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Website Cards – The Future of the Web?

Website Cards – Are They the Future of the Web?

You may not have heard of website cards, but you almost certainly would have seen and engaged with them as you browsed the Internet.

As a leading digital marketing agency eapb spend many hours of our time helping other businesses maximise their web presence, visibility, usability, conversion rate, etc., etc. We see one of our prime jobs as ensuring all eapb clients are ahead of the curve in respect of the latest developments and thinking in Internet and digital marketing.

It is our job to foresee, predict and bring to the attention of our clients areas where we see digital marketing and advertising change taking place. Our ability to be successful in this aim however is not merely an exercise in crystal ball gazing. Whilst we can enlighten you to a possible BIG future for website cards through this article, it can often be a good idea to take a glance into the past in order to foresee the future.

Hence, let’s go back, Wayback! Internet Archive – Wayback Machine is a non-profit organization, based in San Francisco, California. It can call upon 416 Billion web pages saved over time, and is THE digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet.

It’s always interesting to take a backward glance at the look and feel of the Internet at a certain point in the recent past. In addition, we can see how various well known websites and brands presented themselves when they first appeared on our computer screens back in the day, and how they have subsequently developed since those very first steps.

We can for example see how Moneysupemarket.com appeared on the web back in 2003. In this example the contrast in presentation, style, content and appearance is stark, and can tell us much about where we have come from and importantly where we are headed.

OK, lets get back up to the present day and the latest trend that is website cards. We’re not thinking moonpig.com here! Much of what is driving the Internet as a marketing platform for businesses is the incresing importance of mobile, and web cards are gathering speed as the optimum design pattern for mobile devices.

What are ‘website cards’?
In essence web cards are a new and different way to approach web design. As more of us are either mobile when accessing the web or are using a mobile device (i.e. smartphone or tablet) to do so, the need and desire of consumers to engage with snippets of bite size information, presented in a modular way is increasing – rapidly.

In other words, you could describe website cards as the latest and currently fashionable way for businesses to display and present their content. If you are a music fan and use Spotify on your smartphone you will be viewing and interacting with web cards. If we think about websites and how we use them today, we can see that they are primarily used as pages and destinations.

The future of the web is seen as moving away from this traditional approach of many pages of content linked together and moving towards a far greater degree of personalisation of information, and aggregation of relevant and personal content. This is where website cards could play an increasingly prominent role.

We can see the use and application of web cards in action through Google Now. The goal here is to deliver the right information at just the right time. Google Now is about enabling you to see helpful cards with information that you need throughout your day, before you even ask.

This is the essence and foundation of website cards: bite-size pieces of information, personalised, aggregated to the individual and delivered to the individual via an always-on mobile platform/device.

Paul Brewster, June 2014