Every year brings new trends and evolutions in the art of website design, and 2016 has been no different. Some of these evolutions are holdovers from trends that have defined the web design field for the past year or two. Others are newer, really gaining a foothold for the first time this year. All of them are important to know about if you want your business’s web presence to be as cutting edge as possible. Here are four particularly popular web design trends to familiarize yourself with this year.
- Responsive Web Design
Neither the concept of responsive web design nor the popularity of it is explicitly new in 2016. However, there can be little doubt that having a responsive website is more important than ever before, and only becoming more so as we continue to surge into the future. Responsive websites are essentially just sites that have been built to minimize tinkering (resizing, scrolling, panning, etc.) on all manner of different devices. In short, a responsive website can tell the difference between a laptop and a smartphone and adjust accordingly to simplify navigation and usability.
Mobile has steadily been becoming a more important market for web managers for years now—probably about since the arrival of the iPhone in 2007. However, in mid-2015, Google reported that mobile searches had overtaken desktop queries for the first time. With arguably more people doing their web browsing on mobile phones or tablets, responsive web design in 2016 is a do-or-die component—not an optional one.
- Long-Scroll Websites
Another change that has been pushed forward by the prevalence of mobile browsing is the idea of long-scroll websites. For years, websites have had limited content and scrolling on their homepages, leaving most content “below the fold,” so to speak. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter changed that norm, creating long feeds of information aided by infinite scrolling. The longer you scroll, the more content appears. This concept of long-scroll design is making its way on many other websites—particularly sites that post a lot of content each day—largely with the goal of making sites easier to browse for mobile users.
- Card Layouts
Speaking of web design trends (arguably) inspired by social media, the trend of card layouts on websites seems to date back to the design of Pinterest. Like long-scroll websites, card layouts are great for showcasing a large amount of content on a single page. Publications that have different sections for their content are particularly taken with these styles, as they provide an easy way to present mini “feeds” or windows for each different topic or section.
- Animations and Videos
This trend is one you have to have noticed becoming more prominent over the past year or two. Static websites—even eye-catching ones—aren’t enough anymore. On the contrary, you need a site that greets readers with graphics, animations, or actual video content. That’s not to say you need a YouTube plugin that starts playing a video every time a user visits your site. Rather, your site might have a background video that plays underneath the navigation interface or an animated loading screen that greets visitors when they login. These features don’t necessarily add or subtract from a site’s usability, but they can be great for adding a unique branded atmosphere to your website.
Are you interested in learning more about 2016’s most important web design trends, or working with a professional website development company to bring some of these elements to your website? Get in touch with Brown Box Branding’s Seattle office to start building your website into a more state-of-the-art display.