Web design is a dynamic field and with each passing year, as time inches forward, many new design trends become the norm and some other trends become passe. With new tools, workflows, and best practices for making interactive layouts, the field of web design is always changing.
Let’s take a detailed look at some of the more recent trends in web design that will continue to wield influence for some time to come.
1. Material Design: A Richer Alternative to Flat Design
Material Design is the new visual language that was launched by Google in 2015. The goal of Material Design is to create elegant, futuristic designs that focus on UX. In order to create designs that appear more realistic to the user it uses shadow effects and the concepts of movement and depth.
In July last year Google announced Material Design Lite, which is more suited to websites and is also lightweight when it comes to the code. Lite uses CSS, HTML and JS and is aimed to make it simple to append the look and feel of Material Design to websites. Designers can use a wide variety of front-end tools to create their sites as Material Design Lite doesn’t rely on any particular framework.
2. Card Layouts
Since the launch and growth of Pinterest, Card Layout has become a popular design style for presenting text content and images. Since they behave like content containers, their rectangular shape makes them easier to re-shuffle for different device breakpoints.
As a design framework for managing large amounts of content – image, text, button; cards have ripen into the go-to structure for the container style of design. They are one of the most flexible layout formats for creating consistent experiences. These cards serve people to seek out information quickly in perfect bite-sized teasers – regardless of device.
3. Custom Explainer Videos
In recent years companies have taken to the trend of custom explainer videos. The purpose of an explainer video is to establish how a product or service works. Visitors may scan a list of features and still have no idea how the product works. Videos clarify everything visually and cover the important stuff in just a few minutes. Such tailor-made animated videos help in explaining and selling products or services, no matter where your clients are. Focusing on videos for landing page design is an in-depth study which is expected to increase with the passage of time.
4. Micro Interactions
Micro interaction happen all around you throughout the day, right from tapping an alarm to turning it off, a button color change to indicate it’s been pressed, a “ding” signaling a new comment on your picture — micro interactions all add up for a more fulfilling user experience overall.
Micro-interactions help you do several different things such as see the result of an action, to manipulate something & to communicate. Hence, micro-interactions are important part of any app. Each of these interaction types make users go to a path of more human-centered design. Such concept of making devices more human-like in their moments is key to acceptance and usability.
5. Richer Animations
To enhance a site’s storytelling, making the experience more interactive and entertaining animations are being used more and more. Rich animations provide an interactive and engaging experience. It’s important that your website should be interactive, yet simple. Animations can be considered in terms of two groups:
- Large scale animations are used as primary interaction tool that have more impact on users and include effects like parallax scrolling and pop-up notifications.
- While in Small scale animations you don’t require any user inputs like spinners, hovering tools and loading bars.
Some of the animations that are currently in trend are loading animations; navigation; motion animation; background animations.
6. Hero Images
One of the best ways to catch user’s attention is an impressive image. HD hero images are one of the fastest ways to grab a user’s attention. Its main purpose is to present an overview of the site’s most important content. To wrap everything up, three essential elements should be presented in your hero image- an eye catchy image, strategically delivering words & effective call- to -action. Hero image is the first & primary thing you see on a website and so that should have strong focus and visual interest.
Cinema graphs are also enjoying widespread favor. These are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs giving the effect of a video clip. They are revealed as an animated GIF or in other video formats, and can give the illusion that the viewer is watching an animation. They’re not new, but the success of “live photos” quite similar to cinema graphs on the latest iPhones play a key role in cinema graphs being listed as a design trend of 2016.
Remember to always apply trends in context. Never follow trends because they look great, only apply the techniques if they actually benefit your users. The best design is the one that makes users information seeking journey as smooth and engaging as possible. And your web design agency is doing their job if they are following this philosophy.