Photo Credit: UXPin
By Eddie Maiale, Design Intern
Web design trends are consistent in one aspect - They are always changing. You could say it is a living beast on its own. Tackling the beast this year is no different. Trends this year include: moving toward a more minimalist design versus the 3D look, adding vibrant colors, an increase in popularity for infinite scrolling, and dramatic typography use. Every year something new comes in as the design community drives out the old. We will just barely scratch the surface of what is changing in the web design community.
Photo Credit: Awwwards (Example of Flat Design 2.0)
Flat Design 2.0
UXPin.com, a UX Design Platform and Web Design Community, gives excellent advice to any aspiring, or current, web designer as they describe the state of the web design world. To start off, minimalist, or flat design, is still emerging as one of the most popular design techniques being used in 2016. It cannot be said when exactly this form of web design started, but it has been trending for the past two or so years. What is different in designs in 2016 is the fact that Material Design, originally designed for applications, released Material Design Lite which is meant for website design. Elements from Material Design Lite play a large role in a new trend of web design as it is combined with “flat design” to create a smooth, simple to-the-point hybrid. This is generally known as Flat Design 2.0. New ways of attracting attention are needed now that minimalist design comes to fruition, and colors are an interesting way to do just that.
Photo credit: The Hype Agency (vibrant color overlay)
Vibrant colors are becoming more viable in web design as it is pleasing to the eye and creative to the mind. By using different hues and gradients we can help distinguish content. Color overlays can help convey a message and enhance the impact of a photograph. For example, blue creates a sense of calm and stability while red conveys passion and strong emotion. This can help your website grow as it engages the user, it grabs their attention and connects with their emotion. Albeit a bit different from the reaction to color choices, infinite scrolling is growing and increasing in popularity due to its mobile capacity.
Photo Credit: Pinterest (Use of “cards” and has an “infinite scroll” on it)
Infinite scrolling has become increasingly popular due to a boost in mobile device use. This, combined with the use of “cards” (like what you see on Pinterest), has become a popular design choice when designing for mobile-first. Infinite scrolling provides a nice, smooth experience for a mobile user as they do not have to navigate through several pages and wait for each page to load, rather they just scroll down and more results come up. This gives a natural feel to it, and it is a great UX design choice as the user leaves your site pleased and more likely to come back.
Photo Credit: Ashfall Design (Typography in Web Design)
Typographic choices in web design are also a great way to guide a user or convey a message. With the emergence of Adobe Typekit and Google Fonts, typography use has never been better. Each of these platforms makes it easy for designers to add creativity to their designs with typography. This trend will continue to grow (and I sense a boost in UX design) as traditional print techniques can now be used in web design without a severe impact on website speeds. I can see this also evolving into something new with addition to animations and full screen video backgrounds. The possibilities are endless.
Web design has come a long way, even from just 2010. Trends change from year to year but one aspect remains constant, web design is a living thing. It is constantly changing and evolving based on the needs of the users as we develop new and creative ways to navigate through content. Web design is relatively new (~25 years) compared to print design, but it has evolved into a beast that can tackle most of your advertising needs. We have learned that minimalism, colors, functionality, and typography are all UX design choices that are imperative in the web design world of 2016 for successful websites.