Upcoming Web Design Trends
Web design has come a long way from cheesy gifs and table-based layouts. These days, no matter where you look, you will see big hero images, responsive web design, and increasingly large use of flat design. With so many changes, there is still one thing that has remained the same. It’s the search for unique web identity. As long as there is going to be a competition that companies can differentiate themselves from, there is going to be innovation and changes in web design. This article describes several important trends for 2016 and beyond. These predictions are based on our industry knowledge and many years of expertise.
Shift toward uniqueness
Responsive design has greatly increased the overall appeal of web pages and has turned mobile browsing into a pleasant experience. It has, however, also made many websites look the same. The formula is simple: a big hero box with bold text on the top followed by three boxes with the main content area right underneath them. While this approach to responsive design remains very functional and can be seen as a sign of maturity, it also gets quickly old.
We predict that companies that need to engage visitors on the first sight will need to come up with new and innovative solutions and avoid many cliché design elements such as the hamburger menu, large hero images, and vertically oriented scroll-focused experiences. Which directly leads us to our second point.
Richer multimedia experiences and custom illustrations
One of the most straightforward ways how to make even a ubiquitous layout seem interesting and unique is to incorporate custom illustrations, rich animation, or high-quality background videos.
The recent surge of popularity of cinemagraphs, still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs is a good example of what we can expect to see more in the future. Cinemagraphs are subtle, eye-catching, and sometimes utterly mesmerizing additions to what would otherwise be a mundane website. They stand out while managing not to impose themselves upon the user.
Custom illustrations and graphics are another fantastic way how to give a website more personal and memorable face. Homepage illustrations can effortlessly convey mood, attitude, feelings, or explain products and services. A highly skilled graphical artist may stretch your web design budget, but the end results are guaranteed to pay for themselves.
Flat design is here to stay
In the age where informational overload is a serious and tangible issue, minimalistic web design serves as an antidote to clutter, graphical inconsistency, and poor user experience. During the past few years, two most influential companies in the world, Google, and Apple have both adopted flat design to a great success. Google’s material design strives to mimic the tactile feeling of real objects with a clever use of shadows, colors, typography, and space.
We can see an increasingly large adoption of the same principles in many websites. Google Fonts gave designers and developers quick and easy access to a very large collection of high-quality typography for use in web pages and applications. The use of big, bold text and original monochromatic color schemes instead of images are very effective ways how web developers can save important bandwidth without making any compromises in terms of the final user experience. A readability can be aided with minimalistic icons that are instantly recognizable by the vast majority of web users.
Another very important element of flat design is the use of so-called ghost buttons. Simply put, ghost buttons are transparent buttons with a simple shape. The only thing that makes them stand out from the background is a thin line that outlines them and a plain, light text inside. Their main advantage is the ability to seamlessly blend into the background and give a superbly uncluttered, “airy” appearance. Their large-scale adoption wouldn’t be possible without users being increasingly more familiar with common design elements and thus requiring less obvious navigational hints.
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that no matter which road the world of web design takes, it still has the same goal – to make visitors stay longer and come back for more.
Hattan Media provides state of the art complete range of web design services.