The end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century got us used to more and more visually rich websites. They were supposed, above all, to enchant us with their graphics, increasingly fancy shapes and an abundance of moving elements covering the content. Luckily for the users and the creators of websites, the mobile revolution made this trend quickly eat its own tail.
The emergence of this new production branch of devices, which we use to consume more and more content more and more often, resulted in quite substantial changes. Firstly, the number of unnecessary graphics significantly decreased, mainly due to the data downloading limits of mobile networks, thanks to which elements without a specific and justified functionality (such as fancy patterns, hovering gifs or other unnecessary ornaments) became obsolete.
Secondly, creators of the Internet reality had to face significant shrinking of working areas and the challenge of adjusting the content and the corresponding visual layer to multiple devices. From small smartphones, through medium-sized tablets, to large desktop monitors and TV sets.
The third challenge was to design the graphic and the functional layer of websites in such a way so as to make the website look similar on every device, while at the same time preserving the individual and consistent nature thanks to the characteristic elements identifying the given brand, and using the unique character of a given device in favour of the user.
Has designing of websites or applications become easier due to abandoning many graphic elements, and has the designer himself become less needed? Quite the contrary in fact. The mobile revolution accelerated the natural maturing process of people responsible for the visual side of websites, and they, in turn, had to pay more attention to the websites' functionality, rather than only to the artistic sphere (see our latest version of the Confisio portal). Today, a sensible designer designs the website's interface first, relying on his knowledge about functionalities, and only then adjusts the visual layout, bearing in mind the project assumptions and the visual identification.
Furthermore, the mobile revolution yielded a favourable side effect in the form of an increasing number of customers responsible for brands, who notice the advantages of minimalism, balanced aesthetics, the so-called "breath of fresh air", good-quality pictures and contrast, as well as other aspects of web design, which they had not cared enough about before or which they feared, watching their backs. Certain trends became the norm and, as professionals, we did not have to convince the customers of the reasonableness of those particular solutions. It is proven by analyses using strictly measurable factors, as well as by the users themselves, who gladly use verified visual forms or choose a given product.
But what will tomorrow bring? We should certainly keep a close eye on the virtual reality and how it revolutionises content consumption. The time for conclusions and analysis will certainly come later. For the time being, I'll leave this question unanswered and I'll observe this topic closely and with great interest.