought that a user would want to see news at a glance every time they log onto the internet. In came Google with their clean, simple and sleek web page which basically transformed the internet as we know it. How did Google overcome the long running tech giant? The simple user interface reduced the page’s loading time to a fraction of that of Yahoo! overcoming competition through severe customer centricity through practicality and content centered UX.
Minimalism and bold yet clear typography design
A minimalist website is perhaps the most timeless web designs of all time. It’s also the go-to aesthetic of choice for many. Minimalism has fewer elements and content on the website with more space for lesser efforts taken for your audience to think. A minimalistic website when designed the right way will show your users exactly what you are looking for.
Even in 2019, minimalism will continue to dominate the web development arena, coupled with animations simple yet clear and bold typography that is highly engaging and less distracting.
Even typography is something web designers are starting to pay attention to, which will have its big break in 2019 with the growing need to be more end-user oriented with all services. Clear and bold typography coupled with a minimalistic design will be taking the internet by storm in 2019!
Users are mostly familiar with augmented reality (AR) in games or gaming apps, but it’s now a growing trend to have AR in website development too, with more and more web development companies taking on AR based projects. Augmented reality has the ability to provide a user an ‘immersive’ experience with its very interactive layout. It’s also becoming more and more easier to provide augmented reality solutions to users as they mostly have devices with cameras now. There is a growing trend even in Sri Lanka with many web development companies starting to take on augmented reality-based projects.
Thumb friendly navigation
With the growing trend in mobile phones, web design companies now must adapt to ‘thumb friendly’ navigation methods – or in other words, mobile friendly user interfaces. Taken from one of the most important studies of the modern day; Designing for Touch, author Josh Clark investigates how users hold their mobile phones and how their movements especially those relating to the thumb must be processed during the web designing process.
Because more and more people are going mobile native, and since we are at an all-time high or peak of the social media and mobile age, more and more users are starting to adapt to their mobile phones. This along with the thumb-friendly web development, also gave birth to the ‘hamburger’ menu we are so used to today!
GIFS and animations
Graphics Interchange Format or most commonly known as GIFs, as well as animations have rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years. These are short often less than 5 seconds in length making it the perfect visual to catch someone’s attention and effectively deliver a message. They are highly interactive and very popular amongst millennials and older generations alike because of its short yet highly effective way of sending out a message as opposed to the traditional word-based way where a user will have to read some information from a standard paragraph.
Sticky elements are little clickable icons that are often at the top or bottom of a web page, that are positioned in a way that does not disturb the main page or disrupt the users experience. This has provenly become an effective way of enhancing the user experience and engagement by conveniently availing the most required aspects of the website at the right place and whenever it is most required.
Sticky elements can be used to visually represent another URL which will redirect the user to either a social media handle, highlight a promotion, include a video on YouTube or prompt them into an action (for example, liking a page) in a neat and clean way, while maintaining the authenticity and beauty of the website.
In 2019, sticky elements will become a ‘must have’ addition on almost every website!
Chat Bots have been up and coming for a while now, but lately its becoming more and more popular. This is because of the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) which has made these bots more intelligent and efficient.
Chat bots’ function as a ‘virtual assistant’ to a visitor of a website, prompting a question asking the visitor if they need any help and assisting the user with their many questions. These bots do not need any human interaction, yet function with the exact friendliness and projects warmth just as if you were chatting with a real person!
For a business owner, installing a chatbot is a very time saving and cost-effective business decision as they don’t need to invest on people to work as a ‘call center/ support center’ operative, but will have a full capable, quick and efficient bot to help them out instead. Although this a relatively new concept to Sri Lanka, more and more clients are recognizing the importance of adopting such technology and gradually inquiring their way into the world of chat bots.
A Progress Spectrum is a drop-down layout, that will help visually and graphically measure progress of a process online. This type of website design is very common in ecommerce sites as it allows for easier graphical understanding during a purchase process, and on restaurant delivery sites during an ordering process. This tool is in place to help visitors through each step whilst allowing them to shift back and forth (especially back if you have missed some information or would want to edit previously added information) and help someone gauge how far into the process they are.
If you have visited Pinterest or used Instagram, then you must be familiar with the grid layout concept. It’s an attention-grabbing layout because of its unique and clean look. With a grid layout you are able to organize your website in a structured and neat way. Because of this, more and more companies are starting to adopt this layout – especially for mobile friendly interfaces because of it’s simplicity and ease of use.
We must be ready for these radical changes and adapt to the changing digital landscape and be armed with the right resources and infrastructure in order to succeed. Software companies in Sri Lanka cannot ignore these changes especially when a user’s online attention span continues to shrink. 2019 is the year for exciting new changes in the tech landscape!