New Trends In Responsive Design

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New Trends In Responsive Design

How we consume the web changes how we design websites. Mobile devices and the trend towards responsive design push designers to find ways to maximize web experiences for everyone, no matter what device(s) they’re using.

These 17 trends — 16 for this year, plus 1 for the future — respond directly to the evolving ways we move through the web.

  1. Microinteractions


The walk signal button is just one of the many microinteractions we encounter daily.

From pressing an elevator button to liking a photo on Instagram, we all perform tons of single-action tasks every day, usually without much thought. We call these simple moments of engagement microinteractions.

Well-designed microinteractions can be defining because, despite their simplicity, they’re often very powerful. Pinning an inspirational photo, liking a witty status, and retweeting a powerful message have become so common we don’t even need to name the websites that birthed them.

When done right, microinteractions offer an intuitive way to interact with a website. When done wrong, they can cause frustration through unexpected functionality — or downright quirkiness.

As we designers streamline our web experiences, we’ll see — and create — more microinteractions to help us simplify the actions we need to take.

But how do you know your microinteractions provide the simplicity and power people want from them? Well, this cheatsheet from Dan Saffer, author of O’Reilly’s Microinteractions: Designing with Details, can help:


Pretty handy one-sheeter on microinteraction design, eh?


  1. Reliance on images over text


In a world where anyone can take a high-quality photo, it’s no surprise imagery has come to dominate the web.

As web design evolves, the importance of high-quality images will only increase. Solid copy strengthens any website, but if it can be said with a photo, animation, or short video, it might be a really good idea to do so.

Written content remains invaluable for SEO purposes, but with every piece of content you add to your site, always ask yourself: is there a more engaging, concise, and shareable way of conveying this idea?

In general, text works best for removing the ambiguity that visual methods of communication are prone to.

It’s also worth remembering that it’s not always a question of “one or the other.” If you want to design and publish in an accessible way that prioritizes every user’s experience, you’ll want to pair visual and written content. That way, everyone can experience your content in the best way for them.

  1. Designing with real data (i.e., content)


Designing with real data illuminates opportunities and edge cases.

Sure, mockups look pretty. But with their lush images and precise lorem ipsum text placements, they represent an idealized reality. Like the appliances in a model home, mockups are about as functional as a cardboard television.

Designing with real data gives us a deeper understanding of how a page will function. In part because it surfaces all the “problems” designers strive to avoid in their mockups, such as long headlines, low-quality images, etc.

Designing with real content gives both writers and designers better insight into what they need to do. If you haven’t yet, check out “Why your design process should start with content.” Webflow’s CMS helps you design functional prototypes with real content, giving both designers and writers a better idea of just how a website will function.

  1. Scrooooooooooooooooolling


‍He loves sushi, movies, and long scrolls in the park.

With the multitude of screen sizes out there, the term “above the fold” has lost significance.

Once dismissed as bad design, the long scroll’s intuitive functionality on mobile devices has brought it widespread acceptance. It makes navigation easier, eliminating the extra clicks necessary to reveal content. Eye-catching transitions and differentiated section designs transform what could be a monotonous trudge into a delightful process of discovery.

Long scrolling changes UX design, opening the door for more narrative approaches and simpler interaction models.


  1. Conversational/bot websites and apps


‍Olivia AI uses artificial intelligence to help people manage their finances.

Many science fiction writers have envisioned a future dystopia where humanity has fallen under the rule of robot overlords. But here in reality, artificial intelligence has actually been pretty helpful in the development of websites and apps. Sorry, Isaac Asimov.

Nobody wants to navigate a complex series of menus to get something done. Conversation makes for a much easier experience. Apps and other web services are using this more natural approach to make ordering goods, getting financial advice, or booking a hotel room as easy as sending a few text messages.

Plus, various tools have popped up to help non-coders make their own bots, so we’re likely to see tons more of these over the coming years.

One particularly interesting question arises from the ‘bots’ rise: how will the role of the web/UI/UX design transform as this new form of interface gains popularity? After all, in most cases, there’s already a well-built design wrapping the conversational experience. That means the words themselves become the core UI.

  • Jack Johnson
    Posted at 3:08 pm, October 23, 2015

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  • Preston Lewis
    Posted at 3:12 pm, October 23, 2015

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