Web design trends rapidly evolve, therefore forcing website owners to flush out the obsolete and incorporate the new to their websites. Unfortunately, not all web designer companies adapt to new trends well enough to keep their websites relevant. That being said, if you’re looking for a good web designer company to keep your website trendy, beautiful, and relevant, this guide will show you which parts of the 2015 web design trends are here to stay and which ones have to go in 2016.
Is the World Wide Web heading toward a uniform web design paradigm?
In the early 2000s, the general trend was to get elements that “popped out” to catch the user’s attention. Eventually, every website was cluttered with GIFs, sparkling and glossy icons, falling snowflakes, and other embellishments that Web 2.0 was known for. Today, websites are clean, efficient, and contain only elements that the user absolutely needs to see. That being said, the trajectory for web design is from aesthetic bedazzlement to user-friendliness. Nowadays, web designers, such as those from Bellevue web designer company, want users to find what they’re looking for fast. That being said, web designers are approaching a certain level of uniformity in web design, the embodiment of which is commonly known as “design patterns.”
Design patterns basically tell you how users are used to interacting with websites and apps. This allows you to create sites that, while allowing you to exercise your creativity, also gives users a sense of familiarity (like where to find the contact numbers, where the reply button is, etc.). Check out Google’s Material Design Guidelines to help you get a better grasp at design patterns. A lot of website designer companies also show certain design templates for the sites they create, which give you a bird’s-eye view of what your website could look like if you hire them. If they don’t have design templates, try looking at their portfolio and checking out the websites that they’ve created — a pattern should come up.
Design patterns are probably the most important elements of web design that’ll skyrocket into 2016 and beyond, as user’s needs are made top priority. While you’ll want a certain variation in the color schemes, images, and other elements of your site, you will need to perfectly balance this with a familiar arrangement of the elements, as well as the sizes of the buttons, font styles, etc.
Subtle and Classy
As you may have noticed, apps and websites are moving toward more subtle animations — enough to make a site come to life, but not too much that it calls attention to itself. Flash, which was once ubiquitous in Web 2.0 (who could forget the extravagant “click-to-enter” Flash introductions?) is now frowned upon in any website. In 2016, the trend seems to be pointing to a more classy set of animations, which consequently bans explosions, spinners, and other animations that either happen too rapidly or obscure texts or images too long that the user has to painstakingly wait for the animation to finish.
Here are some additional tips for animations:
- Animations must have a purpose, e.g., slide-in animations quickly show the user the new element overlapping the old, so as not to disorient the user with a sudden addition of content — this is useful for subscription boxes. If the animation doesn’t have a purpose other than looking good, then it isn’t needed.
- Don’t keep the user waiting! Swivel and rotate animations are known for this, and it can be a headache to navigate a website loaded with these kinds of animations.
- You usually can’t go wrong with an Ease-in or Ease-out animation.
All Pages Should Be Beautiful — Fully Loaded or Not
Notice how, in the past, websites would load all the texts first, then the images would have placeholders that would eventually load images by rows of pixels. Nowadays, everything is stylized, including how pages load. Some sites like Gmail, for example, would show a progress bar when loading certain elements instead of sequentially loading each icon. Some sites like Facebook do a technique of preloading blurred images in place of the original images to speed up the loading time. In any case, if you have a lot of elements to load, load the ones with kilobyte sizes and preload the ones with megabyte or even gigabyte sizes (except for videos — people with limited data will not appreciate your site eating up their data for something they may not even want to watch).
Another good way to load a site is by loading only the most current items and subtly loading older ones once the user scrolls past the new items. This creates a more seamless web experience while also preventing wasting the user’s data.
Just Because It’s New, Doesn’t Mean It Belongs In Your Site
When people were just learning to program HTML and its capabilities, they went crazy with a lot of technologies like GIFs, Flash, etc. — so much so that they’ve tried to find different ways to add them to their sites. The result? A mishmash of random animations assaulting users who dared to explore their bloated websites. That being said, avoid the temptation of forcing a new feature into your site just because nobody else has it on theirs.
Let Users Scroll In Peace
A rather strange web design trend that has caught on in 2015 is the manipulation of scroll speed. Notice how some sites add a little animation to each scroll you make? Most users find this feature annoying, as it disrupts their expected navigation pattern, therefore slowing them down. If people wanted a faster or slower scroll speed, they would’ve changed this at the operating system level, so don’t think that you’re doing the user a favor by animating and manipulating the scroll speed for them — they’ll end up looking for another site that lets them scroll in peace.
While there are more trends in web design like flat designs, it seems that some users are also veering away from overused design trends in order to stand out. The dilemma in web design is maintaining a perfect balance between creating something completely new and creating something familiar. If there’s only one takeaway you should take from this guide, it’s to make everything as easy as possible for the user. Do everything to make the user’s visit pleasant; your own aesthetic preferences should not stand in the user’s way.