This article is my first foray into the world of writing about web design trends. Well, it is actually more of a round-up of what trends I believe will continue to evolve in 2016 and beyond, minus the crystal ball prediction. Trends tend to run over from year to year. Many of them start their evolution years before they even become mainstream.
However, I will give you a few cautionary words before I go any further. I believe, wholehearted, that you should never follow a trend just because it is in vogue. Always make sure it is in the interest of the website visitor. Whatever the trend, the key to a website’s success is the UX (user experience). The aesthetics, design and technology should always complement and enhance the user experience. In short the visuals should support the functionality of whatever the user wants to do. Nonetheless, let’s get on with the web design trends that I believe are going to be sticking around for 2016!
Pinterest pioneered the start of the card layout way back in 2009. So, thanks to them cards are now common sights throughout the web. They act as primary content containers and provide a cleaner and more consistent interface. They also aid in breaking the content up into digestible bite-sized chunks. Due to their grid nature, they are a natural fit with responsive framework. The rectangular configuration can reshape and fit into endless screen sizes.
We will see the card layout continuing well into 2016. It will no doubt be applied to a variety of websites from magazines through to corporate sites. Who, in turn, will all use cards to showcase their wealth of white papers, case studies and articles.
It’s the small things in life that make our day and it’s the same with our online experiences. Micro-interactions are all about designing with the smallest details in mind. These little features aid, engage and enhance our user journeys.
Micro-interactions work well in many situations. Such as loading animations and call to actions which all encourage users to interact. Companies that focus on this user-centric approach will definitely reap the business benefits in 2016.
Navigation burger menu
Some of us love it, some of us hate it, and some of us don’t even know what it is. The little three-bar icons you see in the corner of websites and mobile devices are here to stay. It started off as a product of the mobile and app interface. But now this menu system has crept into desktop websites throughout 2015.
As with all web design trends, there are for and against camps. However, there is growing evidence that this trend won’t be too hot, but it will carry on popping up all over the web. According to studies users just don’t interact or look at the burger menu button when viewing on a desktop.
Scrolling will continue…
For some years, the debate of above the fold or below the fold on website design has continued to rage. With the introduction of smartphones, there was a need to deliver content to a smaller screen. This meant that scrolling was eventually going to become inevitable.
Like any web design trend, scrolling has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, endless scrolling with no clarity or hierarchy makes for a poor user experience. But, scrolling where a story is told through a journey of content, imagery and animation makes for a more interesting and engaging experience. It depends on how you use it.
You may not have heard of Material Design, but you will have heard of Google. Developed by the online powerhouse Material Design is a set of style guides that help provide a modern clean approach to web design with UX being at the forefront.
Material Design follows three core principles; realistic visual cues, design theory and movement that represents a meaning. With Google behind this new venture, we are sure to see its influences start to spread across web design in 2016 and beyond.
Last but not least, responsive web design (RWD). Google now actively recommend responsive web design and will penalise those in their page rankings who don’t use it. So, having a responsive website will still be a biggy in 2016. However, it is estimated that 89.2% of websites out there are still not responsive! Learn more about why you should have a responsive web design here.
So there we have it, my round up of what’s in store for web design in 2016. On the off chance anyone has any questions or would like to know more on web design as a whole please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on our contact page.
If you want to know about more possible web design trends for 2016 we’ve put together a few of our favourites below:
Have a merry Christmas and happy designing in the new year!