So far this year web design has been through a lot. We’ve seen the rise and fall of many trends that were thought to have great staying power – however with the sheer rate of advancement we have seen in design capabilities already this year, we are always awaiting the next innovation.
So, here’s Reactive Graphics’ 2016 Web Design Trend Prediction. We expect to see a lot of 2015 design techniques hanging on in there, such as minimalism and parallax web design as there is still so much more scope for them to develop. We also predict that some of the ’emerging’ trends of the summer are going to stick around too. Check out our list below and let us know if you have any trend predictions for the future!
1. Clever Menus
It wasn’t that long ago when navigating the web relied completely on clearly labeled horizontally listed menu items that offered users a’search and click’ functionality that was duplicated on every web page of a website. Then with the invention of mobile-friendly web browsers the traditional full width horizontal menu was forced to be minimised and simplified in order for it to function correctly on mobile. With this came the Navicon (or hamburger icon). Those three little lines, that most of us recognise as an expandable menu on mobile are now used universally across browsers and devices. This simple icon paved the way for more intuitive navigation and this thought-process has influenced the way web designers approach menus and links to other pages. Hidden Menus have been around for a couple of years now, with websites moving away from simple modular designs and web components beginning to inhabit the webpage in a whole new way. Menus now exist as hidden icons, providing micro interactions for users and allowing them to navigate their web journeys in their own way. Hidden menus effectively appear from nowhere and are generally supported by other navigational elements such as illustrations or directional icons.
We predict that hidden menus will become even more highly interactive and will be fully responsive to multi directional scrolling.
2. Flat design & Graphic Shapes
This year saw the shift away from realism into flat design and from flat design into semi-flat design which features some properties of both techniques. Many interface designers have been saluting the flat-design trend and we have seen it in icon design, logo design and (as shown below) in components of new operating systems such as Windows 10, launched this summer.
We predict that 2016 will see designers being even braver with the simplicity of flat design and combining that with graphic shapes in place of 3D images.
3. UX trumps all
As the web becomes more intuitive it is proving more difficult for non-user friendly websites to gain hits. Even with a brilliant reputation and a army of reliable followers, it will be difficult for you to continue to grow your online business if you do not take user experience into account. With such easy access to the web – and with websites and online campaigns being the front runner of marketing strategies more as time goes by – it is likely that web developers will be concentrating on refining the online user experience so that your website will have the capacity to speak the language of your business. 2016 will see advanced micro-interactions and streamlined navigation that is far more intuitive than ever before and the ability to tailor make your web experience, to however you want it will become something that users expect. Browsing will become a thing of the past and high-speed user centric web interactivity will be the key to increasing your SEO and overall business engagement.
We predict that UX will become the number 1 game-changer for SEO rankings and therefore overall online success.
4. Professional Photography
2015 saw the rise of the full screen cinematographic images and video in web design. Businesses love to show large full width impressive images on their websites however many also want the option to show multiple images and background videos that display in hi-def quality and are not compromised with what platform they are viewed on. Quality really is key with these images and we predict that companies will move away from purchasing stock photos and will begin to see the value in hiring a professional.
We predict that Photography and videography will become a big part of the overall website design and we predict web designers working closely with these professionals in order to create a sustainable coherent brand through development of design ideas and through establishing a clear overall aesthetic for the business.
5. App inspired web design
With apps being created alongside many websites for big brands at the moment, the app-style is one that is and will continue to take web design by storm. This is due to its refined UX and attention to detail with creating that personal experience for each visitor. The app like website is a sideline of minimalist design, with all unessential information removed and only the most needed functions available on the homepage.
We predict that more websites will be developed with login functionalities and with members only areas. A lot of companies may include this functionality to add a level of ‘exclusivity’ to their business as the web becomes more saturated.
6. Modular Scrolling
As a phrase this sounds kind of futuristic on its own, however once you begin to understand the functionality of modular scrolling it is rather simple. Modular scrolling is exactly what it says on the tin – it is a web page, broken in to modules or sections that can scroll independently from one another in order to make information more manageable. This compartmentalisation within web design has been quite popular over the last year with card design and grid designs being seen everywhere, however modular scrolling offers a different kind of navigation feeling almost like you have two websites in one.
We predict that many businesses with multiple strands may utilise this technique in order to differentiate between the different sides to their business.
So there you have it, our top 6 predictions for 2016. We see design becoming more simple and intuitive as time goes on and all of these predicted trends are built for sustainability as well as innovation.
If you would like Reactive Graphics to design a website for your business then please do get in touch.