It is incredibly fascinating to observe the evolution web design undergoes over the years. Sometimes changes occur seemingly all by themselves, sometimes as a reaction to changes in offline or online world; but the process never stops for a single moment. Knowing these tendencies, it is not all that hard to make an educated guess what web design will be like in 2016 – so let’s take a look.
The long scroll turned out to be one of the most notable visible results of the smartphone revolution, and in 2016 we are likely to see the majority of new websites built exactly in this manner, with old ones being redesigned to follow suit. The long scroll is no longer prerogative of mobile web design – even those Internet surfers who use primarily their PCs are long used to it by now, and designers trying to stick to more conservative choices can imitate a multi-page website by breaking the long scroll into clearly distinct sections.
Further Evolution of Flat Design
Flat design has been a by-word for quite some time now, but so far its implementation throughout web design world was a pretty primitive and simplistic one. Many undiscriminating designers take it for an excuse to be lazy, simply taking a color and using it throughout the entire element. However, there is already some development in this sphere – for example, Google did its fair share of work in this direction with its material design pattern. In 2016 we are likely to see flat design getting more sophisticated.
People love stories, especially when they find themselves in unexpected places, and front pages of websites still qualify. When a visitor encounters an intriguing question on the website’s front page, you take advantage of one of the most human characteristics out there: curiosity. Visitor is tempted to keep clicking just to find out what it is all about, and by the time he gets to the end of the story, your website has already left an imprint in his memory. Right now this approach is used only occasionally, but in 2016 it is likely to catch on.
Typical UI Patterns
As a result of widespread adoption of responsive web design and WordPress, most websites today are built along more or less the same lines. There is some variation, but again, these are variations of one and the same thing. It is, however, not necessarily a bad thing – it may mean that web design has matured enough to create an industry standard that aims at using familiar elements to make user’s experience smooth and effortless. If a visitor doesn’t immediately understand where on the website he can find what he is looking for, he is likely to leave – there are plenty more websites to serve his needs.
However, these are just trends; there is no need to use them just because the majority does so at the moment. They are effective (otherwise they wouldn’t be popular) but by no means the only methods to achieve what you need from your website. Check out my blog’s responsive design mantra here.