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Web design trends we can expect to see in 2017

Web design trends we can expect to see in 2017

by in Design & Dev

Web design trends we can expect to see in 2017

It’s that time of year where we look at the year that was and the year that will be. We’ve seen a lot of amazing website designs this year, and I’m eager to see what 2017 has in store for website and website design.

2017 is sure to bring some amazing website designs, but if we look hard enough, we can already start seeing some trends that are sure to dominate websites in 2017.

Let’s take a look at the 10 website design trends we can expect to see in 2017.

Emphasis on the content

We’ve spent years adding things to our websites such as sidebars, headers, banner ads, sidebar ads, calls to action, comments, popups, social media buttons, signup boxes, etc. All of these things have ended up cluttering our websites and taking up more and more real estate, taking the attention away from the entire point of a web page: the content.

In 2017, websites are likely to start moving back to basics and placing more emphasis on content. Whether that means we remove all of the other distractions we’ve spent years adding, or just making them take up less real estate is yet to be determined. Getting back to the heart of a website — the content — will be prevalent moving forward.

The end of flat design

I think we’ve reached the point in flat web design where everything is starting to look the same, and we’ve lost our personality and creativity in design. When you strip everything away, you’re left with what everyone else has: the basics that look just like each other.

From my standpoint, flat design has turned from a modern update of skeuomorphic design to a set of design aesthetics that everyone applies (think Google’s Material). Because of this, sites are starting to look the same, and not much differentiates sites from one another. Designers feel that the creativity is gone, and with the desire to create something great, I see flat design ending for the most part in favor of layouts and designs that are more imaginative and unique.

Geometric shapes, lines, and patterns

It seems as though the use of geometric shapes, lines, and patterns have really taken off in the late part of 2016, and I anticipate this continuing through 2017. There are various ways in which geometric shapes have made their way into websites. Be it the use of circles around images, photos that are geometric heavy, or the overall design of the site relies heavily on the use of lines and patterns.

There is nearly infinite amount of ways in which you an integrate geometric shapes, lines, and patterns into your website, and this could be one way in which designers take fat design to a new level (and even add some personality, as mentioned above). Overall, expect to see these types of design styles more throughout 2017.

Imaginative heading styles

We’re starting to move away from the basic heading style seen on websites (san serif, all caps, centered heading) and moving more toward imaginative or creative headings. Changing up the heading style is a welcomed way to be unique in your design.

Changing up the justification and layout of the heading, adding unique elements to the heading, or even going without a heading (at least above the fold) are all ways in which designers are starting to experiment with changing up the typical heading style on websites.

Duotone gradient imagery

In the pursuit of staying more on brand, more brands are using duotone imagery and graphics for their websites. Even TNW has got the duotone down right, and it isn’t even 2017 yet.

Not strictly duotones, but some designs are even experimenting with two or three colors and using the duotone effect. Think Instagram. While flat design helped us get rid of (most) gradients, using duotone imagery that combines a couple of colors together has proven to be a nice update to the old and tired gradients and solid color areas.

Increased use of animations and GIFs

Animations are starting to be used more heavily on websites as they are often a great way to show how something works, how to do something, or otherwise reveal meaningful content. GIFs have been used for this purpose, but now we are seeng GIFs becoming more sophisticated and animations using SVG and CSS to achieve some pretty unique design elements.

I anticipate in 2017 the use of animations will become more prevalent, as more content types are shared and animation helps communicate things easier and quicker than text and video can. Plus, when done right, can often be even more lightweight than several images or even a video.

Navigation diets

As being a mobile society, I believe that because most of us access the web through our phones more than our computers, the overall trend to make things easier to navigate has taken over and reformed our navigation on websites.

Instead of overly complicated and long navigations, more and more sites are starting to simplify their navigation down to about four to five items. Keeping navigation to a minimum also helps visitors to focus on the intent at hand, instead of trying to find a way off the page.


Microinteractions are the subtle, but powerful ways to interact with a website. They are often found in hovers, click animations, scrolling effects, etc. While we’ve always had these types of design elements, designers are spending more time on them, making them are informative and more refined.

Probably the most used integration is the hover/rollover, where a visitor can simply move their cursor over parts of the site to see these microinteractions and interact with the site in that way.

Increased use of hand-drawn elements

Perhaps a different type of web design trend is the increased use of hand drawn elements. These elements include fonts, icons, graphics, buttons and other elements that bring a nice unique touch to websites.

Websites have never been a medium that most would associate with drawing out, but the introduction and the subsequent takeoff of these hand drawn elements have been a nice change from using standard design elements.

More emphasis on landing pages, less on a home page

As we refine content and opt to market and share it more, in 2017 we will likely see a rise in landing page designs instead of a home page design. While every website needs a home page, I think that as content marketing spreads, marketers will want to direct traffic to dedicated landing pages to better target their visitors and their needs.

It makes sense: The idea of content marketing is to increase awareness and conversions, and what better way to increase conversions than to have visitors land on a page strictly made for them. These pages will be as well designed and thought out as others on the site, but target the visitor much more.


2017 is sure to see some great websites, and these design trends will most definitely be seen on some of the best website designs yet to come.

From hand drawn elements to duotone images, imaginative headings to more focused content layouts, to microinteractions to animations, these design trends will dominate web design in 2017.


This is the future of the fight against cancer

This is the future of the fight against cancer

by —  in Tech

This is the future of the fight against cancer

You may be wondering what a cancer-centric post is doing on a tech blog. While you’re right to be skeptical, the truth is that tech titans are the unsung heroes needed to treat and prevent the world’s deadliest diseases. 

The momentum of the Human Genome Project has provided scientists the opportunity to explore human DNA, and engineers are using this information to create groundbreaking new therapies.

This culminates to an explosion of technological advancements in the field of cancer research. The most important being the rapid and inexpensive sequencing of the entire human genome – an invaluable basis for undertaking the development treatments that can be based on a patient’s individual tumor profile, rather than the cancer type as a whole.

A different approach: Precision medicine

Fourteen million people are diagnosed annually with cancer. Before scientists began analyzing the DNA of tumors, most cancers were treated based on their location within the body. Recently, however, researchers have shifted their focus – discovering that the location of a cancer is not nearly as important as the genetic mutations that precede it.

That discovery is the origin of precision medicine – the idea that looking at a the genetic makeup of a tumor creates targeted treatment opportunities, regardless of where the cancer manifests or metastasizes.

A definite advantage of precision medicine is that it can save the patient invaluable time and energy in deciding treatment options. For some patients, it means the difference between life and death.

How the treatment works

Cancer isn’t a one-and-done experience, but an ongoing journey into the unknown. A diagnosis is only the beginning, but a holistic overview is needed to better understand and precisely prescribe the best course of treatment. As Ronen Solomon, Head of R&D for Philips’ Genomics Oncology Venture, explains:

We see the genomic test side-by-side with pathology tests and CT and MRI scans. Along the path of curation, there are ongoing genomic analysis to confirm that the treatments are applied correctly, that the tumor is shrinking, and that the results are fully based on the genomic findings found at the beginning of the curation process.

Philips and its tools are key to enabling Ronen’s work on individualized treatment. With the right technologies to collect and make sense of biomedical information, the pace of drug discovery can be vastly increased, helping to efficiently develop a new class of tailor-made drugs.

For precision medicine to really work, you need the whole system – end to end. Ronen’s team, together with other departments within Philips, will be among the first in the industry to have a bird’s eye view of the curation process. With its integrated cancer care approach, Philips provides the tools needed to support patients at every turn.

For Ronen, in particular, it’s not just a job but also a way to honor his mother:

From my own personal experience, I know the potential value that these innovations can offer. I helped my mother through cancer treatment for five years and saw first-hand how long it can take to find the most effective drugs. I had to watch as she experienced a range of unpleasant side effects, and that’s something I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

If through our work we can make a patient’s life better by speeding up the treatment process and making their experience more bearable, then we’re doing something really worthwhile

 Unfortunately this wasn’t an option for Ronen’s mother, as the science itself wasn’t there and the technology just didn’t exist. To him and many patients at the time, cancer treatments were often a matter of trial and error.

The future of precision medicine

Genetic abnormalities not only contribute to some cancers, but also to conditions such as diabetes, obesity, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. While hundreds of genetic conditions have been discovered, much about their physiology is still unknown.

Current healthcare models rely largely on ‘reactive medicine’; a person becomes sick and then receives treatment. But what if the suffering of the patient could be avoided entirely?

In general, genomic medicine will evolve in that field where genomics plays a major role in curating diseases. It will also bleed over into lifestyle choices. Data and DNA can help you adapt to a healthier lifestyle.

Modern sequencing methods and understanding what is driving the cancer’s growth is dramatically changing the face of cancer medicine in recent years. This is the treatment of the future: Targeted, specific, curated to the patient, and powered by technology. Those predisposed to certain conditions would be able to make meaningful and proactive changes to their lives before symptoms manifest in the first place.

Ronen continues:

As research continues with genomics and better targeting of specific genomic mutations, side effects will minimize. We will also see more and more prescriptions with specific targeted medicine for these patients. No longer is it merely about using existing treatment types, such as chemotherapy and radiation, as our only options.

To make this a reality, we need to bridge the gap between health sciences and engineering. Big data and machine learning techniques, in combination with evolving knowledge about genomics, will pave the way for continuing iteration on holistic, preventative and above all preemptive courses of treatment.  


Google Maps now indicates if a location is wheelchair accessible

Google Maps now indicates if a location is wheelchair accessible

by —  in Apps

In one of its smallest, yet most useful updates ever, Google Maps has now begun displaying whether a location, such as a building or restaurant, is accessible by wheelchair.

The service sources this information from its human Local Guides, who answer questions about the places they visit, indicating things like average cost and parking. Google told Business Insider that its database of responses has now run into the millions, and so it’s confident about including these results on its listings in Maps.

You’ll be able to find wheelchair accessibility information under the Amenities section when looking up any establishment in Maps, and you can also add your own findings on the same screen. Alternatively, you can head into the ‘Your contributions’ section in Maps’ menu on Web and mobile to answer questions about places you’ve been.

The new feature was built by Rio Akasaka, a product manager for Google Drive who took advantage of the ‘20% time’ that Google offers employees to work on their own projects. More updates like this, please, Google.


10 tech acquisitions from 2016 you should know

10 tech acquisitions from 2016 you should know

by —  in Entrepreneur

10 tech acquisitions from 2016 you should know

2016 has been quite a year, and has spared no one its many, many surprises. So too in tech we’ve seen some pretty surprising deals take place. From toy manufacturers buying IoT startups to traditional retailers paying billions for e-commerce unicorns, deals coming straigh-out-of-left-field abound.

The ultimate goal of any startup is an exit. Exit strategies fall mainly into two camps: IPO, or get acquired. There is of course always the third option of failing entirely, but that’s certainly the least desirable path.

Acquisitions can tell us a lot about the state of the startup world. One thing that stands out this year is interest from the established, corporate business world in young tech companies is ever on the rise.

Here we highlight 10 of this year’s most important acquisitions. These were the high profile deals, the ones with hefty price tags and those that saw the most coverage. These are the ten deals you should definitely know about going into 2017.

Fitbit crushes Pebble

Pebble was a kickstarter success story and a wearable for the masses. With increased competition in the wearables space (including Snapchat getting into the game with Spectacles) apparently Fitbit saw it as a threat, proceeding to buy Pebble out for cool $40 million and shut down its operations.

Mattel internets its things with Sproutling

Mattel, the multinational toy manufacturer founded in 1945, couldn’t be further from being a startup. All the more reason to future-proof your products. They acquired Sproutling, a toddler-health oriented wearables company, in order to imbue more technology into their learning products.

Samsung connects with Harman

Samsung, the electronics and mobile device giant, acquired audio and automotive company Harman to the tune of $8 billion late this year. The acquisition is one of the year’s biggest in terms of price, and Samsung is betting big on connected cars with this one.

“Can Yahoo me now?”

Yahoo! had struggled with continuously declining revenue figures when Verizon made a deal to buy the ailing company for $4.4 billion. The acquisition would keep Yahoo! intact as a brand, but effectively kill it as an independent company. Recent speculation suggests that the deal might not go through after all.

Walmart takes off with Jet

Another example of traditional giants buying tech companies. Walmart is positioning itself to counter losing ground to Amazon with this deal, catching up quick in e-commerce. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s enough when Amazon is simultaneously experimenting with brick and mortar retail.

Microsoft wants to connect with you on LinkedIn

A historic deal, for two reasons. LinkedIn is the first of the big social media sites to be bought up by one of the old-guard tech companies. Moreover, this is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition yet, we can only assume they have big plans for the professional networking app.

Tesla charges up with Solar City

This deal stand out because effectively Elon Musk bought a company he helped start, with a company he owns. Besides that oddity of business development, it’s also an important step towards Musk’s vision for Tesla: to become a renewable energy company with a complete domestic offering of solar powered roofs, cars, and batteries for the home.

Snapchat snaps up Bitstrips

Remember Bitstrips? If you’re already nostalgic for the days when they were plastered all over Facebook, good news! Snapchat acquired them back in March and rolled them into their app as ‘bitmoji’. Snapchat paid $100 million for the privilege! Can you say bubble?

Uber hails OTTO

Uber bought the self-driving technology company OTTO back in August. You may remember OTTO from that truck that drove all that beer (who says tech has a drinking problem?) cross-country. The deal is also significant because it puts Uber closer to realizing its autonomous service strategy. However, it looks like there might be more hurdles to clear in 2017 than they expected.

CNN taps Beme

The news media (obviously) wants a piece of the digital pie. But instead of mimicking digital culture or just getting on Twitter, it seems mainstream news is ready to get their hands dirty. CNN acqui-hired Beme, Casey Neistat’s video sharing app, reportedly so that Neistat can come onboard to innovate at CNN. We’ll have to wait until 2017 to see what the result will be.


Apple insiders claim Mac development may no longer be a priority

Apple insiders claim Mac development may no longer be a priority

by in Apple


apple, macbook pro, mac, mac pro

In light of the stunning financial success the iPhone has proven to be over the last few years, it seems Apple has significantly scaled down its Mac production ambitions – and a recent report from Bloomberg suggests the trend might be here to stay.

The last time the company brushed up its Mac Pro lineup was back in 2013, while the latest Mac Mini update dates back to 2014. And prior to the controversial release of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar earlier in October, the Cupertino giant had clocked more than 500 days without an update to its flagship laptop.

According to numerous undisclosed Apple insiders, Mac development has fallen off the top of the agenda as far as the company’s design, software and management teams are concerned.

In addition to a string of technical challenges, the Big A has also been dealing with lack of direction, constant internal shuffles between teams, as well as a litany of departures of key people in charge of Mac production.

While Mac products generate approximately 10 percent of its total sales, neglecting the innovation of its computers poses a bigger threat to the future of the company as it could have larger repercussions for the Apple ecosystem, disrupting its seamless flow and opening up opportunities for users to abandon its mobile offerings like the iPhone and the iPad for other competing releases.

Among other complications, the tech titan has been struggling to edge out its competition – and its attempts have repeatedly fallen short.

Leading up to this year’s MacBook Pro launch, Apple reportedly abandoned plans to introduce a new design aimed at expanding the battery capacity of its laptops after the new approach failed a crucial test prior to its release.

Instead of delaying the launch to work out the complications, the company resorted to its older design in order to deliver its new MacBook Pro in time for the holiday shopping season.

Over the last few weeks, numerous Touch Bar-equipped MacBook owners cried out their laptops tend to last nowhere near the 10 hours promised. In response, Apple rolled out a software update that eliminated the ‘time remaining’ indicator. And while users reported the latest reiteration of macOS improves battery life, it remains to be seen whether the issues continue to persist.

This week, a leaked internal memo from CEO Tim Cook suggested the Big A is working on building new “great desktops” in the near future. And even though the company maintains Macintosh remains one of its most important products, nothing speaks louder than actions – just ask Microsoft.


Apple’s hits and misses in 2016

Apple’s hits and misses in 2016

by in Apple


Rounding up Apple’s triumphs from 2016 is harder than you think. That’s because Apple didn’t really do all that much in 2016. I’d have an easier time writing a book about Paul Reuben’s career post-1991. It’d probably be more interesting, too.

But wait. Bullshit, I hear you howl like a Yorkshire Terrier that’s been accidentally trodden on. Apple released a new iPhone this year! And it refreshed the MacBook Pro for the first time in almost 20 years (I’m exaggerating, but you get the point). What the fuck are you on about, you shoddy journalist?

Okay, yes. I suppose it did release a near-identical version of last year’s iPhone (but with some minor upgrades, and sans headphone jack). And yes, there is a new MacBook Pro, which demonstrates Apple’s commitment to top-line engineering. Its price tag engineered it for me to spray my monitor with a thin mist of coffee and shout “HOW MUCH?”.

Racking my head, I’ve came up with what I believe are the standout moments from Apple’s 2016. There’s some bright stars, but most are clouded by an immense shroud of light pollution.

The TouchBar – Apple’s Sirius moment

For those not particularly clued up on their astronomy, Sirius is the brightest start in the sky. While others may be obscured, this one can often penetrate a dense canopy of smog and light pollution. Much like Apple’s TouchBar penetrated a dense canopy of ennui.

To recap: the TouchBar is present on latest and greatest (and, it should go without saying, the most expensive) MacBook Pro’s. It’s an OLED strip that replaces the erstwhile function keys. The concept behind it is a pretty sound one. Rather than a limited number of function keys, what if they could dynamically change based on their context? Who doesn’t want that?


So, if you were using Final Cut Pro, the TouchBar would populate with buttons that make it easy to edit and manipulate video. Likewise, if I were to edit some images with Photoshop, the TouchBar would refresh, giving me access to the shortcuts and tools I depend on.

Although Apple isn’t the first company to introduce an OLED element to their keyboards, it’s the first company that’s introduced it to a mainstream computer. That’s huge for one big reason.

It’s effectively an entirely new input device. Developers and designers are going to have a lot of fun working out how it can be integrated into business software, design and development workflows, and even games.

While the rest of Apple’s year was a letdown, I’m deeply excited about the promise of the TouchBar.

2016’s MacBook Pro – The most disappointing refresh ever?

I started off with a high point, because I’m kind. Now let’s move swiftly on to a decidedly low point. I am, of course, talking about the long-awaited MacBook Pro refresh.

In the months leading up to October’s keynote, the rumor mill went into overdrive. Of course it did. It’s an Apple product. And by and large, it was accurate. There were very few surprises. We knew Apple was going to ditch legacy USB in favor of USB-C. We even knew about the TouchBar. And yet, it was still a major disappointment.

It confirmed to many that Apple’s heart lies not in computers, which is its traditional heartland, but rather the vastly more lucrative smartphone and services market. Many were annoyed that they’d waited so long for a laptop that, despite having the word ‘pro’ in the name, wasn’t really aimed at professional users at all.

Former Next Web writer Owen Williams said it best:

Apple, it seems, is angling for the ‘amateur creative’ and isn’t interested in anything else anymore. It wants the market that sits in coffee shops with its brand and only buys Apple, but doesn’t mind so much if the core demographic disappears. Maybe that’s OK — there’s probably good money in it — but it’s a real shame.

Apple’s enthusiasts waited a long time for this update. Many of them feel palpably let down by a company which, let’s face it, they adore. It’s unclear how, going forward, this will affect Apple’s chances in the highly competitive premium laptop market.

The iPhone 7: Yesterday’s iPhone, today

This September, Apple launched the iPhone 7. At face value, it was virtually identical to the previous year’s offerings. but there are some key differences.

Firstly, it’s waterproof. If you upgraded, you could drop your handset in the toilet without having to worry if AppleCare would cover it. It also benefited from slightly improved internals, as well as an impressive camera upgrade. Oh yes, it also ditched the tried-and-tested 3.5mm headphone jack.


Now, if you want to listen to some music on a bus or a plane without pissing off the rest of the passengers, you either must spring for a pair of Lightning or Bluetooth headphones, or use a dongle that bridges the two standards. Naturally, this has been deeply controversial.

But the biggest problem with the iPhone 7 is that there is no compelling reason to get it, especially if you have a working iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. There’s nothing radically new here.

Apple is extremely reticent to release sales statistics from the iPhone 7 launch. As a result, it is difficult for anyone other than Apple to determine how well it is selling. But given that there are credible reports that it’s slashing production right before the Christmas shopping season, you can likely assume that the answer is “not well”.

As the MacBook Pro Launch confirmed, Apple is increasingly out-of-touch with its core constituencies. It’s losing its mojo.

AirPods: Dude, where’s my headphones?

Apple wasn’t the first smartphone manufacturer to ditch the humble 3.5mm port. Motorola and LeEco are both pioneers in this respect. But Apple is the biggest company to do so. As a result, it’s got a duty to sell its customers on its vision for life after the headphone jack.

One of the ways it wanted to do that was with AirPods. These are headphones (fugly ones, I should add), but not as you know them.

AirPods look a lot like Apple’s iconic EarPods. They come in two parts, with one for each ear. This design means that there’s no unwieldy wires stringing across the back of your neck, and no cumbersome headpieces.

But they’ve been beset with development woes, and thus they’re nowhere to be seen. It’s believed that this is because rather than use one Bluetooth chip, Apple’s AirPods use two.

For them to work, they must be in perfect synchronicity, and reconcile any delays or disconnections. They must be completely fault-tolerant. This is proving to be a bit of a headache for Apple.

Apple intended to launch these by the end of October. But later that month, it delayed shipments without a concrete future date. For a while, it seemed that that Apple will miss the lucrative Christmas season. Miraculously, it was able to ship a few units out in time for Santa, but availability is still scarce.

The last time Apple was forced to postpone a product launch, it was six years ago with the iPhone 4. Given the underwhelming state of 2016’s product lineup, this could be a sign of greater problems in Cupertino.

Maybe 2017 will be better

Okay. So, 2016 was a bit of a wash. But 2017 looks set to be a little bit better.

There’s potentially going to be a new iPhone – the iPhone 8, or the iPhone 7S, depending on who you speak to – that should get your heart racing. 2017 is, after all, the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

Apple’s computer line-up may get some love too. There’s also the possibility of new Macs – the iMac and the Mac Pro are both incredibly long in the tooth, and are desperate for an update.

I guess we’ll just have to find out.


Google’s self-driving cars spin out into new company called Waymo

Google’s self-driving cars spin out into new company called Waymo


Google will no longer be making a self-driving car. But Waymo will.

Basically, the self-driving unit at Google X, previously codenamed Chauffeur, has now spun out into its own independent company under the Alphabet umbrella. New Waymo CEO Jon Krafcik made the announcement today at a press event in Califronia.

As TechCrunch points out, Google’s car unit had recently been shifting its executives from research towards experienced business leaders. Krafcik joined this year and used to work for Hyundai, while ex-Airbnb and TripAdviser executive Shaun Stewart also joined recently.

A report yesterday from The Information suggests that by spinning out Waymo, Google has scaled back somewhat on its ambitions, after Alphabet CEO Larry Page called the original approach impractical. The creation of Waymo suggests Alphabet is looking to bring the technology into the real world now, perhaps by exploring partnerships with existing automakers, instead of completely remove the human driver from the equation.