For every new web technology that is released, tested by the masses, digested and accepted, the bar for the ‘modern-day website’ inches up a little bit more. Sometimes, this new tool or design trend becomes something more than a mere badge of honour; it becomes a standard.
Here are the three undisputable must-haves for web design in 2015 (and onward):
You can’t avoid it any longer. Mobile users are here to stay and their numbers are growing. Internet thinktanks say the scale has finally tipped – that there are now more people using mobile devices to surf the web than PCs. That’s right. More than half of internet users are staring at tiny, little screens.
In 2015, responsive web design cannot be an afterthought. Designers need to develop websites with tablets and smartphones at the forefront of their minds. It’s not about designing two entirely different layouts, one optimized for mobile and one for PCs (though you could – it’s just a lot of work). What’s better is mindfully designing a fluid layout that can adapt to both media.
Good web development firms already know this and have stopped offering clients “responsive web design” as an optional upgrade.
Retina/High DPI images
Another, mostly mobile-fueled, evolution is the popularity of the high-resolution display aka. retina display aka. high-DPI (dots-per-inch) display aka. high-PPI (pixels-per-inch) display. Common on smartphones and tablets, retina display has now entered into the realm of PCs. More pixels per inch = prettier, crisper graphics.
Unfortunately, this beautiful innovation means more work for your everyday web developer. We have to include additional graphics in our websites – twice the size of regular graphics – to accommodate these swanky screens. But hey – you gotta do what you gotta do. Want your site to look sleek on the newest devices and laptops? Make sure you include retina images.
Short for favourite icons, favicons aren’t difficult to make or complex, but they are a standard for web design these days. Favicons are those little logos you see on the browser (either on the tab or on the menu bar) that show the brand of the website in icon form. Not all pages have them, but businesses certainly should.
Good news. Unlike retina images, this favicon standard is pretty easy to satisfy. There are a bunch of free tools online that can help you make ‘em. Adding them into your site is also easy as pie.
This post isn’t about trends. It’s about requirements. Is there anything I missed? Add a comment below.