Successful ecommerce web design involves more than throwing together what’s in the designer’s and developer’s toolboxes, and hoping for more sales thanks to a ‘cooler’ website.
The best performing ecommerce web designs focus on one simple goal: building a better experience for users. So while recognizing the need for bigger typography, more video content, and micro-interactions are important, you’ve probably read multiple blogs on these trends.
Instead, here are some up-and-coming ecommerce website design ideologies that’ll truly make a difference to your business in 2019 from designers and developers who optimize ecommerce websites for growth and sales every day.
Intrinsic Web Design
Mozilla designer Jen Simmons coined the term ‘intrinsic web design’ last year, and expect to hear the phrase more and more in the latter half of 2019.
Chen Hui Jing, a designer and developer, says the phrase is perfect for this ecommerce web design philosophy.
“The word ‘intrinsic’ is defined as ‘belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing,'” she explained to Shopify in an interview. “When we talk about the web as a visual medium, the canvas is the browser. Browser capabilities have reached a point where we can do a lot of creative things, using the tools and properties the way they were meant to be used–instead of hacks and workarounds to overcome the limitations of the browsers.”
Flexbox, Grid, and Box Alignment are a few of Hui Jing’s favourite web layout tools that she recommends to fellow developers. These tools give developers the flexibility to place items where they’re required, but also allows ceasing control to the browser to lay it out for the developer.
“Such behavior gives web designers and developers better options and greater flexibility in terms of art direction, and ensures that the focus of the content is never lost regardless of the context in which it is viewed,” Hui Jung adds. “With more developers and designers using these new tools, we’ll have a greater pool of ideas and inspiration for building designs that truly suit the nature of the web.”
You can learn more about Jen Simmons’ full web design philosophy in her presentation Everything You Know About Web Design Just Changed:
Jack Koloskus from digital storytelling publication The Outline is all about experimenting with graphic design rules, and then breaking graphic design rules. He believes there’ll be a strong shift towards ambience on websites in the future.
“Some of this will come from changes in technological capabilities,” he explains, “but a lot of it will come from the fact that we spend such a wild amount of time looking at screens. While 10 years ago you might not have been on a website enough to notice if something changed over the course of several hours, now, if a design element changed from the afternoon into the evening, there’s a better chance you’d pick up on it.”
Ambient design isn’t a completely new concept per say, but it’s becoming more viable thanks to better technology. For example, a website design can dynamically change based on time, location, and even weather.
“Desktop backgrounds are an obvious candidate as the persistence of the image makes the impact of the change easy to spot,” Jack suggests. “But websites allow for this approach to be taken in more dynamic ways, and also while considering user interaction. There are certainly more technological developments that will happen that we can find ambient uses for, but all of the information needed for such ambient aspects is already available to developers through the browser.”
Storytelling has spearheaded science and technology innovation for years – think about how Sherlock Holmes has changed the way we solve crimes, or how eerily similar Amazon’s Alexa is to those speakers in Star Trek.
UX designer Anna Dahlstrom believes traditional storytelling will be key in relating to a brand’s audience, considering the context needed to recognize the true value of a product or service.
“As designers, we need to master Walt Disney’s skill of being able to get both the bigger picture and the small details right,” she advises. “We also need to account for a growing number of eventualities and moving parts that need to be defined and designed, so that it all comes together. Just like a good story.”
One of Dahlstrom’s tips is utilizing the principles of character development – for example, narratives that account for happy and unhappy users, the roles each web design element plays in telling a product story, and setting a scene through design that brings the product experience to life.
“All of this helps ensure that the heroes are the users of the products and services we’re working on, and that they’re who the experience is about.”
Eden’s web designers and developers consider the entire ecommerce experience for your users when we build our custom websites, applying the latest trends and ideologies to achieve that one simple goal: creating a better experience for users.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you get your ecommerce website where it needs to be.