webdesign trends 2016

Check out some of the hottest trends in webdesign in 2016. Including rich animations, microinteractions,  material design, better focus on UX design, flexbox and others. Read the whole article to discover the ways the experts predict that the web will change in 2016 and the best possible ways to keep up with the new best practices in the web design field.

 

1. Rich animations.

Animations make the user experience more interactive, engaging, and entertaining. However, you need to carefully consider whether animations actually add to your website's personality and story elements.

These are the most popular animation techniques:

  • Loading animations - these animations are designed to entertain and delight users during an otherwise dull experience
  • Navigation and menus - hidden menus have become very popular since they can be used to save screen space
  • Hover animations - these animations provide users with a more intuitive feel and instant visual feedback regarding a function they are unsure about
  • Motion animation - this is a great way to attract attention as our eyes are naturally drawn to motion

Animations make a website seem more like an interactive experience than a simple portal to find information about a certain business, product, service, or individual.

 

Of course, it’s important not to go overboard. Too much movement can scatter focus, and distract, confuse, and irritate users. Keep animations simple and thematically consistent. When I say "thematically" I mean from a storytelling perspective. Your site should unfold like a well-told narrative, revealing important details and guiding users through a path . Use animations selectively to illustrate important points or to indicate a required action.

2. Microinteractions

Microinteractions are the small product moments that accomplish one task and one task only. When you change a setting, rate a song, Like a Facebook post, search, or set a status message, you're engaging with a microinteraction.

Microinteractions are all around us, in every app, website and appliance. They're the brief pieces of functionality that can be utilitarian and forgotten, or be so interesting and memorable that they become part of the brand.

The best microinteractions start with an understanding of user needs and of the context of use. In other words, what do they want to accomplish and where and when is this occurring, both within the product and the environment the person is in? This isn't just knowing what the steps in the process are.

For instance, no one wants to enter their user name and password, but people do want to log in so they can get to their personal stuff. You can learn this in the usual fashion: by asking people or by observing what they do. Or you can make a guess and see what happens, adjusting in usability testing or after the product launches.

In a nutshell, microinteractions work because they appeal to the user’s natural desire for acknowledgement. Microinteractions fine-tune human-centered design by:

  • More control through immediate feedback — The user instantly knows their action was accepted, giving them more confidence in further usability.
  • Instructions — Whether blatant or subtle, microinteractions can guide users in how to work the system.
  • Visual rewards — Small but satisfying effects enhance the UX, and can facilitate a habit loop.
  • Meeting expectations — In today’s web design landscape, microinteractions are the norm — their absence makes a site seem bland.

In short, microinteractions improve the UX by making the UI less machine and more human. As a result, the design is more usable and enjoyable.

3. Material Design adoption

Material Design continues to be popular, and is now being adopted by eCommerce companies on a large scale. This vibrant, content focused design style has been trending since its release in 2014 and will continue to make waves in the future. It’s Material Design’s unified, tangible and playful experience across multiple devices and platforms that makes it so attractive for developing engaging websites.

Material design is based in 3D. It’s a better choice for those who do want some stylish visual design. Material design gives you some of the design elements back. You’re not stuck with only having solid colors or not having animation.

Material design focuses on mobile devices first as more consumers are using smartphones and tablets as their primary devices, too. It streamlines the website and speeds it up. Expect material design to become the standard in web design.

4. Flexbox

Flexbox can help us create flexible layouts that are optimized for the web and mobile devices. But are we using it? Many of us are still using floats and inline-block for layout. Of course, you know your audience best, so if you if you have a ton of users on, for example, IE 9 and down, and aren't prepared to create an acceptable fallback experience, you might be stuck in float-land. But there is an awful lot of green (support) in flexbox-land these days.

The second barrier is that it is pretty tough to grasp the concept of flexbox. While it is super-powerful, there are a lot of moving parts and it can be difficult to learn. But the ability to arrange page elements, and have them behave in a predictable way, across multiple screen sizes, is well worth the effort.

Flexbox can replace floats, positioning tricks, inline-block layouts and even – shudder – table display layouts. If you have ever pulled your hair out wondering why some seemingly simple layouts were difficult or even impossible in CSS, you are going to love flexbox.

If you want a fun way to help cement what you’ve learned in this post, I would highly recommend you check out Flexbox Froggy, a fun game designed to help you better understand how flexbox and its properties work.

5.Greater Focus on UX Design

The field of user experience design will continue to grow rapidly with more designers and developers taking notice. UI design is part of UX design but it’s not the final goal. UI is a means to an end, with the end being a fantastic user experience.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel when designing a door handle; two or three types of handles may be enough to cover all the possible use cases. Innovation just for innovation's sake, like trying to create a completely disruptive navigation system for your website or app, might bring you some usability problems in the long term. The question becomes: what exactly is the user need you're trying to solve by introducing a new interaction pattern? Robust and comprehensive interaction design pattern libraries are gradually letting us focus our time on what really matters for the user: getting things done in an easy and familiar way.

As customers interact with applications at a time, location, and device of their choosing, it will become increasingly important to incorporate real-world context. Designing in the abstract will only result in the learning happening later, when the application is available to customers, at which point it can be costly and disruptive to make adjustments.

Design tools can play an important role here in a few ways: helping bring in real-world data into the visual and interaction design phases; providing device-specific design-time previews; or enabling simulation of on-device inputs such as user location, so that the designer can get ever-closer to reality without ever leaving their design tool of choice.