Web Design & Development Trends to Watch Out in 2016

Dec 21, 2015
Website Design & Website Development Trends of 2016

The web world is changing at a rapid pace. What’s a trend today might be horribly outdated in a matter of few months. With the year 2015 coming to an end, we are looking to embrace future in order to seize new opportunities. What are the new trends that will pop up in 2016 and which ones will fade out? Here is a roundup of web design and development trends for 2016.

Flat Design will Continue to Evolve

Flat design came into limelight when the world bid adieu to gradients. Very often the gradient was eliminated by selecting one single color and applying it across the spectrum. It became the new norm, when Apple dumped Skeuomorphism for the new flat design concept. However, not a great deal of thought was applied to this switch.

A new trend of semi-flat design aims to eliminate the problems that flat design created by integrating depth and dimension of subtle shadows, card / tile, and transitions to help users.

Material Design

Google launched Material Design concept, an all-new style language which uses shadow effects, movement and depth to create more realistic design. The ‘card’ concept makes maximum use of white space, shadows, intentions, and motion to provide a layered approach to design.

With its minimalistic look, Material Design has a lot in common with flat design. However, It makes use of shadow to provide more depth when compared to flat design.

While material web design project seems limited to app design, Google announced Material Design Lite which is more suitable for websites. It uses Vanilla CSS, HTML and JavaScript to add the look of Material Design to websites.

Microinteractions

Micro-interactions help users do several things such as communicating a status or the result of an action. Microinteractions are small experiences that play a role in creating the final impression. While many consider microinteractions as inconsequential, they are future of design. Think about micorinteractions as building blocks to accomplishing a task, connecting different elements, and data feedback.

Each of these small interactions drives users to a path of more human-centered design. This concept transforms design in a more human-like manner and is a key to adoption and usability.

Renewed Emphasis on Originality

One of the major problems that designers and developers face is that it is very difficult to look different. The mass adoption of WordPress themes and templates make sites look very identical and it very difficult to stand tall among competitors. Originality will become the trend in 2016. Here are few trends and iterations that will drive originality in website.

Illustration

Custom illustration combined with animation will infuse much needed originality in websites. While there is no one-size-fits-all method or a proven formula to look different, proper implementation will require a great deal of planning. Storytelling is another way to stay original and connect with your target audience. This is a great way to showcase the product in-use, as well as provide user with direct access to view the product details.

Customized Typography

One of the most ignored aspects of web continues to be typography. If done correctly, typography can infuse life into your site. While fonts can be downloaded from the web, customized typography can put focus on your brand’s unique selling proposition.

Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs, a moving image provides an element of elegance and style when integrated to your website. They are light on bandwidth and much more interactive compared to still images.

Rich Animations

Animations are now being used widely; taking site’s interactivity to a whole new level and creating intuitive user experience.  However, you can’t go overboard with this method and simply push animation on any part of the site.

Large animations can be used as a primary interaction tool with the ability to create a deep impact on users with different types such as parallax scrolling and pop-up notifications. On the other hand, small scale animations include spinners, hover tools and loading bars.

Here are different types of animations

  • Loading animations: Keeps users engaged during site browsing, perfect for portfolios and one-page sites.
  • Navigation and menus: Hidden navigation menus to save precious screen real estate.
  • Hover animations: Visible when user puts mouse over content.
  • Slideshows: Showcases images without overburdening the users.
  • Motion animation: Add interest to mundane forms, CTAs and menu items.
  • Background animations: Animated background to improve visibility of a site without distracting user.
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    A Caveat:

    Don’t follow trends just for the sake of bandwagon effect or because they look like cool. Trends are popular techniques and additional way to reach out to your target audience. However, make sure that it works for your users before actually implementing it.

    Interested to know about mobile app development trends for the next year? Click here.

    Written by Albert Smith

    Albert Smith

    Albert Smith is Digital Marketing Manager at Hidden Brains . An experienced search engine specialist, content, social media marketer and a technical enthusiast, Albert frequently writes on diverse topics such as social media marketing trends, web & mobile app development best practices. He has worked with some of leading brands to build their online presence and scale their businesses.