Why 5G Is Going To Flip Web Design On It's Head

published on: February 13th 2020

It is 2020 and 5G's homecoming is right around the corner. The arrival of widespread 5G connectivity will have dramatic effects on how future website projects are conceptualized, structured, and built. This next generation of mobile technology claims to pack a serious punch. The promise is improved connections and much much faster speeds. If true, this will revolutionize our use of video in websites. Especially 4K and long-form. Video is already the medium of choice for the kiddies to consume information and entertainment. They love YouTube, TikTok, and just about anything that streams...unless it can be found outside and made of water. True. Before getting to our thoughts on what to expect in web design and development, let us first define what 5G is.

What is 5G?

Well, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology. It is a big step up from today's 4G tech that the mobile in your pocket uses. Estimates have it much much faster, like 10 fold faster on a bad day and 20 times faster on most. What does that mean? Well it means data will flow into and out of your mobile phone like the Niagara Falls. Seriously, files and data will pass between you and 'another' in milliseconds.

The truth here is the Internet's infrastructure is already blazing fast. Just think of your desktop and how fast it is when compared to your mobile. 5G promises that mobile will finally be able to harness and use that power.

5G was inevitable. The streaming services, that everyone has come to love, eat away at the available bandwidth. In a lot of places it is a big problem. This new technology should not only be faster but allow us developers and designers to create a more efficient data flow and better a web in general.

Why will this flip web design on it's head?

Video. See, at the moment designers and developers primarily use CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to make the internet beautiful, functional, and fun. All the lovely animations, transitions, and fun bits are created using these technologies. They are all we have to make the most powerful features (outside of great content) on a present day website. They do a great job. Heck, we do a great job using them if you ask me...but they have their limits and we developers by extension. Toss in competing browsers with varying support for the latest and greatest of things (we devs actually utilize a website caniuse.com just to see if something is adopted widely enough by browsers to be worthy of bothering) and it can get frustrating. We want to deliver for our clients and their users. Every developer will tell you that he/she has had many times where we wanted to go heavy on video but couldn't. Wanted to use bigger and better images, but could not. Had to hold back, omit, delete...Mobile's shortcomings hold back innovation and creativity. Mobile first literally holds back everything.True. Well that is going to change. Video is king. Let's be clearer. Video will be king. Just imagine going onto a website looking for dinner ideas and the chef is live streaming the making of the night's special. The smoke wafting from the pan, the sizzles and pops, and seasonings being tossed about. Beats an image slider right? How about the local live music bar? See where this is heading. Everything will be bigger and better. The possibilities will be endless.

Animations. Currently most of us use JavaScript libraries and/or CSS key-frames for animation. 5G will end this. Anyone who has ever made video animations in After Effects can attest that it is much better than anything we can do with CSS or JS. Easier too. Only reason we don't use them...4G and bandwidth. That is not going to be the case. Does this mean that CSS going away? No. You still have to style the div. We are talking the bulk of animations. There is not a chance on earth we'll be CSS key-framing anything.

YouTube-ization. The previous two effects will happen over night. This will take a bit longer and be the most transformative . You can take this to the bank. Websites are going to be image and reputation enhancing video-based commercials. Lighthearted, responsible, trustworthy, wholesome, and cutting edge are just a few of the characteristics businesses strive to paint themselves. These are all easier to convey with video and the right soundtrack. It won't take long for the first big company to crush with that format before everyone has to. Next - video product cards. Hear us out. Imagine you are online shopping for a dress. You head to your favorite clothier to check their latest dress selections. You see a dress that looks great. You click on the dress's image to go to it's product page and up pops a video of this gorgeous model dancing away on a warm Parisian summer night ...in that very dress. Well, it is going to happen. It's true. We're going to do it. We think conversion rates will go up up and away?