Web Trends 2017

Web Trends 2017 will cover the trends you will find in the web field. The internet is an ever evolving thing and with websites like Amazon and Google making 107 billion and 75 billion[1] dollars every year respectively. (which comes out to $3392.94 and $2378.23 p/sec!). Remember, this wasn’t always the case. No one could have ever imagined that this much money would be moving from hand to hand virtually through the power of the internet. Once companies began to make millions off the internet, others were quick to take note and move to an online presence. A basic website isn’t rocket science. Generally, websites should be legible, informative, and maybe even sleek, but If you were to go on www.mikiyakobayashi.com you would realize that there is much more to the web than just coding a couple of lines one day. This site pushes the boundary of what Is possible on the web. When I log on to www.mikiyakobayashi.com I immediately  realized what is special about it’s an elegant blend of photos, information and interface. I might be too liberal with what “art” is but I don’t think that classifying this as art is any sort of stretch at all. When companies began to make themselves an internet presence, thank god that they weren’t competing with this. They would have simply just given up. This Is what Is common on the web today but what did the web look like before? This paper is about popular 2017 web trends but in order to understand what we have today I think it is only appropriate to touch on what brought us here and where we started.

Web pages like the one I have provided were impossible during the inception of the web. According to businessinsider.com[1], the first web page was published in 1991 and was merely just a couple of lines of text with links leading to a very similar web page. The white background and single font is unimpressive by today’s standards, yet back then it was (mostly due to the lack of competition) “the” standard. This google doc looks better than that webpage. The reason that this web page is lackluster is because these web developers didn’t have the same tools that we have today, because of this the past web trends were very different than the trends today. An evolutionary trend of the past like adding color to a page would be something that is more of a necessity now. I think that many web pages looked so dull and wordy back then because it was simply an extension of what we already had. Many newspapers in 1991 didn’t have any color and passed the handful of pages it was mostly just single font text. This was the meat of the actual paper, the text.

An old snapshot of Bloomberg.com[2] (which was found by using the way back machine), a financial news website shows just how primitive things looked in 1996 despite being 5 years later.  Not all sites had to be like this however, there were sites with real color and even logos! According to Ekarj.com[3], McDonald’s had a website and it was full of their trademark mark look. The red amount of red on the page would have left you thinking that this was a huge jump in technology since the Bloomberg website was published. Despite having color and looking “impressive” at the time, this website was somewhat of a disaster. It’s good that it was fairly empty because reading more than a couple of lines off the tomato red background with cheese yellow writing would have given even Ronald McDonald a migraine. If you look at the McDonald’s website now It looks like they learned their lesson. Their use of red is very sparse and instead opt to use lots of blacks, whites, and dark grays. This is a huge step up because of how it makes everything legible and toned down.

Things weren’t always hideous when it came to 90’s web pages. This Huffington Post article[1] by Alexis Kleinman gives a really good idea of what the 90’s could also look like. This article includes pictures of 1999 Google, sporting its trademark font and “I’m feeling lucky” button, 1999 Yahoo looking like it ate all the letters from the bible and threw them up on the page, and 1998 Apple making great use of pictures and minimalism in order to make a website that would still stand well today. The overall winner in my opinion is Microsoft.com from 1999. This website isn’t the flashiest or even as aesthetically pleasing as the Apple website, it does however do a great job of separating the paragraphs on the page in order to make them all readable, adds a blue color to show what is clickable and what isn’t (I have no idea how internet users of the past survived without this.), and has a bar at the top that assists you in navigating the website. This Microsoft website trades its looks for a website that anyone would be able to use.

After looking at what the Internet was before the year 2000, I have seen lots of failures(like McDonald’s and Yahoo) and successes (like Apple and Microsoft) this leads me to believe that a website needs to focus on two areas in order to be successful in appearance and usability. Appearance is fairly straightforward, does your website hurt my eyes to look at or not? Can I read the words on the page? Does it show professionalism or is it lazy? This is a fairly simple concept but is much harder in execution. What one person finds good looking might be hard for others (for example: red and green might be a good way of showing “good” vs “bad” on a website for some but it is almost mean spirited to show this website design to color blind person who wouldn’t be able to distinguish between “good” and “bad” on the website. Web designers need to focus on this type of thing and much more.) Usability is all about the way the user actually interacts with the website. Can I get to where I want to get on your website? Having good usability is Important because It could keep people using the website and even make up for underwhelming appearance i.e Reddit.com

Now we get to fast forward to today and see what today’s web trends look like and how they are (or not) adding to the user experience. According to Wpmudev[1] some of the hottest web trends include things we have already discussed before like color, but also talks about things that those of the past haven’t thought about like Google’s idea of what is “material design” and other things not thought possible in the 90’s like the use of 360-degree video and even virtual reality.

I want to start off with what we already know about: color. Color is important for aesthetic reasons and usability but wpmudev focuses on the psychology behind color, how do certain colors make us feel? They boldly declare that green will be the color of 2017. They say that green is “a symbol of new beginnings; a refreshing and revitalizing shade.” This idea of the psychology behind color shows just how much harder web designers are working today than before. Designers of the past didn’t think about what their color “meant” or how it would be perceived by the audience, they didn’t even think about if it looked good.

Material design is this idea that google.com came up with. Their goal is to “create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.” they encourage other sites to follow this and are trying to set the standard for what design means in order to create an extremely intuitive website. This is basically a bible for creating a beautiful website and more and more web designers will be following its guidelines in 2017. Material design touches from everything like usability, patterns, style to movement, scrolling techniques, platform adaptation. All of these things might become trends in themselves but one thing is certain, websites will be taking inspiration from Google’s material.io for a long time to come.

The final 2017 trend we will be discussing is probably the most revolutionary and exciting for many. Virtual reality is really pushing to become mainstream and in order for this to happen the web has to change to accommodate it. Major sites like YouTube have already made good use of the technology by adding 360-degree video that is accessible with a virtual reality headset and many other websites will join in. VR (virtual reality) is still a fairly new technology (or what we call VR today) yet many websites are ready to support it. This will only continue in 2017. Netflix now supports VR and even Google maps street view supports VR. With YouTube, Google, and Netflix already being on the VR train, it’s hard to think that other websites won’t make the jump as well this year.

This article has discussed how web design has and will change for the future, yet still leaves out what is possible in web design. The great thing about web design is that there are no “right” ways to make a website. Hundreds of websites make decisions every day based on many different factors so the innovation is endless. We know what is important in web: usability and appearance, and we know about what this year’s landscape might look like: emphasis on green and the emotions that colors give, the precedent set by Google’s “material design” and support for virtual reality but this is merely the start. The once boring, black and white web is now a land of endless possibilities and there’s no telling what 2018’s trends will be and how they will change the way we use the internet for the coming years.

 

References for Web Trends 2017

Web Trends 2017 1 “Top Earning Websites | Most Profitable Websites – Income Diary.”http://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-websites Accessed 17 Feb. 2017

Web Trends 2017 2“FLASHBACK: This Is What The First-Ever Website Looked Like ….” 29 Jun. 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com/flashback-this-is-what-the-first-website-ever-looked-like-2011-6. Accessed 17 Feb. 2017.

Web Trends 2017 3 “Bloomberg PERSONAL.” Bloomberg PERSONAL. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017. <http://web.archive.org/web/19961019174716/http://www.bloomberg.com/>.

Web Trends 2017 4 “Internet ’96 – eKarjala.” http://ekarj.com/internet96.htm. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.

Web Trends 2017 5 “What The Internet Looked Like In 1999 | The Huffington Post.” 6 Feb. 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/best-websites-90s_n_2542393.html. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.

Web Trends 2017 6 “10 Hottest Web Design Trends You Gotta Know for 2017 – WPMU DEV.” 13 Jan. 2017, https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/web-design-trends-2017/. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.

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