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August 17, 2023   |   5 min read

Future of Websites Part 4: Kinesthetic Layouts

The digital space continues to expand with extraordinary velocity, shaping the future of websites as we know it. As the online world grows, there are easily more user points of entry as there are clouds, or cloud servers, in the sky. Global users interact with the internet on an astounding 9000+ distinct devices, across 21 different operating systems, with a staggering 20% year-on-year increase in devices. If this fragmentation wasn't enough, the release of Apple Vision Pro this past May, has made a newfound refocus on the metaverse and AR. In this article, we peer into the future of websites through the lens of kinesthetic layouts. Website design in 2025 will evolve the mobile-first approach and sharpen the turn toward more dynamic and engaging experiences with the help of foldable devices, Motion UI, the metaverse and gesture technology.

The Foldable Frontier

Facts: of the 4.9-5 billion internet users around the globe, about 92% prefer accessing websites on their phones, and 90% of users utilize more than one screen at a time. Combining these two statistics paints a clear picture that dual-utility devices, like The Galaxy Fold by Samsung, are on the rise, and with it the need for responsive design like never before. 

Three versions of foldable phones

Foldable devices show content on multiple screens at the same time. In multiple windows, the user can multitask across several apps. Therefore, a single device can function as a dual screen.  

In its recent version, Samsung Internet launched App Pair for Edge panel, which makes it possible for both seamless and seamed devices to have more than one browser tab open in multiwindow mode, and in the process introducing new screen sizes, increasing web product owner's need for responsive design trifold.  

As wearable devices also rise, websites will change to best adapt to these dimensional layouts over the legacy static page layouts. Website owners familiar with responsive design won't have difficulties adjusting to these new devices. Responsive design is a must that will help web apps enhance accessibility. For users, devices with foldable screens bring significant benefits, along with enhanced portability. 

The Internet in Motion  

Though Motion UI has been all the buzz in web development since it was introduced in 2015, many web designers anticipate nearly all online UX will include movement within the upcoming years. Animation brings life into the user interface while maintaining context. Motion UI also caters to the human need for affirmation upon task completion by serving visual animations, haptics, and adaptive design. Motion UI design can be as simple as Siri's icon pulsing to your speech or as entertaining as a cartoon pug wagging its tail as an app loads. More fun elements like zoom-in, zoom-out, parallax scrolling, and animated icons add liveliness to a user's journey down a page or across an app experience. 

      Sources: Pinterest App Splash Animation  |  Royal, Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Itinerary App

Motion UI can be an effective tool when you want to entice a user to perform an action—for instance, logging in or signing up on a page. Though the message log-in and sign-up are more prominent, Motion UI can entice them to take a specific action or reassure them in a way static copy cannot.  

Motion UI in 2030 will allow digital product owners to offer more immersive, intuitive, and engaging online experiences. The more connected reassured, and delighted users feel as they navigate a digital space, the stronger and more reoccurring the relationship between users and technology can be. Here are a few ways to add kinetic elements to websites: 

  • Anthropomorphic animations

  • Kinetic typography

  • 3D motion graphics

  • Shape morphing 

Incorporating motion to your UI design is invaluable in facilitating smooth transitions between states or pages, delivering responsive feedback, and enriching micro-interactions, infusing personality into your design. Whether aiming to elevate your UI with a touch of flair or enhance user experience, motion design stands as an indispensable tool in your design arsenal. 

The Internet in 3D 

If the hype from Facebook's 2021 name change to Meta and their billions invested in virtual reality (VR) would have continued momentum, we'd all be waking up in utopia. Instead, we're still using cartoony avatars, and VR is where it has been for decades: training simulators and gaming. The metaverse's slow growth and the tech industry's shift in investment in generative AI are easily attributed to being commonly linked to other contested Web3 technologies such as blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and cryptocurrencies. 

A text graphic that reads: AR & VR could give a $1.4T boost to the global GDP by 2030.
     Source: PWC

However, as forecasted in the first article of our Future of Websites blog series, Rapid Speed & the Adoption of Web3, Web3 is inevitable. It will create more open, secure, and immersive online experiences. As more users acquire VR devices, many websites will be VR-based entirely, with 3D movements and presenting interactive content.  

In addition, with the rise of wearable technology like smart glasses, users will access websites through devices that host 3D and holographic digital experiences and offer anytime, anywhere projection. Accessing digital environments with devices like headsets, earphones, handsets, and other tools, consumers indicate a definite need for 3D internet.  

A chart showing the emerging tech impact radar of the metaverse
     The metaverse will emerge from the interaction of individually important technologies that will gradually evolve through predecessors in overlapping stages. Gartner's diagram shows a general pace as digital experiences change due to persistent, decentralized, collaborative and interoperable digital content. Source: Gartner

Gesture Recognition Technology 

Imagine a world where navigating a website feels akin to sliding hangers on a rack or tossing a pillow on a couch. With gesture technology, this seemingly futuristic prospect becomes reality combining with IoT to usher common interactions, from ordering French fries to driving a car. 

As we embrace touchless interactions, accessibility and inclusivity take center stage, empowering users with physical impairments to engage with the world more effortlessly and unlocking a whole new dimension of intuitive and immersive web and app interactions. Gesture recognition uses machine learning by training algorithms to interpret and classify human gestures through vast datasets, enabling devices to recognize and respond to various hand movements and body postures. 

A graphic showing how hand gestures are converted into digital instructions

      Computer vision and machine learning algorithms analyze the photos in real-time, converting hand gestures into instructions based on a predefined library of signals. Source: 

One of the most compelling aspects of incorporating gesture recognition into app and web design is the ability to bridge the gap between users and their devices. Users can forge a deeper connection with digital content by relying on instinctual gestures and movements, therefore providing a deeper, emotionally vested experience with a heightened sense of control. 

But you don’t have to wait three years to experience gesture technology. Tracking the blinks of your eyes, HiiDii Glasses help you navigate your computer, smartphone or tablet. You can click, drag and drop, and scroll, all in the blink of an eye, and yes, HiiDii glasses can differentiate an intentional blink from a spontaneous blink.  

Comparatively, the Apple Vision Pro introduces a host of gesture-based functions that mirror and enhance how we navigate our iPhones. The pinch and hold gesture, for instance, functions just like the tap and hold action on an iPhone, enabling tasks like text highlighting and selection. The Pinch and Drag gesture users to effortlessly scroll vertically or horizontally through windows or relocate them across the virtual space. The swiftness of hand movement directly influences scrolling speed, creating a seamless and dynamic browsing experience. 

We’re Moving Today’s Websites into Tomorrow 

Managing the sustainability of your website's design can be done without one big disruptive change or abandoning your existing platform. Instead, it takes proactivity, foresight, and lots of little enhancements, like turning a dimmer, made incrementally over time to meet the needs of tomorrow.  

However, a thoughtful and strategic approach to web design becomes paramount to harnessing the full potential of kinesthetic-minded web design. CX agencies must reimagine the user journey from its very foundation, carefully curating interactions that complement natural movements and human instinct while encouraging discovery and exploration. 

Mindstream Interactive understands the immense potential of kinesthetic website design, understanding that a touch-responsive, immersive web experience is no longer a luxury but a necessity. A future-proof strategy today is our anchor for the uncharted territories of tomorrow, ensuring that our digital presence remains not only relevant but compelling amidst the ever-shifting trends of technological advancement. 

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