Cards: The New Future of the Web

November 03 2014

Cards are increasingly becoming best of the design patterns for mobile devices. The web design world is currently witnessing a re-architecture phase where it is moving towards completely personalized experiences that are built on a collection of many individual pieces of content. Content is broken down into individual pieces and re-aggregated. This is reforming the web which is from many pages of content linked together to individual pieces of content assembled together into one experience.

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This assembly depends upon the person consuming the content and their preferred interests and behavior. Also, their friends’ interests, preferences and behavior; and the targeting advertising eco-system affect the aggregation.

It won’t be wrong to say that cards have become one of the predominant design patterns. The signs are already here.

Twitter moving to cards

Twitter recently launched Cards, its new technique to attached multimedia inline with tweets. Now the companies should get concerned more about how their story will appear on the Twitter card rather than on their own web properties. This is because the content will be seen more often in card format with this change.

Google moving to cards

With Google Now, Google is thinking to reframe the information distribution. This will be a move away from search towards personalized information pushed to mobile devices and the design pattern adopted for this is cards.

Where else are Cards?

Pinterest, as you might already know, is built around cards. The new Discover feature on Spotify is also built around cards. Even much of Facebook now represents cards only. Many components of iOS7 like the app switcher and Airdrop are card based and the list goes on.

Cards as carriers of information

Cards have been in use as a medium of information circulation for a long time. Trade cards helped people find businesses in the earlier centuries. We usually send birthday cards and greeting cards to our loved ones to convey messages. Then there are debit cards, credit cards and driving license cards. In short, cards are a great medium for lending quick stories. Even cards find their use in commerce.

Cards can be infinitely manipulated

Cards have an inherent capability to be manipulated as according to the requirements. It can be seen analogous to the cards in the physical world. They can be turned over to dissipate more, folded to hold a summary and expanded to provide more details, stacked, sorted and grouped.

While designing for screens, designers can easily take advantage of all these things. Even animation and movement can be put to use. There is so much to invent here apart from embedding multimedia content, photos, videos and music.

Cards find their best use on mobile devices and varying screen sizes. Mobile devices are indeed the heart and soul for the future of your business, no matter what industry you are in. Cards can be stacked vertically on mobile devices just like an activity stream on a phone; or they can be stacked horizontally by adding a column as a tablet is turned 90 deg.

Card Design Will Continue

Cards are the new creative canvas and they will continue to get better. In fact, it’s already quite clear that product and interaction designers will predominantly use cards; and the same holds true for marketers and creatives as well.

Cards offer a great way to keep things modular and rearrange columns without things getting messy, enabling the user to browse a lot of general data along with prompting them to drill down and check more. Cards are clean, simple and hold an element of versatility; exactly what the web requires. So be prepared to see more of it in the remaining 2014 and the coming 2015.

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