2016 Website Design Trends: What can we expect to see this year?

I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’re all pretty excited about this years design trends. Up until now things only went up, taking advantage of technology advancements to create beautiful websites and amazing features. Truth be told, the user is the final judge of a successful website and he’s the one awarding that title. Regardless of how much time and effort website designers, content writers and web developers spent on it, if a visitor can’t find what he came looking for or has to click too many times to get to the info he’s interested in, then he’ll probably won’t come back anytime soon.

So what does 2016 have in store for us in terms of website design and what are this year’s trends? How do websites in 2016 plan on improving the user experience and web interface in order to attract more visitors and convert leads into sales?

It’s pretty clear that responsive design has become the request of the moment, and it’s only natural considering 60% of all people use a mobile device to perform an Internet search. With such a high number, businesses can’t afford to lose any clients because they didn’t invest in mobile optimization. Under these circumstances it’s easy to understand why the high percentage of mobile usage has also influenced other changes in terms of website design trends.

The clear, flat and even minimalist design will continue to dominate the aesthetics of a website. However, Google’s new style language Material Design is another thing you can expect to see this year, as it brings something new to the table. Material Design focuses on appearing more realistic to a user through shadow effects and creating a sense of movement and depth. Even though it was launched back in June 2014, designers are only now starting to better understand and adopt it.

The need for responsive design has also changed the way we perceive the type of animation a website should have. Although we all love a good animation as it captures the user’s attention, the use of JavaScript is not recommended in the case of a fully-responsive mobile-friendly website. On a desktop version however, expect to see rich and subtle animations, everything from large-scale animations (the parallax effect or pop up notifications) to smaller scale animation that don’t require any input from the user.

Here we can include custom loading animation that make the time pass a lot easier when waiting for an item to load, or hover animations who are becoming more and more popular thanks to users who’ve gotten used to hovering over an item to get instant visual feedback and more information about a certain feature. Scrolling is no longer a simple animation, it has become a pretty common habit thanks to smartphones and also a key element in designing long homepages that tell a story through long-scroll.

In terms of how the information will be displayed, you should probably start getting used to hamburger menus even on desktop versions of a website, not just the mobile. Card layouts are also finally getting their deserved place in the website design world, a few years after Pinterest first started promoting them. They are perfect for pages with a lot of content that needs to be scanned quickly, or that needs to be categorized properly.

Stock images are also starting to be replaced by a company’s own photos, videos, or even gif’s. Custom explainer videos is also expected to become a trends in 2016, demonstrating how a product or service is supposed to work and save users from reading a list of features they might not even understand. Same thing goes with live product previews that are also meant to help users better understand the products and services a company is offering.

What other design trends do you think are going to get noticed in 2016, and what do you think about them?

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