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November 22, 2020

5 Ways 2020 Has Impacted Web Design

2020 hasn’t caught many compliments over the past 11 months. And if we’re being honest, we can’t say we’re huge fans, either. But now that we feel we’ve properly vented, our web design agency feels ready enough to share some of the good that’s sprung from all the chaos.

The Rise of Remote Work
With more and more organizations moving to full or partially remote workdays, many web design agencies have faced up to new challenges they never expected, growing in ways they never could have imagined before.

It’s not as simple as the mouse-in-one-hand, mai-tai-in-the-other, toes-in-the-sand stock photo you’ve seen a million times before. But the difficulties of navigating remote teams and web-based management have actually provided many of us to become more efficient with our work. On the whole, we’ve spent more time doing actual work and less time talking about it.

That’s not to say the office environment comes without value. We miss the water cooler talk as much as anyone. But the ability to seamlessly transition from Peloton to Photoshop and back again — without losing minutes in the commute — has been a massive time saver.

Ethical Design
Ethical design, or visual environments created with the intent to do good, has seen a massive rise in popularity throughout 2020. At this point, the web design is so pervasive that most people have grown wise to the parlor tricks and smokescreens that can help collect leads or make sales in ways we’d all agree are less than honest.

The transition to a head-to-toe digital lifestyle in 2020 has given web designers a reason to put out their best work, and audiences a reason to laud it. Brands have grown more interested in using their platforms to promote social change and incite real, lasting progress in the world. Ethical design goes hand in hand.

Accessibility
ADA compliance is a term you typically hear associated with brick-and-mortar businesses modernizing their properties with ramps, signage or accommodations for those hard of hearing, physically or visually impaired.

Did you know many of the same requirements exist for websites? And with the world sprinting to shop, explore, and educate themselves online, brands have shifted their focus to ensure their web presence is accessible to all.

We treat designing for the underserved as a privilege and have stayed adamant about folding it into all of our ongoing projects.

Organization
Whether they planned to transition to an online model or not, most successful businesses in 2020 are obliged to turn their website into their new storefront. In-person shopping and dining have crawled to a near-halt, and the best way for customers to discover, filter, and purchase products is undoubtedly through apps and homepages.

Quick focus on the filter part of that. Updated offerings like hands-free delivery, contactless payments and all-new digital services have inspired wholesale redesigns — or at the very least a considered refresh — for almost every brand serving customers throughout the pandemic.

Restructuring site hierarchies, apps and social strategies to prioritize safety and COVID-friendly service has presented all-new organizational challenges on the front and backends. Challenges we’ve been excited to tackle for the sake of everyone’s health.

Communication Tools
Web communication has turned into a whole new ballgame in 2020. Not just inside our workplaces with the rise of tools like Slack and Zoom, but also for brands interacting with customers out of the gates.

Features like live chat, live streaming and other web troubleshooting functions have seen a striking rise in popularity. Real-time customer interaction is no longer limited to the phones, and designing around that forced creatives to get, well, creative with how that looks for users.

More than ever, we see web designers implementing streamlined chat boxes, automated email systems and effective ‘Contact Us’ pages to help connect brands with their users. And the verdict is slowly rolling in on which tactics will go down as best practices, and which will get left behind in 2021.

A Year to Remember
For reasons we’d all probably rather forget, 2020 will go down as the most memorable yet of most of our lifetimes. For the web design community, it’s marked a distinct shift in how we present our brands to the world. And if there’s any solace we can take, it seems that most of the changes are for the better.