With the arrival of mobile devices and tablets, there has been a significant influence in recent years – on our approach to website design. We’re going to use the term ‘appification’.

New designs and technics that have taken root in app design can now be seen inspiring the world of web design. This inspiration, or phenomenon as some may call it – has been dubbed the ‘appification’ of the web. Trends suggest that consumers are spending more time with apps than frequenting websites.

In the last several years alone the trend to move away from heavy text-based website towards a visually-engaging interaction – where content is no longer king.

With the popularity of the bleeding-edge social networks like Pinterest, Viddy and Instagram has come a more visual interaction – so much so that Facebook has been forced to change their user-interface in an effort to avoid becoming ‘old school’. Nothing inspires website designers more than the fear of their work being irrelevant – and thus application is born.

With app design, a key factor is performance and it poses many challenges on website designers. In an effort to perform well, many designers are being forced to change or re-think their approach while remaining user-friendly. Thus – we have the appification of website design.

This change in approach, or application – originated from the limitations and constraints specific to smart phones and tablets and while the web does not share these production issues – website designers are applying this approach in an effort to reinforce continuity or simply to keep up appearances.

Some of the differences that we’re noticing include bigger fonts, large buttons and huge icons that make navigation a snap when viewing on mobile devices or tablets and user-friendly for the desktop environment. Fewer features and a narrower focus have also crept into the design of these appification websites. Graphics have moved back to center stage but rather than inundating an audience with lots of various graphics – we’re seeing an emphasis on large, singular images.

At Red Rocket – we’ve been guilty of appificating (if that’s even a word) our own designs – not just to appear more contemporary but to move audiences through sites in such a way that is more streamlined – thus speeding up the sales cycle and appearing more ‘service’ oriented.

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