Future direction for creating websites

  • engadven
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So what do you think will be the most important changes in the way we will design websites in future?
Here’s my opinion in a sort of order of importance.

1. CSS will stay. The browser bugs will go and growing modular libraries will make it quicker.
2. CMS for every site. 100% split of content and design is a must. The justification for laying out each page separately will be rare.
3. Usability over unique design. Common layouts with text based, accessible menus. Not loosing visitors is more important than impressing them with novel designs.
4. Speed and simplicity. Blogging has delivered much more online content because it is so quick and easy. Commercial CMS solutions will become just as easy.
5. Customisable templates. Although site layouts and operation will be very similar, clients will always want individuality and branding so CMS templates will be even more flexible and easy to configure.
6. Maintenance services. If website solutions are instance we won’t need so many traditional web designers. However, clients rarely like add their own content so this service will grow.
7. eMarketing services. Internet generated business will continue to grow with off site marketing becoming an important service.
8. Rich media not rich graphics. The early, over designed, graphic heavy sites will never return. Updating text and pictures needs to be easy but will always be a poor form of communication. Sound, video and simulation will deliver messages better.
9. Web2.0 benefits for business sites. Smaller company websites will also benefit from better interaction with their customers.
10. Multiple site CMS solutions. Not installing a CMS for every site, instead a single app that creates all sites will make upgrades much easier e.g. blog, wiki, client side solutions.
11. Performance quality. CMS solutions will continue to change, driven by the need for the best SEO performance, speed, flexibility and bolt on services.

Anything to add or move?
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • krismeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think you're right about alot of the stuff: better templating, more maintenance, more options to have your customers participate online. I do have a couple additions.

Emotion, Beauty, and Inspiration!
http://www.jonathanyuen.com/

http://www.cruisecentury.com/site.html
http://www.fordboldmoves.com/default.aspx

Usability over unique design? Yikes. Why do you need to choose one over the other?

We build a great commercial CMS, with blogging, podcast, shopping, joblistings, multi-author planning and workflows, photo galleries, RSS, embeded video, multi-level community registration, newsletters and tons more. I'd argue that those CMSs already exist, and you're right they're always being improved upon.

Thankfully more and more companies will want something better than everyone else, this I think will offset any traditional designers who might be obsoleted by #6.

I like very much the way you describe the future of web, it gave me a couple things to think about.
  • the.politburo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That's precisely what design is - usability but with form. If a site is not usable or user-friendly, even if it looks good, it is designed poorly. But that's what makes web design challenging - it's not knowing the code or anything like that so much, because that comes naturally eventually; it's actually designing something that works and looks good
  • engadven
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the.politburo wrote:
it's actually designing something that works and looks good

I didn't mean you should make things look bad. But over-design can reduce the performance of a site.
To test if a site works well you have to compare the performance with 'good' design and 'boring' design. All of the research I've seen and done (just watch people using the site) shows that if a site looks great with nice top bars and lots of detail then people spend time looking at the design not the content. They may be subconsciously impressed but are more likely to miss the 'call to action'.
The problem with a website is that once you get people there it's just a matter of not loosing them. Admitted some sites that will be about image but most should be about the content and letting people find what they want easily. It's a shame but keeping sites plain and easy to use usually works best.

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