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Kirsten Rostrup
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Web Design Trends to Look Out for in 2016  

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With 2015 coming closer to the end, and with the ever-changing environment of the internet at hand, it’s hard to keep up to date with what the next big thing for 2016 will be, and as a brand with an active online presence, it is important to know what’s coming.

As with all business fronts, not adapting yourself can be as detrimental to your company as not being able to stick to your brand. Therefore, when it comes to your website, you should be prepared to move forward without alienating your core audience.

Below is a rundown of a few trends that could be used to keep your website up to date:

Card layouts – presenting information in easy-to-manage, bite-sized chunks. This has been seen on both e-commerce sites, on brochures sites and can be a clear and easy way to get your message across. Each section can have its own aesthetic, and therefore, can suit the message you are trying to convey a lot quicker.

The hamburger menu – now that it is becoming more imperative to have a mobile responsive website, people are getting used to seeing these and now understand how to use them. However, don’t forget who your target audience is. If it isn’t anybody under the age of 30, think twice about this one.

Hero images they say a picture can paint a thousand words and online, it’s no different. Having a great image to capture the visitor’s attention can keep them interested. Also, with the advancement on bandwidth and data compression, this won’t slow your site down.

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Animations this can be parallax scrolling (background elements moving slower than what is in the foreground, giving the illusion of movement), loading animations, which can entertain users in a normally boring experience. It could even be something as simple as a hover effect as users automatically move their mouse to the section of the site they want to investigate even if they are unsure of what they need to do.

Scrolling menus – not sure how people are going to find the pages of your site? Having a menu that keeps up with the user can mean quick and easy navigation through the site and less chance of people getting frustrated by not finding what they want fast.

Cinemagraphs – not sure about having a video or an image on your site? Have you thought about a moving image instead? This can show more than a standard image, all without needing a visitor to actually take action.

Getting rid of the carousel/slider image – people have been talking about this for the past couple of years now and it seems to be a slow change. However, more and more sites are moving away from this, as visitors can find it distracting.

Centred content – position your main message in the centre of the screen and keep it clear and easy to read. This can work at its best when used on top of a great image with minimal distractions around it.

Graphic text –  with the advancement in fonts, moving away from the dreaded Comic Sans and into the more creative and design-based styles, typography has never been so important to the overall look of sites.comicsans-meme

Responsive designs – this has been a big trend for the past 12 months, however, not everybody has got on board yet and they will be missing out on both rankings and conversions in an increasingly mobile world.

As with all trends, it’s important to remember that they can come and go and to not go overboard. The most important thing to remember is that your website and your business is about the customer and not necessarily what you like or what is considered to look the “coolest”. If your target market is 50+ females interested in crafts, don’t have a site that has every bell and whistle available, it won’t help your conversion rate and could mean losing long-time customers.

 

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By Kirsten Rostrup


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