As we prepare to ring in the New Year, it’s time to take a look back at the website trends from the past year before turning our eyes forward to the future. 2015 was a pivotal time for the Internet, with a number of developments that had a significant impact on web design. At Blue Interactive Agency, we’ve compiled a list of the most significant website trends from 2015, several of which will continue to influence web design in the upcoming year. We’re also ready to make our predictions for 2016 – after searching the latest web development news and studying the recommendations of industry insiders, we’ve identified the upcoming trends in website development Fort Lauderdale businesses will need to consider when creating their sites in the coming year.
Hottest Website Design Trends of 2015
#1: Responsive web design
With Internet users turning to mobile devices in record numbers and Google adding mobile-friendliness to its list of search ranking criteria this year, responsive web design was a shoo-in for top position on the list of web design trends for 2015. Responsive web design offers flawless performance on every device, with easy to access buttons, simple navigation, and viewports that automatically resize to deliver the best user experience.
#2: Single page, long-scrolling web pages
The growing popularity of mobile devices spurred the move from websites with multiple pages to single page websites where users simply scrolled down a long page. Some designers took the trend too far, with seemingly never-ending pages, but for the most part, scrolling websites delivered a much more user-friendly experience, since visitors no longer had to click through multiple pages to view all the content a site had to offer.
#3: Mobile-friendly elements
Several of the top web design trends of 2015 can be directly traced to the rise of mobile devices. This includes “hamburger” menu elements, the ubiquitous three bars at the top of websites that condensed menus so sites were not so squished on smaller screens, and pinned headers that ensured that logos, identifying info, and certain navigation elements remained easily accessible even as visitors scrolled down long single-page sites.
#3: Full Screen Photo and Video Backgrounds
Full screen photo and video backgrounds gave websites a bold, dramatic look in 2015. By splashing a dramatic photo or an engaging video across the entire opening screen of a website, designers were able to capture the interest of visitors from the instant they arrived on the page. Clear or “ghost” buttons were commonly used on pages with full screen backgrounds; with just a thin outline and a simple label, these buttons were the perfect complement as they didn’t detract from or compete with the impact of the background image.
#5: Flat Design
Flat web design favors simple, clear designs without any of the shading, beveling, or embossing that characterized the look of early websites. While the principles of flat design have been around for some time, the smaller viewing screens of handheld mobile devices helped to ramp up the popularity of flat design, helping it to grow into one of the more pervasive web design trends of 2015.
Top Website Design Predictions for 2016
#1: Responsive web design
Responsive web design will remain the dominant web trend in 2016. As mobile devices continue to grow in type and popularity, look for responsive web design to become so widespread that it starts to move from a website design trend to the established website design standard.
#2: Motion Design
Instead of simply showing boring, static photos and images, look for websites in 2016 to feature motion design – photos and graphics that incorporate video or animations that add movement to the still images without drastically increasing load time. Apple’s 2015 introduction of Live Photos (which combine a 3-second video with still photos) has brought motion graphics into the spotlight, but Live Photos can currently only be viewed on devices running IOS9, Apple’s latest operating system. The growing popularity of Apple’s hybrid photo and video format is certain to spur the inclusion in websites of other images that incorporate motion, such as cinemographs, animated and interactive infographics, which can be viewed using any operating system or device.
While full screen video and photo backgrounds were a top design trend in 2015, the pendulum will swing back the other way to favor minimalism in 2016. Minimalist web design incorporates flat design, then adds generous use of negative space, simple clean designs, and distinctive typography to stand out from the crowd. This web design trend will make a strong showing in 2016, as a way for the new crop of websites to visually differentiate themselves from the sometimes cluttered look of large-scale full-screen backgrounds.
#4: Modular design
Modular design, also known as grid- or card-based web design, was popular in 2015, and its use will continue to increase in 2016. Modular design is an effective way to present large amounts of information and images without overwhelming visitors, because it delivers content in easy to digest bites. Look for live tiles and creative sizes and shapes to add interest and drama that will keep modular design a viable design trend for 2016 and beyond.
If you’re interested in updating your website with a new look, Blue Interactive Agency is here to help. As our full roster of satisfied clients can attest, our dedicated