What to Expect in Web Design in 2016

by Bill Reinhart

Web Design (1)

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It is that time of year again, not the holiday season, but “the web industries predict 2016” season!

This is the time of year when industry experts in web design and search engine optimization make their predictions for what we should expect to see in the next calendar year, as we are doing ourselves. (You can find such predictions here,  here, and here.)

Researching trends as an industry professional, you begin to see similarities and parallels in what experts are predicting. One thing most predictions don’t include is the explanation of how we relay and relate trends to clients, employees, and superiors. Ironically, this is wildly important.

When encountering something unfamiliar, it’s habit to push back. We’re uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. When a delivered design is something a client has never seen before, the response can be negative. But as web designers, we make design decisions in a client’s best interest. “I want to design a website that doesn’t get results for my client,” said no designer ever. #TheStrugglesofaWebDesigner

So, in the following article, I want to focus on 3 trend predictions in particular that will be the most widely used and crucial for businesses to adopt in 2016. I want to provide context for clients, employees and others concerned with business website design.

Why these trends? They focus on usability, interaction, and converting visitors to customers.


Material Design- Photo credit: Google

1. Material Design

Flat design rose in popularity through 2014 and 2015. You can see it’s prominence in almost every website released last year. The primary issue with flat design – it’s hard to distinguish usable elements on a page from purely aesthetic elements.

Enter Material Design.

Material design is meant to:

  • Add depth to page elements.
  • Interactive elements are designed to stand out.

This is a going to be a crucial piece in designing in 2016. Calls-To-Action will earn clicks by leveraging material design to draw users in.

2. More Interactive Elements and Hover Effects

output_yIw3BbMuch like material design, interactive elements and hover effects are designed to draw a user in. A higher level of engagement is reached with more interactive design elements.

Most web users are exceptionally savvy now. Their expectation of how a site should function is higher than it was 5 years ago (an epoch in ‘web’ years). Updating your site with interactive elements subconsciously creates a trust factor for your visitor.

3. Card and Grid Layouts

As websites become more and more unique, with large images, scrolling, and different ways to display data, we are always looking for new ways to deliver content to end users. Card and grid layouts are trending, we should expect to see more of them in 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 1.38.24 PMCard and grid layouts leverage the habits of modern web users, which can pretty much is summed up as having small attention spans. Users roughly spend only a few seconds on a page before deciding to click the back button. Utilizing cards to deliver digestible bits of information quickly, ensures the user gets the information they need.

Final Note

We’re excited to see what 2016 brings to the design world. It’s critical for business owners to adapt to the design trends to continue captivating and converting users into paying customers. If you’re looking to revamp your web presence to stay up to date with the latest trends, let’s get started today!

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