As I took a look around at the trends that were rising to the top as we move toward 2016, to me it all boiled down to one thing: personality. Yes there are a few functional changes that are happening, but elements are about making your site fun to use and as far away from the old-school corporate look as possible. So let’s dig in.
Here’s a look at the top 2016 web design trends:
Your website is meant to tell the story of your company in your own unique way. Since you can’t predict how a user will flow through your site and consume your story, there’s a rising trend to actually layout your site out like a storyboard.
This approach helps you guide a user through the journey you want them to take on the website, and when done well can be much more entertaining than a page of text.
Those of us that harp on the client’s user-experience are cheering for the emergence of customer-centric web design. The idea is to put yourself in the role of your customer, think about how they move through your website, and then optimize that journey for them.
We’re even seeing some companies create separate paths for different needs and then provide that choice up front for a more personalized journey.
Along the way, many brands are working in micro-interactions – little elements that make a site fun to use. This can range from a funny graphic, witty text or personalized data points.
Visuals Continue to Dominate
It should be no surprise that going into 2016 there continues to be a huge emphasis incorporating strong visuals into web design. But the specific approaches may be eye-opening.
Moving away from stock
You can tie the movement away from traditional stock photos directly to social media. The emphasis on original imagery from sites like Instagram has carried over to web design, as most people simply aren’t excited about the stock photos they see everywhere.
This is great news for photographers as it’s driving many businesses to seek out imagery that is unique and authentic to their brands.
Typography takes center stage
While you may not think of the fonts you use as part of your visuals imagery, that’s going to change in 2016.
These days there are so many fonts available for the web that using bold, colorful and mixed fonts can help you make simple design stand out.
I will put in a caution flag that sometimes less can be more when it comes to mixing fonts. But when done well, this is a great way to jazz up your visuals if you don’t have a big design budget.
The rise of illustration
We’re also seeing increased use of illustration and hand-drawn imagery on websites.
Why? Not only is it unique to your brand (i.e. the opposite of stock images), it can also be more relatable. Illustrations can trigger the imagination and allow people to put their own spin on the image, or even envision themselves in the scene in a way that photos cannot.
Mobile continues to exert influence
This is not actually a section about responsive design, because truthfully that’s no longer just a trend. If your website is not mobile responsive it’s a problem for your business and you need to correct it NOW! Stop reading this post and get in touch so we can get you on the right track.
The big trend that mobile has influenced for 2016 is in menu design
Businesses are starting to let go of a tradition navigation menu on their websites and opting for the condensed menu seen on mobile sites.
This allows for a greater visual impact and drives users to follow a specific path that you’ve laid out for them. However, the jury is still out on whether or not it actually makes your site easier to use.
Remember most users don’t want to work hard when they visit a website. If they are trying to find one thing on your site and get stuck without the traditional menu they are likely to leave.
So be aware of this trend, but if you intend to use it, make sure you’ve done a lot of homework and even brought in a usability expert to ensure your site remains user friendly.
See something that gets you excited? Let’s talk about it! Schedule a free consult now.