While most of these predictions make a lot of sense based on what we have seen being used lately, I’d like to dig deeper into these trends and analyze the top 7 web design trends 2016 has to offer, while providing some tools and resources in achieving the desired look.
Stock photos still play a major role in digital communication, whether it’s an eCommerce store, portfolio or blog. People use images to engage more with users and illustrate the message they are trying to send. For a long time, the web has been suffering from cheesy and fake looking stock photography with super happy people wearing perfect smiles and suits.
Websites generally are storytelling tools and storytelling can be more effective when visuals and motion are involved so the ideas and emotions can be transferred to the visitor easier. We’ve seen businesses implementing video in their websites. In 2016, this trend will grow even more with the endless possibilities of 3D graphics and HD quality videos to build that impression of real life experience.
Personal branding exists whether you focus on it or not. Your identity and your image (how you are perceived by other people) are very different. The main focus of personal branding is to align vision and mission so you are perceived as you’d like to be instead of people speculating and having different opinions about you.
Web usage patterns are changing and statistics cannot be ignored if you want to succeed in today’s market. Every third website visitor now uses a mobile device and websites that do not offer mobile optimised versions are causing an unpleasant experience and eventually losses money as users tend to abandon the website if it doesn’t render well on mobile device.
Modular or grid based design, also known as cards/tiles design approach, is not new in the web design scene, but it started to get more traction as it is reusable and very responsive-friendly with the tiles stack nicely on different screens and form a flexible layout that looks nice and clean on any screen size.
It simply makes more sense from the UX perspective – Rebecca Gordon’s research “Everybody Scrolls” shows that users love scrolling.
Scrolling is winning over clicking due to the changing web browsing patterns. As mentioned earlier, mobile device usage growth has influenced the way websites are designed nowadays. With smaller screens and super natural touch scrolling movement, people prefer to scroll around instead of clicking on the links and waiting for the content to appear.
One pagers gained momentum a couple of years ago but now it has started to make even more sense and people seem to enjoy it as it presents huge chunks of information at once in a nicely designed step by step flow.
Flat design was quickly adopted by designers and big tech companies like Apple that basically killed skeumorphism very quickly.
Some of the advantages of using the new paradigm are that flat design forces designers to focus more on content, pick the right colors to help users navigate through designs, and use white space with care.
The popularity of Google Material Design philosophy is being embraced by many designers and developers that lead to cleaner and more organized digital products which can be used without the users having to learn the complex curve.