At Ekioh we’re regularly looking ahead to see what browser features are set to become popular. As part of this, I’ve recently spent some time reading the future design predictions from a number of web designers and design houses. As you might suspect there are some wacky ideas being peddled, but on the whole, most designers seem to be agreeing on a few concepts and techniques that look set to shape the way websites and product user interfaces will evolve over the next few years.
The most common theme in the predictions was an increase in the use of layering and soft shadows to give greater depth and make the UX more engaging. As you move around, layers dynamically move into view, often overlapping other elements giving the perception of depth.
For some site designs and definitely for UI backgrounds, stock images and photos are also beginning to lose their appeal. The prediction is that these will be replaced by full screen background video in some cases, and by multicolor gradients in others. Personally, I can see multicoloured gradients being more suitable for UI backgrounds, especially on devices where connectivity and processing performance wouldn’t support full screen background video.
Images are also predicted to be supplemented with animated line art. Some sites and UIs will feature high resolution photos or static images that will be brought to life with overlaid line art. I think this type of compound image effect will be most popular when seeking to tell a story or place an animated graphic into context – like the moving parts of a machine overlaid on an image of that machine on the workshop floor.
Whilst Flow’s feature set is still rapidly expanding, it’s comforting to know that it is already capable of meeting the projected demands of the latest trends. It’s always been our goal to be the fastest and most hardware efficient browser engine on the market, so designers can rest assured that using some of these more processor hungry techniques isn’t going to make their products more clunky to use.
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