2016 Website Development Trends
For the past few years, website development has been focused on functionality and compatibility to accommodate the ever-growing number of mobile devices flooding the market. But now that mobile has leveled out, website development has shifted focus from functionality to user experience.
Users are spending more time on their mobile devices, but they could be spending less time on your website. Long load times, confusing navigation and cluttered design could be driving users away. That’s why website development experts are changing the design standards for typography, dimension and color by adding more value and consistency to the mobile user experience.
Material Design is Google’s evolution of Flat Design. Flat Design began gaining popularity with Responsive Web Design. The use of fluid grids, columns and images called for more streamlined design elements that would look consistent in varying sizes and be easier to view on smaller screens. Flat Design omits shadows and dimension and uses bolder colors. Sans serif fonts allowing for more white space, making it easier for users to process text.
In 2014, Google took Flat Design one step further and created Material Design. Material Design calls for the same bold colors as Flat Design, but uses an additional axis to add a small amount of dimension. The objective is to enhance the fluid experience of responsive web pages while leaving room to grow with advancing web design techniques. In Google’s own words, “Material Design is a visual language for users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.”
Less Stock Art
Designers are gravitating toward custom icons and photography to enrich the user experience. In addition to more creativity and personalization, custom design elements enable web designers to apply the standards of material and flat design to photos and icons that may not be present in the stock art that is available to them.
Video and animation are replacing stagnant background images in parallax scrolling websites. This increases user engagement and interactivity with a richer, more textured design that draws users in and makes them a part of the experience.
The best way to enhance the user experience in website development is to make it intuitive. Hamburger Menus are superseding drop down menus as a universally recognized tool to navigate to submenus on a website. A Hamburger Menu is an icon consisting of three parallel lines that can usually be found on the top left corner of a website.
While carousels are nothing new (think Adobe Flash slider), they are still a prominent trend among web designers. Using a rotating image banner carousel on your home screen enables you to include more content while maintaining the streamlined design of your homepage.
Many web designers aren’t huge carousel fans. However, if implemented properly, they can be useful. Here are some tips:
- Keep it under 5 frames of content. Users probably won’t look at anything beyond that and can get overwhelmed and leave the page.
- Minimize text and imagery within each frame and increase the white space. This increases legibility.
- Offer a static option for users to jump through the frames. This gives them more control over their experience.
- If there is a good amount of content in the frame, auto-forward is not recommended. It can frustrate users if the timing isn’t right.
There’s no question, 2016 website development is trending toward clean, simple and streamlined design. Innovations in navigation and design have enabled web developers to balance functionality with user experience for compatible websites that are engaging and easy-to-use.
Creative MediaWorks offers custom web development, graphic design and print solutions to the Life Science industry and their agencies with a focus on quality, deadline and accuracy. We achieve our quality standards through defined workflow processes, direct access to on-staff project talent, proofreading and quality assurance expertise backed by an uncompromising commitment to the most responsive customer service in the business.