I’m going to kick things off by wishing all our clients and subscribers a happy and prosperous new year! With 2016 now officially in the books, the web industry certainly oversaw some significant changes as mobile officially took over desktop as the primary search tool. Looking ahead at what’s in store for 2017, our Cheshire web agency team have each picked out a few bold predictions on what we think will be some of the leading website and social media small business trends for 2017.
Virtual Reality Experience
Hundreds of millions of photos are posted and shared on Facebook every day! However, Facebook continue to defy boundaries after they successfully launched 360 photos in July 2016 which signals the very first step towards offering a virtual reality on social media. Unlike any normal photo, Facebook 360 photos let you create a 3D view of your environment which could be perfect to promote your new store or specialized products to drive traffic.
With twitter also announcing similar plans to launch a parallel platform later in 2017, our Cheshire web agency are predicting a virtual reality social media experience which could also see 360 video’s introduced as virtual reality looks set to make a big impact in social media.
Although Facebook ‘Live Streaming’ has received mixed press in recent weeks, the concept of delivering a fun, powerful way to connect with your followers presents a whole new world to social media. Ok, so while it may not appeal to every industry, live streaming is set to see a substantial growth in the relationship between social media and television broadcasters to screen exclusive content.
It’s not only Facebook who are capitalising on social media… in September twitter also announced plans to launch a new app titled ‘Twitter TV’ which will allow you to connect your live-streams directly to your TV!
Mobile Friendly, AMP Websites
It’s no secret that mobile-first, fully responsive websites are new having been around for a number of years. However, with mobile phones now confirmed as the primary device for browsing web, more and more brands and small businesses will start to adopt the mobile-first approach when it comes to a website redesign. With the importance of delivering content on the smaller devices, Google also introduced Google AMP which is also a driving factor by being mobile friendly.
Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open source specification which invites website owners to submit pages from their websites to Google which will load quickly on any mobile device. Supported by a wide variety of platforms, web owners must meet a specific set of guidelines enforced by Google when submitting any web pages and once passed can appear in search engine results. Google AMP is typically used to submit news or events so when you next search for something such as ‘Brexit’ and you instantly find news articles that appear below your search query with titles, images and video’s, that’s thanks to Google AMP.
Example of Google AMP news articles on ‘Brexit’
From stunning wedding venues such as Colshaw Hall to creative agencies, incorporating fullscreen video onto the landing page of your website has quickly become a popular style of web design for businesses within certain industries in 2016… A style which is set to continue to skyrocket in 2017!
With statistics claiming video will only increase in consumer traffic, boost SEO and improve click-through rate, it should come as no surprise that video backgrounds are becoming increasingly popular. With internet speeds increasing, browser technology advancing and the ease of capturing HD Video from your phone, implementing video on your website is a galvanizing way to make a lasting first impression to potential customers.
Chatbot / Messenger Bots
Offering a somewhat split response, chatbots or messengerbots has been used by businesses for many years in some capacity, from the automated assistant when ringing the bank to being greeted by a message when you land on a website. The goal has always remained the same – offering a more personal, instant relationship with customers to complete simple instructions.
With Ebay and Shopify already implementing chatbots / messenger bots, some websites have started to introduce bots in a way where the website is stripped down to its simplest design without the need of menu’s or accessible pages and simply ask what the visitors wanted.
As a Cheshire web agency we were curious to see what kind of experiments there were out there so have a read of this article where an independent designer implemented a chatbot which great success…
Pushing the Typography boundaries
Typography is such a powerful visual medium it can create personality, emotion and set the tone of your business as soon as a new user lands on your website. Although photography will always remain the kingpin of web design, a stunning piece of photography with some big, bold and beautiful typography seems to be popular choice of website design trends in 2017.
As a Cheshire web agency who works with numerous themes within WordPress, we have witnessed firsthand that WordPress along with themes have started to introduce more and more fonts which some even giving you the option to upload your own. With WordPress and Themes alike wanting to push the boundaries, we predict big changes in the design of web pages with typography being at the forefront.
Thinking of a new website for 2017?
If you are thinking it’s perhaps time for a brand new website, or even a redesign or rebuild of your existing one, why not get in touch with your local Cheshire web agency? Why not give our offices a call on 01565 653616 or pop in for a chat and let’s discuss your business goals and how we can implement some of the website or social media trends into your small business website.