Web design by its very nature continues to evolve, as it must, to make the most of modern browsers and the likes of HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery, and to provide a wonderful user experience for tablet and smartphone owners.
Nowadays there is plenty of opportunity to stand out from the crowd, by being ahead of the curve, or by embracing new techniques that can help you to improve the performance of your website.
So I thought I’d round up some of the more recent trends in experiential web design. I say ‘experiential’ because I’m less interested in seeing whether drop shadows have made a comeback.
The focus of this article is primarily about the aspects of web design that directly affect the user experience, rather than particular stylistic trends to do with the look and feel.
Great designers understand how to design for user interaction, and how to encourage new user behaviours and habits. World-class designers introduce emotion and have fun along the way.
Some of these trends aren’t just-out-of-the-oven new, but they’re in here because they’ve become adopted by the mainstream. I have included other design features because they rock, and I’d like to see them on more websites.
It’s worth pointing out that user experience professionals are on the fence about some of these things. Do leave a comment if you feel strongly, one way or another, and be sure to let me know what I’ve missed.
The new iPad Mini presents another set of problems for websites looking to appeal to mobile /tablet users, as it's a new screen size between iPad and smartphone.
Having been released in time for Christmas, it's likely to sell like hotcakes, so the number of potential users means companies need to consider how they will adapt their websites for the device.
It's a challenge, since existing mobile or desktop sites won't necessarily adapt well to the screen size. It may be too small for desktop, yet too large for mobile sites.
I've been speaking to James Sherrett from Mobify, who has some suggestions on early best practices for iPad Mini design...
It is the little things in life that count, according to the old adage, and this is certainly true as far as user experience is concerned. The devil really is in the detail.
All too often some minor oversight on a website makes me furrow my brow, but more and more websites are taking a microscopic approach to user experience and interface design, and the results can be useful, amusing, fun, and functional.
I thought I’d share some of my favourites, as well as a bunch from Little Big Details, a fantastic website that collects these examples of smart user-focused design. It has hundreds to browse through, so if you're interested in UX design then do check it out.
Starbucks has come a long way since it’s first Seattle store in 1971. So it makes sense that last year it decided to task its brand team with redesigning the logo.
Steve Murray, Content Manager of Brand Strategy and Expression at Starbucks, worked as lead writer on the team that spent hours, weeks and months creating a new logo and brand identity for Starbucks and he shared what they did at Starbucks to a full room of retail marketers at the recent shop.org conference.
But how do you improve and simplify a logo that is only made of four parts and one basic colour? And why was it important to do so?
Software is a multi-billion dollar industry but that doesn't mean it hasn't changed dramatically in the past several years. From the rise of the app store to software-as-a-service, how software is bought and sold has been evolving rapidly.
That creates both opportunity and challenges for software's biggest players.
When mobile or tablet design is executed well, the device feels like the extension of our bodies. Because interfaces respond even before we consciously give them a command.
Often, the interface “dissolves in behavior” and we feel empowered, as though the device we hold in our hand is the equivalent of Iron Man’s suit of cybernetic armor, or Batman’s utility belt.
I call this empowering experience a “Magic Moment”.
Most importantly, these “Magic Moments” make people fall in love with your app, show it to their friends, telling, nay, insisting they download the app and experience the magic for themselves. These are the moments we designers live for.
And mobile and tablet devices are more suited to creating and fostering “magic moments” than any other device.
Google+ is growing rapidly: business pages are taking hold, and the platform is becoming a viable marketing channel for larger brands at least.
It's definitely short of room to manoeuvre when it comes to how your profile looks however. Each page is locked down to the same structure (for now), and so at the moment there's not a lot you can do.
Thinking creatively is therefore tough, in fact, it focuses almost solely around the photo strip that resembles Facebook's Timeline banner. I'm not talking features (rich content, engaging conversation and hangouts galore just about cover that), I'm talking design.
As such, we've compiled 20 examples of brands that have managed to stand out from the crowd with the little they have to work with.
Business Review USA has taken screenshots of what looks like a leak of Google’s new design for YouTube.
Art Director Freddie Pierce noticed the updates, which point towards an enhanced social media experience throughout.
This article is the first in a series of extracts taken from Econsultancy's new Internet Marketing Strategy Briefing. The free-to-download report covers the most important online trends in digital marketing that we are witnessing.
This extract, written by Econsultancy's Research Director, Linus Gregoriadis, will focus on the user experience aspect of customer centricity, although other topics covered within the document include channel diversification, data, social media and content strategy.
Is design a science or an art? I reckon that, as far as the web is concerned, it’s a bit of both.
I searched on Google for an answer to the question and while I didn’t quite find one, I did spot a rather lovely Venn diagram created by The Imaginary Foundation. Try replacing the word ‘wonder’ with ‘design’, and we’re pretty much there…
Designing a wonderful user experience is a key part of trying to create an amazing customer experience, which is much broader, anchored as it is in products, service, process, fulfilment and so on. This is something we’re all – presumably – trying to do.
I’m not a big fan of inspirational quotes, much less those awful posters, but sometimes a smart soundbite or pithy observation can help us to spot the wood from the trees. As such I’ve compiled a bunch of my favourite quotes relating to the user experience and design. Hat tip to this thread on Quora and uxquotes.com.