Top Web Design Trends for 2016

Andrew Tuzson – Founder / CEO

The web is in a constant state of evolution. As technology continues to progress, websites are becoming a dynamic and interactive way of sending your message to your user base.

In addition, as user experiences are becoming more interactive, expectations for such experiences are following in tow. Now more than ever, businesses need to employ the latest design trends to help impact prospective customers. Buckle up. We’ve amassed our top 10 design trends for 2016.

Responsive Web Design

Websites are not just a desktop experience, they are a multi-device occurrence. Websites need to be visible on all types of screens and sizes. With RWD (responsive web design) this is not only possible but has quickly become an industry standard. This provides the best user experience, regardless of the device the visitor is accessing the site from. Google will even give you that gold star of approval when the site is built responsively for multi-device support – a gold star from Google means SEO success and gold standard status.

Flat Design

In collaboration with responsive web design, flat design has become a staple in the 2016 web design world. Many companies are using the clean, flat design to cut logo size as well as make these images easier to read on small devices. Just check out Google’s logo; they nailed it. Flat design is also a mainstay for infographics and icon design.

Material Design

For those of us that need a little more flare than flat design, Google has developed a set of design standards that helps create images that aren’t so “flat”. These are standards that separate the elements using the layers concept found in image editing software. This approach provides images more color and animation while simultaneously keeping the user experience in mind. This is a perfect approach for those seeking a stylish, visual design that embraces depth. Expect this approach to quickly become a standard in the web world.

Custom Photography

The days of stock photos are expediently coming to an end. While we’re not equipping our sandwich boards inscribed with the sullen message of “the end is nigh,” this shift has opened the door for genuine imagery. Many web agencies are employing a photography department to provide that creative and custom touch that users want. We understand that stock imagery still serves its purpose, but more and more creative agencies are incorporating custom photography into their deliverables.

Images > Text

Admit it, you scroll through Facebook to look at the pictures, and rarely read the posts, right? The same can be said for websites. Pictures catch our eye more quickly than text. SEO becomes a key player here with images they can index. Keep in mind that content is king, more specifically quality and relevant content. However, eye-catching visuals will increase the likelihood of a user slowing down and engaging with your message.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!

Less is more on mobile devices. The ability to keep what is necessary and strip out the fluff on mobile is crucial. Not only does this lend a helping hand to the aesthetics of the page, but this will also speed up the load time of your pages. Ideally, your mobile experience should present the user with roughly 4 to 6 images, per page, max. Developing with mobile in mind is a major trend this year!

Functionality Versus Aesthetics

Users are much more aware when the site is not functioning properly, and when the site doesn’t work, the user tends to leave. In the web world, this is known as your bounce rate. There should never be a decision between function and design. Good design bridges the gap between compelling aesthetics and reliable functionality. Period.

Card Layout Interfaces

Cards are a great way to let the user get a snapshot of the content on the page, and hovering can amplify the text descriptions. This design style was popularized by the Windows OS interface and it has quickly become a great way to organize content. Gone are the days of needing to dump droves of content on page. With this approach, content can be dynamically rendered on page when the user interacts with specific components. It’s a kick ass way of aligning content.

Hamburger (menus)

Or as we like to call them, short stack pancake menu. These aren’t going away anytime soon. Desktop and mobile users love the ease of this navigation tool. This delicious member of the GUI family was popularized by mobile devices and is quickly becoming common on laptops and desktops. Grab your ketchup because this tasty way of interacting with your users is here to stay. #nomnomnom

Large Background Images

Imagine this as the freeway billboard to your website. This image is big. It’s bold. It is the first thing users see, and the first impression they have of your site. This trend is taking off, and sets the tone for the entire website. This is a great way to connect with your audience, which increases the likelihood of a conversion.