The Once and Future Website: 3 Possibilities

by | April 24, 2014

In the past decade software and hardware have both grown by leaps and bounds, but the average person knows way more about changing devices than they do about changing design trends.

It’s easy to predict that in another decade or less we’ll all be wearing Google Glass (or something similar), but what about the websites we all know and love? How will they look 10 years from now? Sometimes, an ounce of foresight is worth thousands of dollars of overhaul costs. Knowing what the competition might look like down the road could put you at the top of the food chain.

1. What’s With All Those Pages?

There’s a movement towards what is called “pageless” website design, or web design that will utilize simple, single-page scrolling rather than multi-page tabs. We’ve lived in a Web so grounded in a traditionalist publishing framework that the idea of a single-page website almost seems like a step backward…until you really stop to think about it.

Multi-page designs are a hassle, aren’t they? Between individual loading times, the partitioning of information (which disrupts the brand story), and added layers of complexity, it’s a wonder that we ever took to multi-page designs as much as we did. Single-page websites simplify the equation by forcing brands to tighten up their stories and present only the most meaningful information to their customers.

This kind of setup could completely revolutionize the browsing experience…but of course it’s not for everyone. Retail sites would have to stick with multi-page setups, but that’s not the point. The point is that businesses shouldn’t handicap their user experiences by following the crowd and being overly complex for no reason. Simple is solid.

2. Your Interests Do Matter

Another predicted change for websites is a tailored experience. One of the many reasons modern websites have stuck with multi-page design is because they didn’t have the tools to segment their visitors…until now that is. With the rise of increasingly powerful analytics and big data as a resource, brands could feasibly present a tailored website experience to each of their users.

Sure, the code behind such a shifting site would be tremendous, but within a few years that kind of vibrancy will be a reality. The biggest problem with modern sites is that we don’t know what information we’re interested in until we stumble upon it. Tailored sites can find what we want for us.

Imagine a website that changes its style, tone, or language depending on where you’re from. A site that puts the bacon on the table before you even get down the stairs. Now that sounds like a design idea we can get behind.

3. The Human Element

Finally, websites will become increasingly humane. By humane, we mean painless. All that backtracking and guesswork will be done away with in future browsing experiences, replaced by easy-to-use interfaces that drive interaction and conversion.

The common denominator between single-page design and a tailored experience is accessibility. Too many sites make visitors work for what should already be in front of them (a poor way to cover all your bases). Remember, your company is providing a service, and so is your website. By making the experience as easy and user-friendly as possible, you are already well on your way to helping create a better website experience in the present day.