Senior Manager of Business Development

Ed has a diverse work history, including founding and then managing a boutique IT solutions firm for 15 years. He also established and managed a west-coast office for SPX Valley Forge and, at a super technical level, he built the first ever interactive wiring diagrams in the automotive industry. Ed balances his love of geek culture like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars and Harry Potter with more athletic pursuits like hiking and bike riding.

Working with our clients, Artic Consulting has noticed some website trends taking shape as we enter a new year.  Many of these trends are not new concepts, but we expect them to become more prevalent as the year progresses.

From a functionality standpoint, some of the more requested features include:

  1. AI and chatbots
  2. The mobile-first experience
  3. VUI – voice user interfaces
  4. Self-selection
  5. Single-page websites
  6. Motion user interface

 

AI and Chatbots

In our ever-connected world, people have come to expect that they can contact companies 24/7.  While chatbots still have limitations, they can field basic questions outside of normal hours and lessen the customer service workload by handling rudimentary requests.

When implementing chatbot technology, it is important to have clear goals and expectations.  Understand the limitations and work within those confines to design successful client interactions.  And always be clear about the bot interactions and make it easy for customers to disengage.

 

The Mobile-First Experience

This approach is not new, but it is important to note that over half of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices.  The mobile experience can no longer be considered the secondary option.  When considering this approach, it helps to audit your site’s data analytics to determine your mobile traffic.

Mobile implementation is dependent upon site type.  For e-commerce sites, the mobile checkout process needs to be seamless.  For a content-heavy site, make sure that searches are voice-friendly.  And when designing, keep in mind the limited space and remove unnecessary design elements.

 

VUI – Voice User Interfaces

As mentioned when discussing mobile, voice interactions are becoming increasingly ubiquitous.  As more people become comfortable with assistants like Google Home and Alexa, the expectation is that this experience will be utilized for the web experience.

 

Self-Selection

Users are no longer interested in “generic” experiences.  People are increasingly interested in custom experiences that give them the content they want, when they want it.

A custom experience can be accomplished by prompting users with a series of questions that will lead them to the content they want without needing to decipher the site navigation.   Designing and asking the right questions will enable users to actively participate in their site .

 

Single-page Websites

Single-page sites have gained momentum in recent years because they are economical and mobile-friendly.  The structure is one long page that loads different sections as users scroll or click hyperlinks.

This design is straightforward and removes menu deciphering.  On mobile devices, users are conditioned to scroll through content making this an intuitive approach.

This is useful for service-industries, where you want to get your information out, but there is no need for complex pages or highly interactive elements.

 

Motion User Interface

Motion within an interface can help guide a user through your site.  Used well, motion allows you to draw the user’s attention to the information you want them to see or actions you want them to take.  Motion can allow you to steer users through the story you want to tell.

As with any design element, planning where and how much motion to use is critical.  Motion can be helpful but too much can be distracting.

 

More Concepts to Consider

Some additional trending design concepts include:

  • CCPA compliance
  • Rotating animations
  • Horizontal page scrolling
  • Interactive and responsive animations
  • Dark mode

If you would like to discuss these or other trending topics, please check out our site and click on “start a conversation”.  We’re always happy to talk/learn/share.

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