January is peak time for talking about new web trends, but what are the trends that actually work? We've sorted through the 2016 web design changes and found the very best ideas for your business. Our Infomedia designers took a look at what’s here to stay (like Responsive Design) and what’s inspiring us in 2016.
Want to refresh your website with new web design trends for 2016, but don’t know where to begin? January is peak time for articles about upcoming trends, and it can be a bit overwhelming to sift through the new information bombarding your social media stream. Besides, not every trend is worth following — how do you know what’s important? We’re here to help! We rounded up our Infomedia designers and took a look at what’s here to stay (like Responsive Design, a.k.a. a design that seamlessly transitions between mobile, tablet, and desktop view) and what’s inspiring us in 2016.
Hidden and Flyout menus
Most users know intuitively that websites have menus, so why waste the valuable screen real estate? Menus that appear and disappear based on the user’s actions are in-demand. The “hamburger” style menu (the one that looks like three lines stacked on top of each other) is one you’ve most likely encountered before and now have learned to navigate on easily. You’ll see more hamburger menus in 2016.
Designers used to heavily prioritize all important elements that needed to fit “above the fold” (the part of a website you see before you start scrolling). Now, thanks to mobile screens that force users to scroll down, designing for above the fold is no longer necessary. One of our goals as designers is to direct users where they want to go in the fewest clicks possible, and vertical patterns can help. If big sites like Facebook and Twitter are using vertical patterns to their advantage, why can’t you?
Non-distracting main image
You’ve probably encountered a site with a beautiful main image with minimal text overlay. Again, this is being influenced by increased mobile viewing. In 2016, we’re going to see more sites with minimally detailed images or no main image altogether. Removing non-essential design elements can separate your site from the rest of the clutter, so it might be something to consider. Videos set as a background are being adopted as well, but we’d caution against anything too busy or long.
Think Pinterest. Card layouts are excellent for grouping various elements onto a page into their own boxes that can be switched around easily. Content separated into three or four columns can be repositioned into one, making various screen displays a breeze.
More people surfing the web on their smartphones means small images like text can look unreadable, so typography and color scheme have become more and more important. Use great typography as a tool to communicate your brand quickly and effectively.
Illustration & icons
Icons, like images, can replace a block of text and are easily scaleable for various screen sizes. Like an emoji in a text, icons convey a lot without taking up too much space. You can use them to communicate your message without being too wordy and turning off possible customers.
Material design has been around since 2013, but this year it may just take over the web and move from just websites and Apps to artwork as well. The basic premise is a compromise between highly realistic design trends and the flat design trends of yesteryear.
Speed and performance
Another ongoing trend for website design to keep in mind: Speed and Performance. Remember, the content on your site is priority number one, and future design trends will continue to be motivated by loading time and bandwidth consumption. After all, web design is all about balance between usability and aesthetics, so we can’t discount the negative effect long loading times have on user experience.
What’s your 2016 web design resolution?
Did you see something you like? A design that could work for you, give your business a leg up, or help your customers navigate your site more easily? Whether your site needs some tweaking or a full makeover, we’re happy to help. Just give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can talk about your ideas and put the best web trends of 2016 to work for you.