6 Web Design Predictions for 2016

Robbie Moore

My prediction for the coming year in web design can be broken down into three words: Bold, simple and pure. Web designers will be going for bigger and better images and text to really grab visitors. They’ll continue to keep pages uncluttered in order to make the biggest impact. And content will be distilled down into its core essence. Through it all, color will see a resurgence. After the cool, neutral palettes of the past couple of years, brighter hues will saturate many websites.

If you’re going for a website redesign this year, don’t chicken out. Go bold, go simple, go pure. Combine that approach with some of these other trends we’ll see this year, and you’ll have a cutting-edge website.

1. Less Scrolling

Responsive design made it easy to scroll on any kind of websites, but for many designers, the long scroll went a little too far. Mobile design needs brevity, and long, irrelevant pages just aren’t useful. I predict briefer, bolder distillations of content than what we’ve seen in the past year as designers trim the long scroll and keep important information higher up on the front page.

2. More Animations

There’s a bigger focus on delighting visitors to your site, and one way to do that is to use elegant, gorgeous animations like a subtle color change when hovering over a button, or graphics that float into position when you scroll down the page. These techniques soften the web experience and makes it feel more like you’re at a spa — gentle and relaxing.

3. Hidden Navigation

You may have visited a website that has a full-screen image or video, a small logo, a line of text and maybe a button — but that’s it. You may have been stumped for a moment: Where’s the navigation? I like this approach, because it forces the user into interacting with the site. It interrupts expectations and makes people focus on the primary position statement. It’s bold, so it’s not for everybody, and having so little text on the page can affect your SEO. It’ll be up to you and your design team to determine whether the bold imagery is worth the trade-off.

4. Full-Screen Videos

This technique is a dramatic way to draw people into your site. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Videos used to draw too much data to run full-screen, but with 4G LTE and speedier servers and connections, it’s a great option to consider.

5. Quirky Illustrations

We’ll see a move away from “clean, digital, flat” with stock images to something more tactile, emotional and real. One way to do this is through quirky illustrations — Zingerman’s Deli does a great job of this, and has done so for years.

6. Better Stock Images

Speaking of stock photos, they’ll always be around, but we’re seeing better options. While it’s always a better option to generate your own images (or curate your fans’ submissions from social media), some stock photo banks are making an effort to be less blah.

Questions to consider before you redesign your website

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