The future of web design: leading creatives discuss what's coming next

DA:  What would you like what we currently call 'online' to look, feel and work like in 10 years time? 

“I expect the lines between traditional and digital to be all but extinct. Two screen engagements will be commonplace. E-ink or e-paper will finally eliminate the mobile versus tablet debate. And a digital printer in every home!” JF

“A smarter use of online technologies in the future, with our environments comprised of connected devices sensitive to a user's needs. Ongoing technological advancements in areas such as haptics,  motion sensing and wearable technology augmenting our lives in more subtle and natural ways.” AH

“More of our interactions will be seamless, with technology working intelligently on our behalf, rather than needing to choose and input everything ourselves. I hope this means that interfaces become more capable, yet simpler.” LK

“Online changes as we change the way we control it.  Touch, voice, eye movement and brain controlled applications are maturing, and will eventually replace the mouse and keyboard in many fields of our lives. I hope it will all go smoothly, users’ data will be well protected and we will avoid operating system wars.” DK

“Seamless.” SM

“We'll have long forgotten about the 'page', 'navigation' and 'menus'; gestures and touch will be the primary way we interact with time and relationship-based streams of content.

“I want the online space to be uncluttered, intuitive and truly useful. We'll freely and unconsciously pay for online services and content, leaving brands and content creators free to concentrate on building digital experiences that are truly rewarding.” DM

“Opening a laptop, turning on a smartphone, having to log in to a Wi-Fi connection or wait for 4G to wake up already feels archaic. I expect this to be as seamless as opening your eyes, literally. Technology will surely become ever more real and woven in to the fabric of our everyday lives and bodies.” SP

“Online will be the constant state of the majority of objects we interact with on a daily basis. It will be regarded as essential as running water or electricity. Although everything will be online all the time, we will notice it less because the state of being 'online' will become completely natural.” PR

“I'd love it to be instant.  I'd like it to be free and available to everyone globally. I would also love it to have some other, more physical, manifestations and touch more senses.” FS

“The Internet changed what computers are for. Computers were workstations, but they became windows to the Internet; a way to connect people to each other and to data. Most people now don't need or want a workstation at home, but they want a window to the Internet more than ever. The next 10 years will see our understanding of how we interact with Internet and services broaden.

“The metaphor of a window to the Internet will always be popular, because as humans we like to look at things and people. Screens may be around for a while, but increasingly we'll see the Internet embed itself invisibly into the fabric of our everyday existence.” PT

“The idea of 'online' will dissolve into every aspect of our lives. We will constantly be connected, whether that's with your friends, objects that you own and all of your utilitarian services.” ST

“Imagine the elimination of logging in. Logging in to online sites creates a disconnect, distracting us from our natural living experience. Without having to log in, being ‘online’ would become part of our natural rhythm. UX is already becoming a part of everyday living, and in 10 years it could be even more predictive and integrated into our daily lives.

“Your ‘online’ experience might be controlled from one subtle device that communicates with all other devices; centralising control, data, trends and information sharing. Daily ‘online’ use could be fluid and seamless, with data tracked and interpreted to make us more efficient. UX could be tailored based on one’s tracked habits.” JW

DA: What you be most disappointed by if whatever 'online' becomes looked, felt and worked like in 10 years time?

“Creativity will be replaced by Google searches. Or worse… implants.” JF

“The proliferation of walled gardens, increasing online censorship, and government interference would stifle online innovation and create a more closed web for future generations.” AH

“I'll be disappointed if web design is still so focused around print design in 10 years time. Despite having so many great technologies, I feel as though our obsession and continual comparison with traditional print media has prevented innovation in visual design.” LK

“The web needs to remain free and open. No company should dominate.Everyone should be able to create beautiful websites with just a text editor and Internet connection.Otherwise we’ll lose it all.” DK

“People still citing Apple every two minutes – as brilliantly as they do stuff, they are the exception not the rule – if all we do is simply look in one direction, we'll have no true innovation.” SM

“Skeuomorphic, cluttered and ad-funded web 'pages'. DM

“Having to connect physically. As smart as the concept behind Google Glass is, there’s something altogether uncomfortable about it, but this is more likely to do with the fact that Larry Page can't present them without looking like a dorky, poor man’s Bond villain. I don't wear glasses and I don't want too – people who talk hands-free already piss me off. 

“I'll be disappointed if we are subjected to brands elevating pop stars as 'creative directors'. If is still creating 'products'; 'Here's an iPhone, and with a piff, paff, poof I make it in to an old-looking camera'. I mean what the fuck?” SP

“If the web is still pictures behind glass that we're rubbing with our fingers. If the way we're interacting with content is governed by abstract gestures or commands rather than direct manipulation, I'll be very disappointed.” PR

“If it remains static and predictable. I would also be disappointed if it’s superficial and not fully used to bring positive change to people's lives in all parts of the world, especially to those who need it the most.” FS

“I want to be able to have a load of different ways to interact with the Internet. The future I see is not the one they show in those glossy Microsoft  'world of the future' concept films. It's messy and not always joined up, constantly reinventing itself, and I accept with that will come a load of useless, wasteful and just plain bad pieces of interaction design.” PT

“Advertising on your toaster.” ST

“The worst thing I can imagine would be if the future ‘online’ was completely over-saturated and cluttered with cheap advertising, straying from the graphic design culture and standards that we’ve worked so incredibly hard to build. Obviously a lack of progress is never good, but progress in an unartful way would be very disappointing.” JW

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