Web Design Trend Predictions for 2016: Secrets Revealed

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

7 SEO Predictions That Will Change the Internet in 2016

The world has seen SEO evolve in the last five years more than it ever did in the last two decades, but the entire progression of updates in search engine algorithms since Google Panda and Google Penguin drastically changed the playing field in 2010 has proven to be just the introductory phase. What started as an extension of SEO for mobile phones has become a territory of its own in 2015, thanks to the major Mobilegeddon update that gave all SEO players, websites, and other online marketers a compelling reason to comply with mobile Internet standards, lest they be penalized.

What does 2016 have in store for search engine optimization? Here are seven predictions to help you prepare for the competition.

  1. Direct answer will be the new demand.

Searching requires time and patience — two things that many Internet users no longer have. Hence, Google is emphasizing “direct answer” for its future algorithm changes. If you remember Microsoft Encarta, that is basically what Google wants — to give specific answers to specific questions in real time. Browsing and typing will be both minimized. Web pages may have to comply with simplified search algorithms whereas users are only shown the relevant parts, more like the combination of the Control+F function and search box.

Voice search, as expected, will play a big role here, especially that the use of mobile devices for online searching has surged in the last couple of months alone. SEO will no longer be a game of keywords and matching but of key questions and key answers.

  1. Mobile devices will completely dominate online searching.

The race is still very close, but mobile searching is increasing as fast as traditional computer searching is declining. It is a no-brainer to see that the future of online searching lies in the users’ hands, literally. The biggest SEO efforts should now be addressed to mobile users to tap this quickly expanding market.

When it comes to ad and app development spending, mobile devices are certainly on top of every businessman’s plan as they have already surpassed that of traditional computer devices as early as 2015. What more can happen in 2016?

Conversion from traffic through mobile devices is also steadily rising, so it will not take long before the majority of online transactions are finally done through these handheld gadgets. That also means businesses will be investing a lot in their own mobile applications, platforms, marketing strategies, and mobile selection interface services. In fact, businesses will no longer have much freedom to resist since Mobilegeddon — like its Penguin and Panda counterparts — now penalizes websites that are not optimized for mobile use. That is a pretty strict enforcement that you probably do not want to violate.

  1. Video content will be the golden standard for ROI in the B2C (business to consumer) industry.

Written content will remain the baseline for SEO practices, but video content is bound to give B2C businesses faster ROI (return on investment) because of its clearer message, more engaging content, wider reach, and potential for reaching viral status. You can attribute it to Internet users becoming lazier every minute, but to be fair, video-sharing websites Snapchat, Periscope, and Vine also deserve some of the credit.

Video and other media will still serve as major peripheral marketing tools for the most part, but SEO will start a compelling categorization of businesses utilizing this marketing strategy.

  1. Local searching will get even more specific.

How specific can local searching get? Apple Watch and the future of Google’s Project Glass are bound to make things more complicated when it comes to local searching (and experts are excited for possible surprise announcements in 2016), but until wearable devices become the norm for tech-savvy-ness, you have to focus on business listings and how to use local searches for a more targeted marketing strategy.

Google’s vision is to put every street and every façade of business establishment on the map, and online merchants are apparently supporting the advocacy to identify bigger but more concentrated sales funnels. Mobile directory search and mobile navigation services will also continue to become necessities for a lot of people, as proven by the upward trend in local searching. In fact, as of 2014, more than 70% of users who have used local business directories and navigation services have actually made purchases or store visits.

  1. Link building will become a prehistoric strategy.

Google’s very own trend analyst John Mueller said it himself: Link building should be avoided because of the many loopholes that bring it closer to a Webmaster Guidelines violation. There are still legit search operators that SEO players can use in looking for link building opportunities, but social media marketing has already taken the lead in this aspect a long time ago. Better focus your efforts on getting the “shares” you need instead.

  1. SEO will be a half-content, half-design Internet marketing strategy breed.

Search engine optimization is all about content. Unfortunately, Internet users are now becoming more visual and as already mentioned, lazier. They will be demanding more user-responsive designs that make everything they need readily available in just one look and one click.

As “direct answer” is bound to dominate Internet searching, websites should be prepared to provide the answers users seek without giving them too much text space to look at. Remember that mobile devices are not as spacious as traditional computer monitors are, so start thinking about what specific information and graphics you are going to put on their tiny screens.

  1. Google will try to monopolize everything.

Okay, that is a bit too far-fetched, but that is essentially what is happening. Websites optimized for voice searching are still at an advantage, but Google actually prioritizes its own sources when giving answers to “direct questions.” Unless your website is affiliated or is partly owned by Google, you may have to compete with other specialized search engines at the second page or at the lower part of the first page at best.

The technology is still too young at this stage and it just happened that Google has prepared for it earlier, too (which is expected since it is their technology to begin with).

The bottom line of these predictions is that SEO will no longer be exclusive to written content. It will also be about spoken content and graphics.