In recent years, online businesses have thrived when they’ve combined innovation and practicality. In this era, digital trends are shaping not just how we interact with technology, but also how businesses evolve, connect, and cater to a diverse, global audience.
These trends not only reflect technological advancements, but more progressive digital environments. In recent years, web accessibility has emerged as a transformative digital trend. This movement is not just about compliance, but about embracing the diversity of the global online community.
Here’s a look at how web accessibility is reshaping user experience, along with other complementary trends in UX/UI design, web development and digital marketing that will dominate in 2024.
In 2024, there will be a strong focus on creating websites that are universally accessible. This shift recognises the importance of inclusive design, making digital content available and usable for people with various disabilities. Most modern websites strive to meet universal Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and many tenders have accessibility as a non-negotiable requirement.
Embracing these guidelines will involve designing with considerations for screen readers, keyboard navigation, and visual impairment adaptations.
Zahra Alboqub, UX Designer and Researcher at Matrix says: “Web accessibility is key to creating a more inclusive society by eliminating barriers that restrict a person’s access to jobs, housing, civic involvement and much more.
“By implementing accessibility best practices, you are also improving the usability of the site for all people with different abilities. An accessible website must follow established guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Accessibility removes barriers for people and enhances overall usability for a broader audience, contributing to a more equitable and user-friendly online space.”
Poor contrast and colour choices: Don’t rely solely on colour to convey information, and use sufficient colour contrast to ensure readability for users with visual impairments.
Inaccessible font size and readability: Choose legible typefaces and maintain a font size that is comfortable for reading.
Missing or poorly written alternative text: People who use assistive technology to navigate and “read” your website need alt text for non-text content such as icons, charts and images.
Inability to navigate a website via keyboard: Not everyone can navigate a website using a mouse. If the website is not accessible using a keyboard, people with certain disabilities will not be able to navigate beyond the homepage.
Non-responsive design: Websites that don’t adapt to various screen sizes hinder accessibility and creating significant usability challenges, especially on smaller devices.
Tired of a digital world that’s become too flat and lifeless? Neumorphism is an emerging trend that adds the illusion of tactile interaction to user interfaces.
The design style creates elements that appear to pop out from the background, offering a soft, 3D effect that mimics real physical buttons and other objects.
Subtle shadows and light creates a sense of depth and realism, enhancing user engagement through a more interactive visual experience.
The best neumorphism bridges the gap between digital and physical worlds, but avoids the pitfalls of overuse, which can lead to visual clutter and a danger of looking like you’re chasing the latest fad.
As more and more of us get accustomed to having Alexa, Siri and other voice-controlled systems as part of the family, gesture and voice-based interactions will integrate further into our lives.
This technology is revolutionising user experience, offering seamless and intuitive interactions. As AI and sensor technologies advance, gesture and voice recognition will become more sophisticated in 2024, paving the way for a more connected and interactive digital world.
And hands-free interaction with your smart home, car or office equipment is not only convenient but also accessible, catering to a broader range of users. As AI and sensor technologies advance, expect to see gesture and voice recognition becoming more sophisticated, paving the way for a more connected world.
2024 will see a further shift towards more empathetic and diverse digital spaces. Designers will prioritise creating websites and online experiences that not only resonate with a wide range of audiences but also celebrate and reflect cultural diversity.
Through thoughtful consideration of colour schemes, imagery, language and usability, web designers can embrace inclusivity and foster a sense of belonging and recognition, making the digital space a more welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds and abilities.
For years web designers have been leaning heavily into the minimalist white space aesthetic, but for many it’s time to embrace the dark side.
Dark mode is favoured by modern designers for its sleek visual appeal, but also its ability to save battery life, reduce eye strain, and extend the lifespan of digital displays.
Alongside darker user interfaces, high-contrast designs will play a vital role in making digital content more accessible to a wider audience, including those with visual impairments. These design choices enhance readability and reduce eye strain, offering a more comfortable and inclusive browsing experience for all users. This also adds a modern and dynamic look to websites.
Cyber resilience: Preparing for the next wave of cyber threats
As cyber threats become more sophisticated, cyber resilience will emerge as a critical trend in 2024. Companies need to proactively invest in training, robust infrastructure, and incident response strategies, to predict and mitigate potential cyber attacks before they occur.
Automated response systems and recovery protocols will be standard to quickly address breaches, minimising impact and downtime.
Businesses also need to invest heavily in continuous employee training, fostering a culture of cyber awareness and security practices.
Digital sustainability is starting to closely mirror the global commitment for greener practices in the ‘real’ world.
This means designing websites that are energy-efficient, with optimised code, reduced data transfer, and eco-friendly hosting solutions. The trend extends to minimising the digital carbon footprint by streamlining content, using sustainable fonts, and implementing green UX practices.
There will also be a focus on longevity and scalability in design choices, reducing the need for frequent updates and redesigns, and contributing to a more sustainable digital ecosystem.
Zero-click searches will dominate the SEO landscape in 2024, transforming how information is accessed online. In the ongoing quest to deliver information in the quickest time possible, it’s not enough anymore to land on page 1 of the search engine results page (SERP).
With Zero-click searches, users can find answers right on the search engine results page, without the need to click on a website link.
As search engines like Google refine their algorithms, more queries will be resolved instantly through featured snippets, knowledge panels and targeted local business information.
Online businesses and marketers will need to optimise content for these zero-click spaces, hitting the sweet spot between user intent and search engine preferences.
Blockchain isn’t just for cryptocurrency — it’s set to revolutionise advertising transparency and secure online transactions.
This decentralised approach will enhance transparency, security, and trust between advertisers and consumers. Blockchain will enable advertisers to track and verify ad deliveries accurately, ensuring that marketing budgets are spent effectively.
For consumers, this means greater control over personal data and fewer fraudulent or irrelevant ads.
Blockchain’s ability to execute smart contracts will automate and streamline transactions, in a move towards more accountable and user-centric advertising models.
These trends will play a pivotal role in shaping a more inclusive, efficient, and dynamic online world. Matrix is at the forefront of these developments — let us know today how we can help you explore these trends, and embrace a more universally accessible and impactful online presence.
Stay ahead of digital trends in 2024 — get in touch today!
By Conor McCaffrey