We recently blogged about three exciting tech trends that we think could be the future of marketing. Most of these trends are far from being implemented into the average small business’ marketing strategy, but when it comes to design, we can confidently predict what’s coming up around the corner. 2016 is already showing some indications of what’s going to take off, so we’ve rounded up our top three web design trends that we think you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the new year.
The first of our top three web design trends is material design. Haven’t heard of it? Chances are you interact with it most days.
Created and popularised by Google, material design is made up of bold shapes and colours, overlapping elements, shadows, and motion to add depth to a design. Think of it as somewhere between flat design and skeuomorphism – the idea of making a designed item look realistic and 3 Dimensional. The result of material design is subtle, but just enough to add depth and differentiation between items on the screen. This style of design is certainly gaining traction, not just in logos but in web design, and we think they’ll be plenty more of it to come next year.
The end of the ‘hamburger’ menu
Next in our list of web design trends to look out for is the end of the ‘hamburger’ menu – on desktop, at least.
This style of menu became popular to make it easy to navigate websites on mobile, and pretty soon the design started getting popular on desktop, too. There’s only one problem – the hamburger menu actually detracts from the user experience when you’re viewing a website on your desktop. Why? Because it adds an unnecessary action in between moving from one page to another. Plus, some users might not even be aware that these three bars in the corner of the web page hold the key to finding more (often crucial) information.
The key to getting a larger audience – and therefore a larger customer base – is to make your website as accessible as possible. Letting customers engage with your website in the way that they want, will help build loyalty. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, but your competitor’s is, guess who is going to get more repeat traffic? Plus, simplifying your website with things like a clear prices page or booking system, makes it easier for your audience to take action.
As material design suggest, and as 2016 has shown, simplicity is the name of the game, and we think part of that will be displaying pages where users can clearly get to them.
Breaking the grid
Last but not least in our top web design trends – breaking the grid. Whether you work in web or print (or both!), grids are a great way to hold your design coherently together, and there are many reasons why a grid-based approach will help you create great designs, from keeping your content organised, to making your job quicker and easier, or just the beauty of simplicity.
However, there’s a growing trend of designers “breaking the grid” and looking for innovative ways to transform the traditional layout into something more exciting and innovative. This trend isn’t for everyone – there are plenty of businesses for whom a traditional and clean look is more appealing, but within creative and inventive industries, breaking the grid in meaningful ways to create narratives or contrasts is a great way to make your website stand out.