Websites are created as a tool to communicate with the current and future community, be it partners, prospects, clients or simply like-minded individuals. And with more and more designers returning to this base objective as their core concept, we can pretty much say that the web design revolution is on.
In the future (in fact, it’s already started), websites will be the ultimate storyteller that people turn to. In order to deliver messages that are unique and easily understood, websites will be designed specifically to tell a story. Doing so will prompt users to be inspired and act upon the call of action that’s made present on the site.
Without a doubt, traditional media will be extinct and be replaced by this unique form of organic storytelling. As a result, people will be moved in powerful ways that will signify the immortality of websites, long after people predict the death of traditional websites.
How can this be achieved? By championing for pageless design, of course. With pageless design, you won’t be conformed with borders and other traditional aspects that would hinder the natural flow of storytelling. The simplified design allows the actual story to take center stage instead of being sidelined by design unnecessary elements that only acts to impede optimal user experience.
And all the user has to do is to scroll up or down, not a chore at all as this is considered the most intuitive thing they could do when accessing a website.
How augmented reality will affect the future of web design and digital media
There’s no doubt that the webcam, digital camera and stereoscopic glasses are some of the tools that enhanced the importance of the user interface. What was once a text-based system, is now heightened to another level altogether, with the visual web interface featuring interactive medium that supports dynamic imagery, audio and video. This is known as Augmented Reality Technology.
It began in the 1960’s when researchers were on the verge of a breakthrough, gaining insight into how people would react and interact with technology. However, the term ‘Augmented Reality’ really began to make people stand up and pay attention in the 90’s when airplane manufacturer Boeing built and incorporated Augmented Reality Goggles in the engineering department to assist in the assembly of their airplanes.
Today, companies like Wikitude are pioneers of the AR technology, bringing it to the web instead of limiting it to mobile users only. Web pages will be fully integrated within a decade, which meant that users can effortlessly interact with the real world through the AR-enabled web browser. The possibilities are endless – from flicking furniture from the browser right to your living room as a “try before you buy” retail method to learning about history by watching recreated scenes.
Bye bye QR codes, hello SnapTags
In the past couple of years, QR codes became all the rage, with its presence made known on both social media and conventional media (think: billboards, bus ads, merchandising, etc). They were easy to incorporate into a marketing campaign and consumers quickly became enamoured with the novelty of it all. The nifty little barcodes transported consumers right to where advertisers wanted them to be, and for a while everything was fine and dandy.
However, as it most trends that grew too quickly, the QR code’s popularity began to wane. Enter SnapTags, a better (and prettier) alternative to QR codes.
How SnapTags work:
1. Just like some QR code, it features a logo in the middle of the code.
2. The logo is encased in a ring, which features different breaks, thus creating different patterns and possibilities.
3. The patterns determine the code, just like the pixels in QR codes do the same.
4. Users take a photo of the code which may be placed on a site, brochure, billboard or some form of merchandise.
5. They will then access a URL pre-determined by the company.
How SnapTags rule over QR codes:
SnapTags can be used by anyone and not just smartphone owners. This can be forwarded to a friend via text message or email.
Unlike QR codes, SnapTags aren’t just jumbled up codes. It actually looks appealing and instantly recognizable as belonging to the particular company owning the logo. These snazzier alternatives to QR codes will brighten up any advertisement.
SnapTags let businesses detect, track and measure people who clicked on the codes.
With the advancement of SnapTags and similar technology, web browsers will prominently feature such codes to integrate a brand’s exclusive content.
Web design and holography
It certainly is impressive how Tony Stark interacted with holograms in the superhero hit “Iron Man”. With holography being more and more achievable as time goes by, this will no longer be a fictional technology, but will be materialized in the near future.
In fact, there already is a catalyst that may realize this dream sooner than we think. The zSpace is an innovative technology that lets you interact with objects via a holographic user interface. If incorporated into the browser in the future, users can easily interact with fully rendered 3D objects using a holographic user interface.
Of course, a trackable eyewear is needed when accessing said interface but this may be omitted in the future. Right now, though, current technology allows users to view and interact with objects at any orientation, thus changing the way we learn, work, play and create. At the moment, zSpace is compatible with CAD programs like Maya, 3DVIA and GEomagic.
So convincing is the zSpace tech that it has been featured during CEO Brian Krzanich’s opening keynote for the International CES 2014. This technology will wow everyone with its capability to introduce free hand movements coupled with high-precision stylus, thus empowering users with a more organic and intuitive experience.
What does it mean for the future of web design? For starters, this could mean that designers would have the freedom to access a whole new realistic type of visualization environment. They can easily incorporate holographic capabilities into the website, enabling users to interact with the objects shown on said site. Once this is refined, a multitude of users from the education and training, gaming and media, science and research, retail, as well as medical industry will benefit from this technology.
Touchless, mouse-free browsing experience
Touchless technology based on gestures may wipe out typing and clicking entirely. It may have been an element from popular sci-fi movies like ‘Minority Report’ but the fact is, we’re staring at the face of the future.
With more advancements being developed for design and gesture navigation, we can predict a future where keyboards or mouse will be extinct. In its place, computing systems utilizing motion sensors and gesture technology that were once fictional elements in science fiction films will be realized.
Such technology is being developed right now by a Swedish company that conceived the Tobii Rex eye-tracking device. Built-in infrared sensors captures users’ eye movements, allowing its Gaze Interaction technology to put users through an amazing experience with computers, games and other devices. Although this gadget only works with Windows 8-enabled computers, they’re expected to receive funding and expand its usage soon.
Will there be any web design jobs left?
In the future, there probably will be less demand for web designers. With web innovations getting more and more advanced, users will be empowered to create their own websites with minimal knowledge needed. This means that web design will be so intuitive, users can pretty much cook up something that conforms to their desires in no time at all.
Many people predict that websites will eventually give way to more popular and relevant apps. This may sound like bad news for web designers where demand is concerned as businesses won’t see hiring them a viable option to create websites from scratch when they could rely on social media to publish their content.
However, the good news is that web designers can elevate themselves to be web developers, who will enjoy higher demand in employment as companies seek to create apps that cater to their content needs. There are lots of self-taught web developers who made it big, so there’s no reason why any determined designer cannot learn to be a web developer in order to enjoy better job prospects.
Websites aren’t going to go away anytime soon. It’s likely that there will be a bigger market for templates and themes as companies stop paying for custom designs. And there will be certain kinds of sites (like portfolios or art projects) that will always want to be designed.
Author Bio: Jenny Corteza is a blogger and web designer, and aspires to create better sites to make people fall in love all over again with content and design. She is an advocate for fake grass and spends her time caring for her lawn and hydroponic plants.