13 Nov The Top 6 Most Prominent Web Design Trends for 2016
The world of web design changes all the time. New technologies and user expectations shape the landscape, bringing new innovations to the scene every year. As 2015 comes to a close, we’re setting our sights on the year to come, and predict the following list to be amongst the most prominent web design trends facing us in 2016. Some of these are carried forward from last year, although some are gaining even more traction since we first wrote about them.
The Long Scroll
In the past, all of a website’s important information had to appear “above the fold.” Since most people were accessing sites from their desktop computers, and clicking the down arrow to scroll down the page was a hassle, this made a lot of sense. User experience has always been paramount. However, things have changed. Today, we’re able to scroll down a page with a flick of a finger or gestures on a trackpad. This is much easier for the user than clicking a button and waiting for a new page to load.
Long page scrolling refers to a nearly “endless” page that features numerous key elements positioned beneath each other. Apple has some excellent examples of long scroll done right.
If you’d like to make use of the trend, however, you’ll have to think about effective implementation. One thing to be careful of is the structuring your content in a way that allows your users to get a good overview of your site content without bogging them down with too many details. Then, allow them to dive deeper by clicking into the content they find most relevant.
The long scroll is an excellent choice for business pages, portfolio sites and even literary representations. As the biggest trends for 2016 and 2017 will be ease of use and overall user experience, long scroll and parallax designs will continue being incredibly popular.
Simple and Minimalist Design
Though websites are becoming more and more visual, minimalism is also a trend that’s gaining prominence.
The best websites have a purpose that’s known right from the start. The hierarchy of information is clear. Pages feature a prominent element and several supporting functionalities. There are no excessive decorations or elements serving no purpose at all.
Simple designs are great for traditional and mobile browsing. When in doubt, go simple. The more cluttered your design is, the less it’s going to appeal to your audience.
According to the Mobile Marketing Statistics report by Smart Insights, in the US, mobile users comprise 51 percent of those accessing the internet compared to 42 percent for desktop usage. The time spent on a mobile device has grown from 0.4 hours in 2010 to 2.8 hours in 2015. The conclusion is easy to reach – many of your website visitors are accessing your pages through a mobile device.
If you haven’t jumped on the responsive design bandwagon yet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with these visitors.
Responsive design was one of the 2015 top development trends, and it will continue dominating in 2016. Don’t fail to implement responsive design. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on a huge opportunity to please your audience and establish yourself as a leader in your field.
A hero image refers to a large visual that’s usually put on the homepage to make a great first impression. Being the main focus of the home page, these images are incorporated into the layout and are optimized not to slow down the loading or scrolling. Introduced to the public at large by Bing’s search engine, hero images are impressive and easy to use.
The reason why hero images are so effective is because the brain processes visual data much faster than text. This is why websites accompany their articles with interesting photographs and illustrations. Once the visitor’s experience is captured by the visual, the person will be very likely to learn more and take action.
Background Video and Animations
The background animations and video, which either play automatically or need a brief action to play, have also become quite popular over the past year. Passive video watching is an excellent way to stimulate the senses and get the audience to respond emotionally.
When it comes to user experience (UX) a nice background animation can bring focus on the right elements. It is also an excellent tool for visibility improvement. However, it’s best to use them moderately as overdoing it here will be sensory overload.
Hover effects will also rank among the top web design trends for 2016. Some of the most common hover effects incorporated in web development include zoom in, color change, border hover, fading, image flips and sliding effects.
Hover effects can be used to accomplish all of the following:
- – Put emphasis on the paragraph where the user’s attention is focused.
- – Provide information about an element on the page that the visitor is interested in.
- – Start animations for improving visibility.
- – Point to related elements on the page.
In 2016, web design will be more colorful, interactive and exciting than ever. Choose the trends that will help you deliver your message in the most compelling manner. Make your pages personalized and think about the preferences of your audience. This way, you’ll get to create the ultimate user experience.
At Brown Box Branding, we combine the asthetic appeal of each of these trends, as well as function integration that will allow your brand to accomplish your goals for 2016. We’d love to take a look at your site and spend a few minutes sharing with you how you can better position yourself for the year ahead. Just let us know how we can help!