Hello all, we have gathered for you a small list with what we think the trends for 2016 will be. Let us know your opinion in the comments section below.
As always, but especially in 2016, our design will be all about the user. User experience (UX) will be the new black. Our black. And yours too.
No one will care about how cool the design looks, if it’s not usable.
Google’s algorithmic changes, customer behaviour data… all of them point in the same direction, and that is “your website needs to load fast and be easy to use”.
Page Load Speed is a great issue with e-commerce sites. Adding just one second of bloat to a site means sales drop by 27%. So while everybody wants a site that looks cool, they will surely choose fast over too cool.
We believe that a responsive site is not optional anymore. Today, mobile is already the “first screen”. When it comes to rankings, Google is literally crushing sites that don’t offer a mobile-friendly experience (their latest Quality Search Guidelines For Raters say so).
Since mobile is now the first screen, user experience on mobile phones is key. A good responsive design will have perfect usability on mobile screens. Hiding a desktop function for mobile users is not an acceptable solution anymore.
Our responsive design will reach logos, banners, hero images and just about any piece of visual content you can think of.
App inspired web design
Not surprisingly, people are getting more and more used to faster browsing experiences in native apps. Designers have long proposed that websites should learn from app design’s quick wins (speed, zero distractions, tailored user experience).
Some people hated the now omnipresent Hamburger Menu or navicon. It was just a first step, if a bit awkward, in the direction of more intuitive navigation. Now, say hello to clever menus.
Hidden navigations that appear out of nowhere depending on the user’s actions will soon be the norm. Again, the key concept here is that users shouldn’t be distracted from what’s really important at any given time.
Even if we can’t see it at the moment, experience tells us that there is a menu on every website. So no need to worry, it will just appear when we need it.
Experts are predicting that clever / hidden menus will be fully responsive to multi directional scrolling. So how will this look like? As this is a new, evolving trend, there is no clear standard, but a variety of shapes and forms.
And we love that.
Modules and modular text
No one likes to read a dreadfully long blurb of text, right?
Modular design is a technique where everything is built using a block grid pattern. But this doesn’t mean a boring pattern, like a chessboard. In fact, it can mean exactly the opposite: hard to anticipate patterns, that make it easy for us to read and be interested in the different parts of a website / brochure / book, etc.
We’re gonna have so much fun!
Modular and infinite scrolling
What is the latest move in the whole modular trend? Modular scrolling. Meaning every module on a website may scroll on its own, independently from the other modules.
Infinite and modular scroll work on the same premise: scrolling down is easier and faster than clicking and it doesn’t interrupt user experience by stopping and loading another page. This is done by automatically fading in new content as the user scrolls down.
Material design has been appearing in this kind of lists and predictions since 2013, but it wasn’t widely adopted until 2015.
So expect to see those long, solid shadows virtually everywhere.
Even though material design came along to fix some of flat design’s usability problems, that doesn’t mean flat is dead. In fact, flat design will also grow to be even more popular during 2016.
With a lot of big brands adopting flat design in the last few years, mass audiences are more and more aware of the fact that less is better when it comes to visual style.
What’s more, flat web design has another UX advantage: image files weigh less and do not add an unnecessary burden to page load time.
You’ve been hearing marketing gurus here and there talk about storytelling as the next big thing. Well, guess what the next really big thing is? Visual Storytelling.
Storytelling happen with just about any kind of visuals. A short documentary, a 7-seconds Vine, a meme, a timely photograph…
They all can tell your story.
Do you know a better way to convey stories or pieces of information than with a neat infographic?
It’s time to mix infographic storytelling capabilities with the deep insight of data visualizations. Infographic and big data together? Sounds like the wildest dream of trendy online marketing gurus, but it’s already here.
With typography becoming a key element in any serious branding efforts, broad audiences are getting used to seeing artistic typefaces pop up everywhere.
Again, another success for Google, since Google Fonts is a big reason more people have ditched Arial for cooler and newer fonts.
Typography is a language in itself. A few years ago, only graphic designers were able to talk and understand that language. Today, more people are gaining access to it, thanks to the wider range of available web fonts. And we are happy to help.
When it comes to the choice of colors, the 80s will rule. Prepare for a world of bright pastels and rich, bold accent colors.
Big, bright color really started to emerge with the flat design trend and has continued to gain momentum. Google’s Material Design documentation furthers that conversation. And just take a look around Dribbble, where color is everywhere.
Color will stay big in the coming year.
Color is strog with us young Skywalker!
Grids and geometrical shapes
Our web design will be more grid based than ever in 2016. So much so, that grid layout is about to become a spec in CSS language.
But grids will not only dominate web design. The same can be said for any piece of graphic work, and this trend also permeates to another big thing going on right now: geometrical shapes and patterns.
This is hardly surprising, since modern minimalist design draws inspiration from the Swiss Style. One of the main principles of Swiss Design is that everything must be planned on a grid system.
But every trend has its flip side, and experts also predict that, as a response to geometrical shapes everywhere, there will be a rise in free-form shapes. These are just like geometrical shapes, but with dents.
No more Stock Photo!
Illustrations and sketches bring a fun element of whimsy to a site design. They can work for sites of all types and aren’t just for children anymore. The illustration style has also started to grow in popularity when it comes to some of the smaller pieces of website design as well, such as icons and other user interface elements.
What’s nice about this trend is that illustrations make a site feel a little more personal. Because an illustration or sketch style icon appears to be hand-drawn, it looks and feels personal for users.
That can go a long way into creating a connection with them.
Video & GIFs
You’ve probably noticed all those cool websites with video backgrounds. Granted, most of them take a long time to load, but that will change once people understand they have to compress the video as much as possible.
What’s more important is that video will replace images in lots of places, other than website backgrounds. Vine, Snapchat et al have gotten us into the habit of staring at short video loops.
So, Happy 2016 everyone!
7th Queen team of themes 🙂