A lot of our clients are curious as to what we predict will be hot and new next year. We anticipate that all the web design trends for 2015 will continue to play out in 2016 with everything revolving around responsive web design and the mobile user experience. For the majority of companies who survive on business driven by their websites, forward-looking is the only way to approach a redesign project. Below, we have outlined some of our web design predictions.
Evolution of Flat Design
Flat design was first introduced a few years ago with iPhone and Android sleek user interfaces and app design. Now it has become more popular than ever especially in the web design world. Everything from webpages, banners and icons are becoming flat if they have not already. By eliminating drop shadows, gradients, glows and other hideous Photoshop filters, everything becomes is stripped down to be more minimalistic, professional focusing on white space. Big, bold blocks of color are paired with simple, no-frills typography (think sans-serif Google fonts) to increase legibility for mobile users. Need inspiration? Check out these awesome flat design websites:
Long Scrolling Pages
With mobile traffic now having exceeded traditional laptop and desktop traffic, websites have amalgamated and purged pages to create longer scrolling pages because it is easier to scroll rather than tap / click on smartphones and tablets. Navigation paths have become increasingly shallow and similar information on these long pages is grouped into what is known as card design to further improve the mobile experience.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is adjusting your website for mobile devices for easier navigation, viewing and interaction with minimal scrolling, resizing, panning and scrolling. Any laptop website can be made responsive but of course, it is better to design your website with responsive in mind for the best flow of content creating the most optimal user experience. Even when Google announced that they would be penalizing website’s that were not mobile friendly earlier this year, an astonishing 43% of websites are currently still not mobile-friendly according to IT Works. Most website owners were aware of Google’s Mobilegeddon but had no timeframe of when they would go responsive. With last year being the tipping point of mobile device dominance, businesses can no longer afford to ignore these users if they want to survive this mobile revolution. Furthermore, Google also will not tolerate slow loading either so your responsive website has to load reasonably fast in order not to receive a mobile site penalty. If you are still unsure of your website, you can check it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. If you don’t have a responsive website by now, you can kiss any sort of Google ranking goodbye because you will be buried under millions of pages of search results. Please check out our portfolio for some great examples of responsive web design.
Interactive storytelling when done intelligently can more effectively convert users than any amount of SEO, crazy call-to-actions or visual elements can do otherwise. When the plot and climax are clearly laid out in an engaging way and the story is worth grabbing onto, users are more often convinced and converted into customers. Here are some great examples of interactive storytelling that have convinced us to scroll down the pages:
Video is one of the best ways to capture attention. Interesting video or animation can make people pause and watch increasing the time they spend on your website and interact with it. Displaying video as a full-page background and overlaying headlines and icons on top adds a level of dynamism that sets you apart from your competition. Here are some websites with video backgrounds that really engage their visitors:
While it is always great to keep up-to-date with current technologies and trends, a great website comes from a deep understanding of your target market built uniquely from the ground-up. Remember that originality never goes out of style. I’m excited to see what kinds of changes will play out in the web design industry to further mobility, interactivity, and video.