One of the growing trends with websites is catering to mobile usage. Studies suggest that more and more people are accessing different websites from their smart phones and tablets. Desktop and laptop computer usage will never cease of course, but the time of being able to focus your website only on designs built for those platforms is swiftly coming to a close. What this means is more streamlined designs with larger fonts and potentially shorter text based content overall.
The old saying “too long, didn’t read” that has long circulated the internet as a joke is still largely true in many ways. That is especially true of mobile users. If they stumble upon a website that is nothing but text, it’s very likely they’ll move on to something that’s a bit more immersive with the likes of slideshow images or video. Animated GIFs and webms are also still incredibly popular given their memetic nature and small file sizes. It’s easy to scroll through social media profiles or blogs full of those and not use much data.
That’s only one reason why websites have to be more streamlined these days. Of course, it makes sense to make sure your site loads as quickly as possible to make sure there’s no waiting around for any visitors. If a page hasn’t loaded immediately these days, most people are going to click away and move on to the next page. Having long loading times is a serious death knell for a website’s bounce rate.
In effort to accommodate both quicker load times and also ease of navigation, many sites are switching over to simpler, streamlined layouts. A wealth of frames and busy background tiles are a thing of the past, though you’ll still those on many amateur blogs. Sometimes a clean white background is all you need. Mobile versions of sites need to be even simpler given the smaller viewing area and the issue of data issue, so a lot of the main versions of websites are switching to a basic design that will look similar across all platforms.
Despite many mobile users staying away from too many videos whenever possible, there’s also a big push to offer more video content from many websites. If you’ll notice, any major news network has videos playing automatically as soon as you visit any of their pages. You’ve likely noticed the same with Twitter and Facebook’s automatically loading videos. Video ad revenue is one of the biggest means of earning money online right now. It’s far more lucrative than any traditional sidebar ads, especially since it’s easier to draw people in with playlists that continually throw a mix of ads and new videos into the mix. Many users are content to sit and watch several videos in a row, both increasing the time they spend on the site and adding a bit more to the overall revenue of whomever is partnered with the ad networks running alongside each video.
So in short, you’re going to see much more streamlined designs for websites, with more subdued color palettes, larger fonts for easier reading on mobile platforms, and a lot more video content overall. Websites are also going to rely more on social media to help promote themselves, and content will be overall more focused on specific niches in order to perform well within the confines of the latest search engine optimization trends. It’s going to be more and more important for up and comers to make sure their sites can be viewed and navigated well on mobile platforms as well, and in time, that might actually be the main focus.
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