Since Google’s drive to become more “mobile ready” last year, the main emphasis has been on responsive design websites, as it is just as important today for a website to look good on mobile devices, tablets and smartphones as they do on laptops and desktops. To make sure modern websites look great on all these device sizes and perform their functions efficiently, various trends are cropping up more often.
Some trends that are emerging that are emerging as forerunners in web design in 2016 so far include:
- User centred design
The average user only spends 10-15 seconds on a web page, and the only way to hook them during this time is to offer something of value. Having useful, informative content presented immediately is now essential. Anything above the fold is going to be seen straight away, and if it isn’t good enough, anything below the fold probably won’t be seen at all.
- More of material design
Material design is Google’s UX-focused “design language” which you will have seen around if you use Google Search, Google+ or pretty much any Android device. It’s ideal for creating flat layouts in various colours that look clean, fun and professional. Since material design is a minimalistic look that lends itself well to all sorts of designs, it’s perfect for responsive web templates so we’re seeing it more and more.
- Single page web design
Single page designs solve the problem of having to trawl through useless information to get to the good stuff. A combination of factors has led to minimalist, one-page web design taking off in the last year, and with attention spans shrinking and different options available online increasing in number by the second, it stands to reason this will take off even further later in 2016.
- Modular design
How can you keep your website organised if you’re posting tons of unrelated, media-rich content every day? One option is modular design, arranging different posts in a clean grid format. This is easy on the eyes because it’s immediately clear how different content is separated, but you can fill any sized screen with the maximum range of content. Showing off today’s highlights as soon as someone clicks onto your site is a great plan, so we expect modular design to be adopted by many more media outlets, and even business websites.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) allow images, logos and animations to be viewable (and most importantly, zoomable) on any size display. Even the new Google logo introduced last year takes this form. Web-optimised JPGs are becoming redundant now all mainstream browsers support SVG images and our Internet connections are faster, so these are bound to appear more in web design this year.
- Responsive web design
This is hardly news, but it’s being taken more seriously now than ever before. It’s often the easiest way to cater to users visiting your website from different sized devices, and last time we checked, mobile device usage is still pretty massive. We expect as people learn more about which designs work best, responsive options are going to continue multiplying in 2016.
Google Fonts allows a wide range of fonts to be available instantly to basically any website, so gone are the days when developers were restricted to basic options. A good font can completely change the look and feel of your website, and brands are becoming increasingly savvy about using typography to make connections between ideas and images in their online marketing.