2015-2016 Web Design Trends

December 21, 2015

As more and more sites are striving to be “mobile-ready”, there’s been a boom in popularity of responsive web design. In fact, responsive design is hardly a trend anymore—more like an industry standard or best practice. There’s no doubt that responsive design is highly useful and versatile, so it’s certainly not going anywhere soon. What other trends have we seen in 2015, and what can we expect in 2016? The following lists some of the major trends to look out for:
Patterns amongst UI designs
Responsive web design has meant a lot of sites now look pretty similar, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Consumers have changed the way they use the web and have come to expect a certain level of functional, intuitive design that will guide them through a smooth experience (think logins or checkouts). A few patterns in UI design that that have gained widespread use in 2015 include:

  • the hamburger menu function
  • account registration forms
  • long, smooth scrolling
  • block grid or card layouts (think Pinterest)
  • large hero images

Increased scrolling
The infamous “fold” really is irrelevant at this point now that devices are so varied in size and it’s easier to scroll than click, especially on mobile. As mobile is taking over more of the market, we’re seeing more and more websites built around scrolling first, and clicking second. We’re also seeing fewer links, more buttons, bigger ‘clickable’ areas, and taller pages. Web sites that spread their articles onto multiple pages are expected to turn into longer simple pages or infinite scrolling pages.
Increased use of animation
Animations are being used more and more to enhance a site’s storytelling, making the experience more interactive and entertaining. Strategic animation also helps a website to stand out and pack more information into less space. A few of the most popular techniques we’re seeing are:

  • loading animations
  • hidden navigation/revealing menus
  • hover effects
  • galleries & slideshows
  • motion animation
  • background animations/videos
  • micro-interactions

Flat design, minimalism, & material design
Flat design, minimalism, and material design has been around for a while now and works well with responsive design and modern framework.  It’s likely we’ll continue to see characteristics of flat design for a while although it will likely evolve. A few characteristics we’ll continue to see:

  • long shadows
  • vibrant color schemes with heavy contrast
  • simple and dramatic typography
  • ghost buttons
  • creative iconography
  • lots of negative space
  • simple navigation
  • visual harmony and symmetry

Make sure your website is ready for 2016! To find out more about upcoming web design trends click here.

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