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Top 5 Website Design Trends for 2016

Thursday, February 04, 2016

 

In our modern world, websites are of paramount importance to a business. Too often, though, web surfers are forced to dig through outdated sites that are difficult to navigate. The truth is sites, such as this, can be harmful to potential revenue. That said, the blistering pace at which new web-based technology is evolving can make it very hard to keep your site up to date. Here are the Top 5 website design trends, to help keep you ahead of the curve in 2016.

 

Full Width Images

 

It’s true, we’re visual beings. Our brains are geared to interpret images. So naturally, large and inviting ‘hero’ images have become a mainstay of popular web design.

 

Full width header images, anchored or parallax, were a big part of 2015 web design trends. Of course, these concepts always evolve and 2016 will therefore see the use of more ambient video and cinemagraphs as backgrounds.

Ground-breaking web designs have prioritised the release of anchored background images over navigation in their functionality. Certainly a key indicator of the importance of big, beautiful photos in web design at the moment. 

 

Card Design Layout

 

This could be the real mover and shaker of 2016. Minimalism has been rampant in web design for the past few years. It’s taken on several different shapes and this might just be the next big one.

Included as a component of Google’s Material Design project, cards are already starting to take hold as a popular element of responsive design.

The concept is simple: give visitors to your website a selection of bite sized pieces of information. Each card relates to a single product or service on your site. The cards include an image, some text and, usually, a call to action button.

 

Video

 

Videos are not just to creating a beautiful backdrop for your site’s ‘hero area’. 2016 is predicted to be a year in which more video will be used on sites. What’s important is to use them effectively. Here are some tips:

  • A well-made welcome video is a fantastic way to enhance your visitor’s experience on your website.
  • If you’re selling a product or service, create professional demonstration videos so that customers are left with no doubt about what you offer.
  • Instead of uninspiring written testimonials, ask your existing customers if they’ll film a candid video. Seeing it can often be more effective than reading it.

 

Vertical and Long Scroll Layouts

 

According to some industry professionals, mobile website traffic will overtake desktop this year. That puts the issue of vertically aligned layouts front and centre, so to speak.

Long scrolling lead pages became an extremely popular web design element last year. This year they could become a designer’s best friend as more and more people access websites from devices rather than desktops.

The last thing mobile users want to do is spend their time tapping unnecessarily. So give them what they need on your lead page. They’re more likely to scroll than to tap a hidden menu. Besides, it’s proven that people don’t mind scrolling.

 

UX Now Drives Design

 

UX stands for User Experience. Popular philosophy among web designers is that entire sites should be designed with the user’s start-to-finish experience in mind. This means targeting a website’s architecture towards making a user’s interaction with the site as natural and intuitive as possible. The more interactive the site, the better the conversion rate from visitor to user to customer.

The ecommerce boom and the proliferation of mobile devices for viewing websites are two of the major influences behind the birth of true UX design philosophy.

Of course, understanding these trends is only the first step to having a pioneering website. Best practice is to use a marketing and communications agency, such as JEV, to help you squeeze every drop of potential out of your website.