Evolution can’t be stopped. New trends are born every year; old ones are fading away and some keep growing. It’s safe to say that you don’t want to be on a wrong side of a process. The year 2016 was full of common and modern UI Patterns, but also some retro visuals with looks of 70’s and 80’s. Only time will tell, what will have the most success in 2017, but you can already see some trends picking up the pace.
1. Grow of mobile first approach
Sure, this is nothing new to most brands, but mobiles and other smaller screen devices are officially primary way to browse the internet. That’s why more and more companies shifting their approach towards designing their layouts for smaller screens and working their way up towards larger screens. It’s not just matter of layouts. Smaller screens limit also amount of information that can be shown. Getting rid of a content, which is not 100% necessary growing trend going into 2017.
2. Cutting down on menu options
We have seen this trend already in 2016, but it’s highly expected to grow and take another step. Customers are looking for quick and easy ways to find what they are looking for. Right now, it’s common to see 5-7 menu options, but this will likely be cut down even more. Fewer choices lead to guiding users towards what they are looking for. Going with 3-4 menu options is the way to go towards more customer-friendly experience.
3. Material design
This is obviously not a new concept, but it’s another one of those that will rise rapidly. It’s also another proof how much Google rules the internet. After introducing Material design a few years ago, they rolled it across their applications such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive and YouTube. The material design uses geometric shapes to visually enhance their site, create depth, and realism. Some people argue that sites are starting to look the same and not much differentiates sites from one another, which might sound like trouble, but users are looking for familiar layouts and well-known environments on the internet.
4. Scrolling is the thing
Long scrolling websites have some pros and cons. They present a challenge to SEO and they require a little bit longer loading time. On the other side, it’s not such a big issue with still improving internet speed all around the world. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are examples of never ending scrolling websites. People are now used to never ending scrolling. That’s why we see menus and tabs often being left off in favor of putting everything on a one, long page. This approach changes the usual search for information into more of a compelling storytelling.
5. Grow of Google Fonts and Noto
After starting their project in 2010, Google introduced a Google Fonts service in 2016. It gives you an ability to preview fonts fast, see how they match different backgrounds and configure them with ease. Their database includes 810 fonts to choose from. Noto, Google’s own font, was born last year as well and is expected to make an impact. It’s mostly due to a fact that it’s not just free, but also available in 800 different languages. Yes, eight hundred! Wave goodbye to those blank rectangular boxes.
6. No use for stock images
We got to a point, where it’s time to take more original and creative thinking approach to your pictures in order to separate you from a crowd. Photography is always a staple in web design, but stock images are often lacking originality and emphasis on your own product. Original images create the unique identity in the market and separate you from a crowd. It helps you to create emphasis on a brand message and storytelling in your own angles.
7. Improvement of animation
As mentioned before, photography is here to stay. On the other hand, browsers and languages are becoming more advanced. Animation, in part thanks to developments with HTML5, CSS, and jQuery, is starting to play a bigger role in this. It can be used in many shapes and forms. It varies from loading animation, which can entertain users to animation while users hovering over a link. It’s very useful tool to get users attention and engage them to stay on a page.
8. Crafty typography
It’s not a completely new trend, but it’s getting bigger. Literally. Gone are days of minimalistic texts and strict rules. Designers love to show off their creativity in various different ways and typography is one of them. Once they master their craft, they start breaking rules. Typography has become an art. Big, small, flashy, retro… everything is allowed as long as it’s catching attention in a right way.
Having a trendy website can help you out in various ways which your visitors will definitely appreciate. It can improve your brand, make it more remarkable, engage your visitors and eventually bring you higher website conversion rate. Therefore, you should definitely apply changes every year and keep it up to date.