Most people think trends are reserved exclusively for millennials and fashionistas but this simply isn’t the case. Even websites need to be kept up to date with the latest trends and it can be difficult to know which direction to take when updating or improving your site – thankfully, help is at hand to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on in 2016 and how this will affect you in 2017.
Facebook set a precedent for microinteractions several years ago with their notification and message alerts: the icon lights up to indicate when a new social interaction has occurred – simple and effective.
Now, microinteractions are key to web and app design – Amazon have introduced their ‘one-click’ function, Google have given us a notification centre that can be accessed with a single click and various other sites have adopted this simple pattern of: indication, access, reward – maybe it’s time you did too?
Websites were originally made using frames – a single frame for a single page that layered over as though the user was using a textbook to some extent. In 2016, sites such as Pinterest pioneered card designs which is considered to be a top website trend.
Cards are basically icons that litter the screen with an image, a title and a brief description of the content on offer by clicking through. They can even be linked to the internet’s favourite search function: hashtags. Cards may not be suitable for all sites but they ought to be tried out to improve usability as people become more familiar with them.
Prior to 2016, animation was used to create basic GIFs or to make text fly around the screen and give the user a headache unintentionally. In brief, animation was never used correctly by the majority of web designers – an afterthought more than anything.
Now, we use animation to tell stories that would take up too much space as text content and to make websites more interesting for the user. Even animated menus make a website more interesting; small details that add up to big results.
2016 has seen web designers become much bolder in the colours and the colour relationships they choose to use. Low contrast colours were the preference a few years ago as they are much easier for the user to adapt their eyes to but these days are long gone.
With such vibrant images available on high definition televisions, the human eye adapts to higher contrast much more easily. Basically, we have become more used to bright colours and they can now be used for a multitude of purposes.
These are just a few examples of 2016’s top website trends but they will help to improve any website at very low cost and with next to no effort. More advice is available if you need it but the best thing to do is to look at the most popular sites and assess what sets them apart from everyone else.