2016 will be another year forward for web design trends as we look to simply things further and build sites that are quicker, minimal easy to navigate. If your website is not responsive it needs to be. Responsive design was a trend a few years ago but is now becoming the standard. At 540 all of our HTML and WordPress built websites are responsive. Responsive design provides the most optimal viewing experience for a website regardless of the devise it is viewed on. So as you transition from desktop to laptop to tablet to phone, the website remains easy to read and navigate with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. Your website provides the highest quality user experience, which search engines take note of.
Here are some additional patterns you should be familiar with:
The hamburger menu: Some have a love/hate relationship with it’s use, there’s no doubt that it’s widespread use makes the function easily recognizable. Users no longer question those three lines in the top corner of a website or mobile layout.
Long scroll: The need to place all your important information above the fold is a well-known myth. Users are becoming accustomed to long scrolling pages now thanks to mobile devices. The technique works especially well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections.
Hero images: High definition hero images are one of the fastest ways to grab a user’s attention. Thanks to advances in bandwidth and data compression, users won’t suffer from slow load times. One common layout you’ll find is a hero images or sliders followed by block sections introducing pages of the website.
Hidden Navigation: Hidden navigation menus have become increasingly popular, especially as they can be used to save screen space.
Background Animation: A simple animated background can add visibility to a site, but should be used in moderation or it can be very distracting to the user. The key is to work on individual sections or create a gentle movement of an entire image.
Material Design: Google released its Material design language back in June 2014 but the adoption has been a bit slow. However, designers now have a better understanding of Material design and I anticipate they will start opting to use it more in their designs as documentation and examples become more widespread.
Material design focuses around dynamic elements that remind us of paper and ink. Shadows that are realistic, items that overlap do so with regards to reality, interactions stay inside of material and don’t impact other material around it.
Since we’ve seem to have reached peak flat design, designers are opting for the next thing, and Google offers that up in their Material design language. I anticipate many more sites to follow this same material design aesthetic in 2016.