Digital Marketing & Production

Team Mindshare

Top Web Design Trends in 2016

It’s been clear for some time now that organizations need to make their Web presence a priority if they want to thrive. More than ever before, consumers – both individuals and businesses – are turning to the Internet to research companies before taking any more concrete actions. That means that it’s incredibly important for firms to embrace high-quality, contemporary Web design in order to stand out and project legitimacy in increasingly crowded markets.

With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at a few of the most significant Web design trends which are likely to grow in popularity this year. By keeping pace with industry developments and standards, businesses will be better able to objectively rate their own websites and decide if and when an upgrade is needed.

Bolder colors and images

One of the best ways for a website to stand out and capture visitors’ attention is by strong visuals. To this end, a growing number of corporate websites are starting to focus more on bolder colors and powerful images. As Creative Market contributor Maria Anonietta Perna highlighted, improvements in high resolution graphic assets and increased bandwidth are making it possible for websites to present images and videos in high definition without forcing users to withstand long wait times or other performance problems. That opens up new possibilities for Web design in 2016.
Striking images are increasingly commonStriking images are increasingly common.

Notably, Awwwards contributor Jerry Cao highlighted the impact that HD hero images have to offer. By putting a striking, attention-grabbing landscape or other epic-seeming image at the top of the Web page, firms can make a strong statement with their Web presences. These will likely become increasingly common as the year wears on.


Somewhat similarly, look for 2016 to see a surge in the use of animation in Web design.

“Animations are being used more and more to enhance a site’s storytelling, making the experience more interactive and entertaining,” Cao wrote.

At the same time, though, Cao emphasized that animation will need to be deployed strategically for effect. Otherwise, the animations may distract site visitors, rather than enrich the experience. The writer suggested that animations fall into two groups, large-scale and small-scale. The former are aimed at directly engaging users, in the form of popups and parallax scrolling, while small-scale animations are more background-level – for example, loading bars and spinners. Both types are likely to see greater use in 2016.

“Vertical designs are easier to navigate on mobile.”

Vertical emphasis

Unsurprisingly, mobile will continue to have a big impact on Web design this year. One of the key effects, according to Design Modo contributor Carrie Cousins, will be an increasing emphasis on vertical patterns and scrolling. Vertical designs are easier to navigate on mobile, since smartphone screens are narrow and (relatively) long. To accommodate mobile users, firms will likely turn to Web designs that feature vertical layouts and more scrolling, less clicking.

More interactivity

One more trend likely to pick up steam throughout 2016 is an increase in Web design highlighting interactive, highly engaging interfaces.

“As humans, we’re storytellers and lovers of good stories by nature. Thanks to the magic of HTML5 canvas, CSS3 transitions and animations, state of the art JavaScript APIs like WebGL and Greensock, as well as the power of hardware acceleration, storytelling on the Web will be even more immersive and interactive,” wrote Perna.

This development is tied into the previous trend, as Perna noted that mobile Web browsing has made people more accustomed to long scrolling. That means that users are primed to stick with a website longer as they scroll down, creating the opportunity for firms to tell longer stories through their Web design.

This is just a small sampling of the trends most likely to have an impact in 2016. For companies to gain the most from their Web design and development efforts, they don’t necessarily need to embrace all of these trends, but they do need to make sure that their websites are modern, attractive and easy to navigate.

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