12 January 2022
The start of a new year is conducive to predicting the direction of the industry for the next 12 months. Unfortunately, such forecasting is fraught with two problems – a high degree of generality and copying leading reports and quoting empty slogans. Therefore, in our article, we focus only on the author’s trends as they relate to web design.
We are FASTSITE, we create an online presence. We support companies, freelancers, influencers or NGOs in developing their brand online. This article is part of a series of advice and tips for entrepreneurs who want to develop their business online. You may be interested in other articles in this series:
From an enterprise perspective, the industry term Core Web Vitals does not say much. However, these ‘google’ metrics have a lot to say about a site’s SEO and search visibility. Until now, the leading metrics for page load time were speed tests such as PageSpeed or GTmetrix. Page designers usually just referred to the results obtained on these testers.
For over a year now, Google has been betting on a new type of indicator, known as Core Web Vitals. This has been going on for more than 12 months, so we think the next year will see further expansion of these particular indicators. They are worth paying attention to in the context of planned changes or building a new website. The values measured by these indicators can be monitored using Google Search Console. The three most important Core Web Vitals parameters consist of:
In 2021, WordPress will power 37% of all websites on the internet. Hence, all the changes and trends associated with this environment affect multitudes of internet users and website owners. To date, the most popular content editor for WordPress-based sites has been the TinyMCE tool. In the past year, it was used by more than 230,000 sites in the USA alone.
As of 2019, the Gutenberg project is being developed and is well on its way to replacing the current leader in the WordPress environment. TinyMCE is already a bit out of date, limiting the visual development of the site, which is very important today. Its competitor and successor effectively eliminates this drawback. But will it conquer and conquer the WordPress world? In our opinion – no, or at least not in the coming year.
Why? Gutenberg is characterised by childhood defects. Firstly, the compatibility of the block editor is at a relatively low level – its absence prevents a significant number of webmasters from using the solution. Secondly, there are still bugs and system errors that reduce the user experience. Thirdly, switching from one system to another is a rather labour-intensive process that deters individual web developers from making such a fundamental change. All of this means that the number of Gutenberg users will grow, but it will not be such a rapid and dynamic process. In addition, there will certainly be a growing awareness of Gutenberg’s capabilities among web developers and any other web solutions.
Although the slogan – emotions sell – sounds rather trite, it is indeed the case that business communications focused on relational-emotional aspects are very popular. Not enough to say that global brands such as Dell rely on social selling in the B2B channel and are rewarded for it in industry plebiscites. So there is nothing to expect a revolution in this aspect in 2022.
Large, emotive creations – photos, graphics, videos – will continue to be in fashion. In addition, the design of websites will tend to be characterised by minimalism and simple graphic forms. Websites tend to be oriented towards vertical movement – scrolling content. Thus, another visual trend will continue.
Scrolling down is particularly useful for mobile users, who, as we mentioned, now make up the majority of website visitors. Adapting and modelling pages for viewers on tablets and smartphones is another aspect of the evolution of websites. In short, we expect web design to evolve and continue the trends we have been seeing for several years.
The past two years have seen a real boom in online sales. The closure or reduction of stationary trade has meant that many retailers have even been forced to sell online. The result? 20,000 new e-shops were registered in 2020 alone. However, one in four went out of business in the first year? Why?
The hurriedly opened sites struggled to remain profitable from the start. With near-perfect competition, it is difficult to increase sales when the technological aspect falls short. 2021 has only continued this trend. Those shops that were created out of the need of the moment were either modernised or simply closed. Therefore, in the next year, the leitmotif of e-commerce will be the optimisation of shopping paths.
Reducing the purchase time to just a few clicks (ideally 1-2) is a goal that both large players and small ones are pursuing. Added to this is the issue of simplifying the payment path and the aspect of abandoned baskets. Undoubtedly, we can expect increased activity in the context of optimising online sales processes in the coming period. Advertising will continue to be an important element of online sales.
The fourth quarter of this year saw the end of the call for applications for the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development’s programme called – Vouchers for digitisation. As a result, funds earmarked for the digitisation of companies will soon be disbursed. We assume that a significant portion of the funds will be distributed for the modernisation of the websites of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Counter-intuitively, there is plenty to change, as the COVID-19 pandemic painfully exposed the shortcomings of some companies in terms of web communications. Outdated or inefficient websites or entire systems could not cope with the increase in users. And the lack of in-house online shops requires paying commissions to available marketplaces on every good sold. Therefore, we expect that the next tranche of EU funding for digitisation will accelerate the process of upgrading websites, as well as moving more business online.
This is all the more important as there are standards, such as WCAG 2.1, which set out specific requirements for websites. Admittedly, this mainly applies to public institutions and related entities. However, there is nothing to prevent private entities from adapting their websites to the needs of people with disabilities (OHS). Indeed, the fight against digital exclusion does not only concern OzN, but also older people. This is particularly important at a time when the number of seniors is increasing. This is why sites should be more accessible to them.
In front of you are four key trends in website design and development from our perspective. In our opinion, no revolution should be expected in the coming year. There are no sudden changes on the horizon that could dynamically transform the industry. Nevertheless, the trends we have identified above describe the direction of development of contemporary websites.
We therefore encourage you to take a critical look at your website, perhaps the coming year is a good time for some changes? In our opinion, it is not worth delaying in modernising your online presence. Developing your online communication is not only about keeping up with the competition, but also about building your own brand, which today needs the internet to grow.