Website trends and requirements for 2015

grandma// First priority //
I was recently helping my neighbor fix a few network problems when their four year old granddaughter decided to tell me how to connect to the network on the iPad. I don’t think this story is unusual, nor are the stories about bed-ridden elderly people enjoying Facetime on their iPad with their families.

Website developers should not be worried about the next design revolution as opposed to “How does my website behave more like an app?” The next phase for websites should be usability by the emerging full age-range audience. Can I touch every detail of the website and does something logical happen? Can I use my finger for full navigation? Are the menu selections simple… lots of clear icons? Is the website fun? Perhaps, the new QA team for a website development project is composed of children and grandparents?

// Second Priority //
Most websites are a complex hierarchy of pages with lots of text, bullet points, images, and links. My best guess is that Google is responsible for this archaic view of media. After all, a good SEO process demands lots of pages with 255 words per page, H1, H2s, alt-text… and on and on. If we step back from the Google perspective and ask “do I need all these words”… the answer would be a resounding “NO!”

Without the Google SEO requirement would we see websites reduced down to just a few videos that convey “How does it feel?” Instead of ‘big headers’ with slide-shows… can we utilize ‘video headers?’ Instead of hundreds of words that no one reads can we use ‘first person’ videos?

// Put the two together //
For our new “grandmother-friendly” website can we combine ‘app’ like behavior with high-resolution video all inside simple and easy to understand websites?