Google’s announcement that it’s going to be updating its algorithm sent shockwaves across the business world. The message is clear. Either get your website optimized for mobile or risk losing business.
The technology giant has also been busy redeveloping its own search interface to improve usability and loading speed.
These developments, however, are just a small part of a much wider trend: the increasing importance of mobile.
Around 60% of internet access comes from a mobile screen. Barring the USA and UK, the time spent on mobile devices exceeds TV. With this in mind, we wanted to look at some design trends that are likely to be explored this year.
Even more scrolling
It’s hard to believe that such a simple concept could completely change the way we navigate around our phones.
Most apps already use scroll-tech so it’s not a question of getting people on-board, but improving what’s already there.
This is likely to come in the shape of either Parallax, Modular or Infinite scrolling. Parallax scrolling - where foreground images move faster than those in the background - has already been incorporated into a number of mobile sites, but there’s still room to develop.
This website - dedicated to informing users about the dangers of fracking - is a good example of a site that uses Parallax scrolling.
There will be some major advances in this area and with them will come increased usability and a more entertaining way to surf the mobile internet.
Gesture controls allow users to touch, drag, pinch and tap their way around their phones.
Their use - despite looking incredibly complicated on paper - come naturally to us. Due to the intuitive touch that we have with the controls, it gives companies the chance to recreate life-like situations in more detail.
A good example of this is ‘Up Coffee’. Created by Jawbone, its users can track the amount of caffeine they’ve consumed during the day. The app’s success has been partly down to its ability to look like it’s replicating a tangible action.
According to Web UI Patterns 2014, consumers prefer gesture controls to the traditional drag and drop technique. This is good news for apps which rely on them as it makes the chances of more animation based sites likely.
Overly cluttered screens with garish colour schemes aren’t what consumers want.
Mobile design, if anything, has become more minimalistic in terms of artwork. Users find it easier to not only concentrate, but navigate around an app when colour schemes are kept more neutral.
It’s also possible that companies will opt for more muted tones - bold colours have been proven to be distracting - in order to promote a cleaner layout.
However, there will still be considerable scope for artistic freedom for developers and future developments may increase the creative potential even further.