Start Thinking About Your Web Design Strategy with These Trends and Industry Forecasts
This year’s theme in web design Nashville, and across the world, has included simplistic design features, focused on a streamlined user experience. If you are a little behind in latest design trend, now is a good time to get started and learn more about the trend forecast for 2016.
Web design goals are different from company to company. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments, but remember to stay true to your brand and adopt designs that mesh well with your company’s culture and personality. Your online presence makes the ultimate statement about your mission, brand, and culture, so make it stand out by recognizing the trends that are waning and focusing on some of the new developments and projections for the future.
Design Trends That Are On the Way Out
Web design changes quickly, and keeping up with the trends can be difficult. Luckily, most of the trends that are fading from the limelight are easy fixes for your site.
- Autoplay – People use online content for work and personal use in a variety of environments. Many of us are accustomed to opening and browsing through several sites at a time on computers and mobile sites. Those that feature autoplay music and videos create annoying noise and distract from the overall user experience. Always give users the option to listen to your content instead of forcing it on them when they click on a link.
- Cluttered parallax – Parallax scrolling design involves layering content so that certain layers move differently when users start scrolling to give it a 3D effect. When effectively designed, parallax features can be eye-catching and fun. At its worst, the feature can make users feel motion sick or over-stimulated. Websites that opt for parallax scrolling today should carefully consider the user experience.
- Splash pages or modals – Today’s internet users are in a hurry. Most skim content rather than reading it in-depth. Any design features that prevent access to content create annoyance and are counterproductive to a site’s mission. Avoid forcing your users to click through popups or a splash page before accessing your content. There are many other, more effective techniques for advertising, earning subscribers, and getting your message across. Some would argue they are effective at grabbing user emails and they are probably right - but were they annoyed?
Give These Trends a Try
Other popular trends that were highlighted at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 have expanded and are still going strong into the second half of the year. Most highlight the user experience with minimalistic designs and flat graphics. Make your web design in Nashville stand out from the crowd with these beautiful and user-friendly design trends:
- Flat design – This trend will likely keep its footing in web design for many years. The simplistic nature of the design provides faster content delivery while improving the user experience through engaging, but easily digestible, visual and written content. Find inspiration for flat design with these 75+ examples.
- No header background imagery – Highlight flat design by foregoing background photography or other visually complex imagery. Focus on typography, color scheme, and a few simple accent icons or images to make your site memorable to users.
- Micro-interactions – Autoplay video and music are on the way out, but micro-interactions of all kinds pique visitor curiosity and encourage online engagement. Anytime you hit a “Like” button, add a star rating to a product, or click through the people you may know, you’re participating in a micro-interaction. They serve as natural engagement facilitators and help companies add more information on a page without inundating a visitor with stimuli.
- Infographics - Infographics provide the perfect marriage of visual and written content. Make complicated information easy to digest with interesting infographics. Try an interactive infographic that users can click on or engage with to reveal more of a storyline. A well-developed interactive infographic should be fun and easy for visitors to uncover new and interesting information.
- Grids – Pinterest, retailers, and several news outlets are using grid-layouts to break up written content with interesting imagery. Whether you choose to go full grid or add a grid to showcase your blog content or product offerings, the technique offers clean lines that are easy to browse through and engage with.
- Ghost buttons – In the beginning of the year, many web designers were in favor of flat, colorful buttons for social media, CTAs, and other button-content. Ghost buttons are low profile. They feature outlines in a slightly different color than the background imagery, but do not interrupt the visual experience. Ghost buttons are great for websites that feel “too busy.” To effectively use ghost buttons, make sure the action step is a focal point of the page
- Mix and match fonts – Handwritten, vintage, and other visually interesting fonts stand out on flat designs. Draw attention to your written content and branding by taking the time to find the perfect font personality for your site. Change up font types and sizes on a page to keep text visually interesting without having to rely heavily on additional graphics. Just don't go too crazy! 🙂
- Responsive web design – More of a design staple for web design in Nashville and throughout the world, responsible web design provides user experience consistently across all devices. When used in conjunction with other trending design elements, responsive web design can make searching for and taking in content easier and faster. Limited mobile sites of the past can’t compete with the complete experience offered by responsive web design. Our mobile responsive design is included in every website we build now. It's to the point of embarassment if you launch without a mobile responsive website!
- Long scrolling pages – If you have a large quantity of information to share online, consider long scrolling instead of click-heavy navigation. With better internet service and smarter web design features, websites are no longer restricted by the content they place on a page. You can keep your site speed while providing prioritized content in an easy-scrolling format so that all your site visitors have to do is start browsing through your page.
- Sticky features – Sticky website elements remain with a page regardless of how far down you scroll to read content. Popular sticky elements may include navigational cues, calls-to-action, micro-interaction pieces, headers, or social media buttons. If you have a particularly long page for users to scroll through, a sticky arrow can help visitors move from the bottom or middle of the page back to the top with one click.
2016 Forecast for Web Design
Get the most out of your investment in web design in Nashville by evaluating which trends are fads and which are most likely to stick around through the New Year and beyond. There are surely more innovative and game-changing trends to arrive as time passes, but designers and marketing specialists are already starting to predict what next year will look like. Consider these predictions for what’s to come as web design evolves:
- Originality will be rewarded – One challenge with popular trends is the tendency towards homogeneity. Every site is visually beautiful, but they all start to look the same when they use the same design elements. Look for 2016 to showcase a variety of different techniques that are customized for an individual’s or organization’s personality and culture.
- Flat design will evolve – Designers are already starting to incorporate shadows with hard edges to a few choice elements. Look for other subtle nuances to traditional flat design that will start to change the way designers approach flat design in 2016.
- Bright colors will set sites apart – In 2015, color palettes have been neutral and toned down. Bright color combinations and accents will start to become more accepted in a variety of industries in the future. Patterns may also become a popular go-to design influence to help websites set themselves apart.
- The Internet of Things will change design – As more functional systems start to go online, web design will start to accommodate an increasingly versatile range of interfaces. Whether you’re accessing a site on your refrigerator, a pair of glasses, or from your television, you’ll start to see improved and consistent design features across all online devices.
- A focus on shortened experiences – Action-oriented sites will start to use apps within apps to drive user engagement. There may be several different calls-to-action on a site that range widely, but will streamline the user experience for each pipeline. The navigational cues will also improve measurement and analysis capabilities.
- Long scroll may fade – Websites will start to design their websites more around the content. Some will hang onto long scrolling trends, but others with content-rich pages may choose to abandon long scrolling in favor of individual pages or sections.
Choosing Web Design Trends
Some trends will come and go, but the ones listed here will start to fundamentally change the way users interact online. Talk with our marketing agency for web design in Nashville about the elements that will complement your business or online goals the most before signing up for every trendy design element in the news.
Try to change up your web design every few years at a minimum to keep your designs current and engaging. Aim to go through the website every 6 months to check for outdated material and design influences, and invest in newer designs as needed.
Ultimately, the colors, layout, and content of a great website should be custom-designed for ease-of-use, clarity, and visual appeal. Whether you prefer a modern or futuristic layout or a more traditional style, mix and match the design elements that really speak to your brand and audience to make the most out of the online experience.
For more information about choosing the right web design trends, get in touch with our team of web designers at Social Link in Nashville.