When a tornado of an unprecedented crisis named COVID-19 stormed through the world, it took everyone by surprise. The web world, an expansive universe of its own, also reeled under its impact. One might say, there was a flip in the digital tapestry. A challenging time, indeed; but it presented an opportunity for innovation.
As one might often find, crisis fuels change, and this crisis was no exception.
A Crisis-Driven Shift to Functional Web Design
With pandemic-induced lockdowns, quarantines, and widespread fear, the world hunkered down and turned inwards, or more aptly, online. This urged professionals in the web design and development field, such as yours truly, to put on their thinking hats.
The belief stood: functionality had to take center stage. Previously, aesthetics often overshadowed function in web design, an approach that had its charm, but the charm wore off when the world found itself relying more and more on the digital realm for its needs. Here, an interesting fact unfolds – popular restaurant chain XYZ overhauled their website completely to offer a seamless online ordering experience during the peak of the lockdowns.
Virtual Connection through Engaging Experiences
The lockdown brought an avalanche of loneliness. Web design could, and did, become an avenue for connection. The design of websites transitioned into creating engaging and interactive experiences. Interactive maps, virtual tours, and AI chatbots became the norm.
Enhanced User Experience and Easy Navigation
Covid-19 necessitated simplicity and ease of navigation. Users flocked online for necessities, from groceries to entertainment to healthcare. The sheer volume made it evident: the design needs to be as simple and intuitive as possible.
For instance, think of a senior citizen ordering groceries online for the first time – an overly complex design could frustrate and deter them from the process.
In this vein, a sensory description might help elucidate – a smooth, fluid, and hassle-free browsing experience, much like sliding on ice.
Just as the gush of wind announces the arrival of rain, a website should prepare a user for what lies ahead. This concept led to designing websites with clear pathways, where a user can effortlessly glide through the tasks at hand.
Remote Accessibility for Staying Connected
Lockdowns forced people into their homes and emphasized the need for websites that could function seamlessly on different devices and platforms.
The sudden surge in remote work made it clear: a design that does not break down on different devices is not just a luxury, but a necessity.
Accelerated E-commerce Adoption
The pandemic lockdown made online shopping the lifeline for many. An interesting case is the famous clothing brand ABC.
Its website, previously more of a digital catalog, morphed into an efficient e-commerce platform. The resulting boom in their online sales was a testament to the power of functional web design.
Lasting Impact on Prioritizing Digital Connectivity
It’s undeniable: the pandemic’s effect on web design will leave a lasting impact. The need for functionality, ease of use, and accessibility will continue to influence how designers approach their work.
Taking inspiration from the Spanish proverb, “No hay mal que por bien no venga” – no bad thing comes without bringing some good, this crisis has paved the way for a more connected, functional, and user-centric web world.
As we bid adieu to this discussion, here’s food for thought for companies out there: ‘Adapt, evolve, and keep your web platforms user-friendly. A seamless digital experience for your consumers can spell the difference between thriving or merely surviving in the times to come.’
Remember, the web is an ocean – make sure your ship is not just pretty, but sea-worthy.