Payment processing company Stripe has recently released a bold new design for their website emphasizing heavily on interactivity and featuring a strategic use of the Material Design methodology. Stripe is already widely known within the tech industry offering an extensive API suite for developers and businesses to accept payments with ease. I have always admired stripe’s innovation and the scale of their positive impact on startups and the web.
Stripe’s team knows how to convey a message and their old website had already exemplified their understanding of users, thereby translating the knowledge into a usable and interactive design. The new design shifts away from dark gradients, limited content and static nature, to a new approach synthesizing a variety of methodologies.
Material Design Is More Than A Trend, It’s A Methodology
Without a doubt, Google’s Material Design had a massive impact on the design industry. It’s stated goals are to “create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.” While many mobile applications have changed their user interface adapting to Material Design and utilizing almost all principles, other startups and organizations used the methodology and innovation as a stable fundament or framework. Stripe is now a perfect example to illuminate the second group.
The new homepage features buttons, dropdown menus and cards, all of which are inherent features of Material Design, and are magnetic to your touch. The new vibrant color palette, interaction and images, also give the user a dynamic and fluid experience, while large parts of the site’s content remain static. This is a significant aspect for designers to understand. The beauty and emotions lie within the subtleties of a design. Not every part of a website needs to have some level of interactivity build into it and in fact, it is not about the interactivity nor the technology. It is fundamentally about the user, empathy and emotion.
Goal-Driven Design Is Changing How We Think
I still remember when the parallax trend initially gained momentum on the web. It was the new rage and everyone had to have it for the sake of having it. Of course I am not putting the blame strictly on the parallax effect, since the same could be said about other funky “features”, however it simply wasn’t utilized to increase the user experience.
The Parallax Effect: It was there, it was new and everyone else was using it, so what was wrong with it? A: There was no defined goal to enhance the User Experience.
Technology and automation have drastically influenced the way we do business, behave and make decisions. Creating a website has become easier than ever before and is significantly more affordable for small businesses, which don’t have the budget to hire a professional. At the same time, designers can now design websites directly in the browser or create interactive prototypes without knowing how to code. Frameworks and new innovation within the tech industry have made it easy to build and deploy a web application. The restrictions we used to face are disappearing every day and every hour. Companies have to adapt and face fierce competition in virtually any tech sector, however designers now have a new level of flexibility to design for a user interface without having to worry about the constant technological restrictions.
Precisely for this reason, we no longer have to place our focus solely on balancing technology, aesthetics and functionality, but can finally focus on the user, emotion and telling a story. Stripe’s new design truly displays this change and freedom by breaking the restrictive layout with multiple elements, while retaining its consistency.
What All Of This Means For Businesses
A skill which every business needs to survive and thrive in today’s world is adaptation. This doesn’t mean adapting to the latest trends and technologies, since that is virtually impossible. If you are a business owner, a designer or even an entrepreneur, keep track of your competitors and recent innovation. There is no need to redesign your product or website every week or month, but instead make subtle changes and gather data to make calculated decisions.
We still have only scratched the surface of technology, even AI is still in its infancy, but the impact we are feeling is enormous. Adapting to change is a vital skill, while resisting change will lead to stagnation and, eventually, failure.