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A Blog Post

Web Design Trend Review for 2016

For 2016, we reviewed the design and development trends that are having the greatest influence on the presentation and functionality of modern websites. The filtered results are presented in bite sized format (a mini- trend to be aware of).

Flat Design is no Longer a Trend, it’s a “Thing”

Flat design emphasizes a minimalistic approach to the use of fancy stylistic elements that give the illusion of three dimensions (remember drop shadows, gradients and textures?) and is focused on the use of simple typography and flat colors. The web has grown up and refined it’s technicolor past into something far more elegant, so flat design is now a necessity component in professional web design.

hero image- a new trend in web designHero Images and Background Video

Since vision is the human sense we use to primarily interact with the internet, high definition large scale “hero images” are a great way to grab a user’s attention, and to convey an idea. For example, the hero image to the left of our website’s home page is designed to draw the user into the idea that the possibilities of web design are limitless.

With background video, the idea is to create a gentle movement of an entire image,to give the feel of being inside the website, not something sharp and distracting.

Long Scroll

In classic print marketing, placing all your important elements “above the fold” was important- that represented the physical reality of how people interacted with your content, which was often in an envelope. We have all long ago realized that the web is completely different. In recent years there has been a movement to stacking all the content on on long page. By now, everyone is accustomed to long scrolls thanks to mobile devices.

The technique works especially well for sites that want to appeal to users through telling a narrative. Most users report that long scrolling feels more natural. Abbreviated long scroll is what I recommend- don’t put it all on the front page but give your visitors a nice visual and interactive appetizer, directing them deeper into your web (said the spider to the fly…).

Rich Animations

Rich animations, like the one to the right, are a key concept in material design (ore on this trend below). They are being used to draw the user into the story, putting them in the driver’s seat and making the experience more interactive. Hover and motion animations when used sparingly can draw a user towards the next step in your marketing funnel, or the next logical progression in their experience.

Stock Images and Icons Trash Canned

We’re starting to see more and more websites ditching the use of stock elements such as stock photography and icon sets over something that feels much more designed and personal to the site itself.

Some websites are opting for using their own photography instead of a tired stock image for their homepage and subpages, and opting out of the outmoded free icon sets downloadable everywhere. Custom graphics, rich animations, and homemade info-graphics are becoming standard choices over stock. 

Responsive Design is Not an Option

You can’t really say that responsive design is a trend, because with the rise of mobile devices, it’s a necessity. Responsive design, or the ability of your website to morph for different screen sizes and device formats, should be built into your website by the developer. There is no need to spend big bucks creating an iOS or Android app that someone has to go to the extra trouble to download. Make it automatic for them.

card style layoutCard Style Layouts

Cards present information in bite-sized chunks perfect for internet digestion. Each card reps one unified concept. Their rectangular shape makes them easier to re-arrange for different screen sizes, a crucial aspect of design now. Learn more about how cards are taking over web design!

Responsive Design is Not an Option

You can’t really say that responsive design is a trend, because with the rise of mobile devices, it’s a necessity. Responsive design, or the ability of your website to morph for different screen sizes and device formats, should be built into your website by the developer. There is no need to spend big bucks creating an iOS or Android app that someone has to go to the extra trouble to download. Make it automatic for them.

Faster Loading Time

With high definition material and long scrolls becoming common, combined with the variability of mobile data speeds, it is necessary to implement server side compression and cacheing, and make sure all images on your site (especially the heroic ones) are optimized with something like WP Smush (if you use WordPress like we do).

Free site speed analytics are provided by website like GTmetrix and Pingdom.

material designMaterial Design

Material Design is one of the more interesting developments in web design to come about lately. An invention of Google, it’s a design paradigm that synthesizes the classic principles of print design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. It features tactile elements that remind us of paper and ink. It puts an emphasis on the user, using user- driven motion and animation to reinforce the concept that the user is the “prime mover”. Google also encourages us to see

“the material metaphor as the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement are key to conveying how objects move, interact, and exist in space and in relation to each other. Realistic lighting shows seams, divides space, and indicates moving parts.”

It mean that the user interface design on your website attempts to mimic the design of something in the physical world, made of “actual stuff”. Physical materials have recognized properties and are predictable. Objects in the website design obey the laws of physics and your physical manipulations.

Be A Trend Setter

Someone came up with all the above ideas or concepts, and the world of web design will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Knowing the current trends allows us to expand outside this framework and create something new and beautiful that enhances the experience of being alive- our goal and mission!

For more information, visit our main website http://www.holisticwebdesign.net

1 Comment
  • priyatamil on May 27, 2016

    Excellent post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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