Web design is constantly changing. Even the hottest trends of 2015 may not survive in 2016 – a saddening fact that we will call the circle of life.
But the good news is that the internet is still evolving and developing. Fresh and new ideas are always popping around us. If you would like to know the web design trends of 2016 then just continue reading.
1- Motion Animation
Did that photo just moved now? No need to check your eyes. Those subtle animations that make you to look again are called cinemagraphs and they are the new trend in web design. Cinemagraphs are a series of videos or images edited into a continuous loop.
Cinemagraphs in other words, can be said as a mix of photographs and video- which gives us the benefits of motion storytelling, all without buffering. When you look at how Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, the two photographers who invented the term “cinemagraph,” use this trend in their website design, you can see that they have a background picture of Paris on constant loop and that the entire cinemagraph is less than 3 megabytes only. This even shows that you can load cinemagraphs on your mobile device.
If you want to know how to do cinemagraphs through Photoshop then here’s an awesome tutorial.
2- Background Video
Although cinemagraphs are great, don’t overlook the beauty of background video, which got into this list before.
While I love cinemagraphs, they are quite difficult to produce – it takes some sweat, tears and blood to produce those three seconds of beauty. However with background video there is minimal effort or error. Watch The Go Go Boys:
Notice how the background video changes between multiple mini-scenes. These background videos help brands to share their unique stories in a way that go beyond still photos.
3- Friendly Micro-Experiences
Internet in the early years was so impersonal. Words and phrases like “fatal error,” “submit,” and “invalid input” didn’t help things. Everything was functional and not very good … or human.
But fortunately nowadays the trend is moving towards human and user friendly experiences. It’s completely okay to add some humor and flair into your website. Creating “micro experiences” or playful little moments on your site will delight your visitor and encourage them to engage more.
Sprinkling personality throughout your website is what will make you stand apart from your competitors. Don’t be reluctant to use everyday language to humanize your brand.
4- Parallax Scrolling
If you have played an old school Nintendo game, then probably you are familiar with parallax. Parallax is the visual effect that you see when the background image moves slowly than the foreground image. It creates a sense of depth, which is really great because you are looking at a 2D screen. For example, check out this game of pet prince Borisz Kutya:
5- Smoother Opt-Ins
Opt-ins of the pop-up variety is really annoying right? Yes and no. If you are researching all day like I do then it can be annoying, but if you are a casual surfer like most, then it can serve as an effective way to get information freely. An opt-in that pops up when you are reading something may be unsolicited, but that doesn’t mean that it is not welcome.
Pop-ups are not the only type of opt-ins trending these days but applications like Welcome Mat helps you to customize it with images or video to make your visitors feel special.
One of the more pleasant design trends is illustration. Instead of photos and videos there is also a move towards including hand-drawn doodles, even if they are done in Photoshop. This type of illustration is unpretentious and folksy. It is an alternate to the digitizing of the web.
7- Mobile-Friendly Design
In April this year Google made a decree that all websites should be mobile-friendly if they want to rank higher in search engines. And that brought about the death of Pinch to zoom.
This is actually a good thing because 50% of the people use mobile to access the internet as against desktop computer. Chances are, a large portion of your users are visiting your website through their tablets and smartphones. Are you making them to double tap and struggle? So if you don’t want to lose your users to your mobile-friendly competitors, then make your site mobile-friendly.
Get Ready for 2016
Web design is fluid. One year something is hot and the next year it is a cold leftover but you don’t have to keep up with all the trends instead follow what is best for you. In this way you will both feel comfortable as well as satisfied.
Anu Sri is a web developer working on eCommerce website development for small and medium sized businesses. Apart from work, she loves cooking and playing chess.