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Web Design: What on Earth is a Photostration?!

web design what is photostration

Web design, much like Google algorithms, is a field in constant review. Unlike Google, it is often community led; The development of a new trend, or capability, or boundary-breaking site, moves the entire industry forward (or sometimes back to the future!) and creates a new field of play.

Despite this being a constant, it seems that with a new year, people – and designers – hit the reset button and look for change. So we like to sit for a couple of months and survey the scene, and look for new movements.

As we come into May in a new decade, there are a few trends on the way up and a number that have carried on from 2019. If you’re thinking about a website redesign, or are just interested in the online sphere, here are some things we’ve noticed.

1. Photostrations

Not a real term. Well, not until now. Photostrations is what we’ve come to call a movement that has been picking up speed. With the proliferation over the past decade of hero-image websites and an abundance of photos, people require something different to capture attention.

The way many designers seem to be doing this is through the crossing-over of photos with illustrations: photostrations.

2. Line-art

When the minimalist design era kicked in a number of years ago – particularly with the movement toward a mobile phone world – there became a constant embedding of cartoon or emoji icons. This was driven in large part by the inclusion of these in many WordPress themes by default.

Something we’ve noticed this year is a slight angling away from this, where designers attempt to have the same things achieved, but with slightly different, more modern, styles.

Enter: line-art.

3. Motion

Motion does not just refer to simple video – it can include 3D objects, or movement effects within a background – but it certainly stems from that omnipresent overlord of modern digital marketing: Video. As video continues to prove itself as an audience engagement masterpiece, a conversion king, and a holy grail of virality, motion in website design has naturally become more requisite.

In 2020, this is rolling down a hill in terms of the speed of deployment, with more developers and designers jumping on board. The sense is that it won’t be long before this is par for the course, aided by the huge jump in 3D capabilities in the smartphone camera industry.

With this new world, however, comes a fresh challenge for website builds: loading speed. The example below is a worthwhile example; you may have to wait longer than the expected 0.2 seconds, but that wait is justified when the brilliant landing page appears before you.

So what have you noticed in 2020? Are you a designer – what have you been working on?

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