Chris Lake, Search Engine Watch contributor, in his review of the latest web design trends, hopes designers will stop fitting every possible technology on the customer’s website “just because they can”. It’s silly to sacrifice the usability of a website by using too many features for aesthetics only. That is the main idea of web development trends in 2016 – be smart. Awwwards.com team considers that trends are shifting quickly and the definition of designing cannot be only based on the fashion. Generally, customers order websites to use them for few years. Due to this, developers must keep in mind that particularly popular trends in web design become out-of-date within six-eight months. So, developers should add only a few modern features to make it modern. Likewise, many modern web design trends do not stand for being pure innovation and use a lot of old features.
Everything for Users
2016 will become a year when a design is entirely dedicated to users. What does it objectively mean? Overloaded and slow-responsive pages, carousels, complex branding illustrations with a bunch of heavy JS will be replaced with smartness and usability in design. Thereby, responsive design became an obligatory thing as it allows to produce flawless usability on any screen.
With the evolution of the mobile industry, developers take inspiration from concepts that will be primarily suitable for mobile devices, and that determines modern web design trends a lot. A current task is to concentrate user’s attention on one specific action such as filling a form or a search field. Full-screen forms will be among the most vital trends of the year. Certainly, mobile users create new trends in web design and they expect blogs to become approachable services with almost flat design, sans serif fonts, and full-screen forms. Thus, concentration on contents is definitely necessary for fast interaction between a user and data.
It’s easy to build mobile-oriented design with minimalistic simplicity. Minimalism changed trends in web development few years ago and remains hugely popular with the growth of tablets and smartphones. Unfortunately, it became complex to design something unique and many illustrators use generic digital design patterns. It’s going to be a flaw for a business to make a platform incompatible with mobile devices since users tend to browse and purchase online while commuting.
Current web design trends are concentrated on using colors fearlessly. Vibrant colors are on the top not only in trends in web design, but it’s a real trend in fashion industry too. Consequently, a website has to be modern and stylish to fit its chic owner. Customers want to enjoy fancy illustrations while scrolling super-saturated website just like they choose bright colors of clothes and domestic stuff.
Earlier, only photographers and artists tried to show out using eccentric fashionable colors, but now even weather forecast sites use specific templates. Indeed, colors became an essential aspect of the latest web design trends for creating the illustrious image of a company or a product. Meanwhile, psychologists confirm that colors have a great influence on the perception of an item. Moreover, people get used to associating specific color shade with the specific trademark.
This approach comes for both text and scrolling and allows users acquire data easier. Although long reads remain a trend, readers prefer various patterns of block grids that break the long text into simple blocks, which makes reading more coherent. Modular scrolling is predicted to be one of the top trends in 2016. Users like blogs with sticky sidebars, which allows to navigate a service easily. Moreover, simple infinite scrolling is considered to be preferable for users rather than clicking to view the next page.
A Hamburger Menu
A great idea to simplify a site and to focus on significant data is to hide most of the navigation under a hamburger menu. This feature becomes more popular with the widening of mobile devices. However, this tool is very dangerous for websites of new stuff. Usage of such kind of a menu can result in customer’s annoyance and eventually a user will merely close the tab. Frequently, hamburger menu decreases discoverability as it’s not always obvious for the person where to click to get to the specific page of a site. Digital Strategy Manager Jennifer Cardello (at Nielsen Norman Group) and Director of User Research Kathryn Whitenton maintain that top-level categories
“is simply one of the most potent ways of helping users quickly understand what the site is about”.
The future of JS is not so bright as for the web design trends of the coming year. Analysts don’t make promising predictions for this tool. Users prefer smart and quick pages. They expect to see a simple page with text and few pics and they get annoyed with slow services overloaded with JS (but looking cool!). The main issue why JS won’t be one of the web development trends is loading speed. It’s merely slow and makes even a great site work badly, depreciating its features.
Although it’s not a taboo to add JS to a website, this feature shouldn’t affect performance. Interactivity is inferior to loading speed.
The majority of growing tendencies focus on users’ satisfactory experience. A website has to be fast, simple, smart, and responsive. Users anywhere with mobile devices have to be able to get the equal experience as those using desktops. It’s still possible to use a hamburger menu as it’s smart and a good-looking instrument, but there is no reason to use it for news resources or blogs.
The experience, which both users have, should be parallel or even identical.
It is highly important to emphasize significant data with colors, visual or sans serif fonts. Vibrant colors lead as the most popular way to highlight main features of the product. It’s possible to use contrast both on serious news websites and on personal blogs or portfolios.
Parallax Scrolling is quite popular now as it entertains and attracts people. However, it’s better to make one of the pages of the service with parallax scrolling, but it shouldn’t be the main one. On the other hand, modular scrolling is preferable as it allows to leave a sidebar sticky and easy to navigate for a user.