As the year is just beginning, we wanted to pull together our picks for the Top 3 Web Design Trends for 2016 to help you plan for the year ahead.
Having a Site that Looks Like Your Competitor’s Isn’t a Bad Thing – Common UI Patterns Help Streamline User Interaction
You may have noticed that many travel websites have a similar look to them, for example, many sites use a hero image with a CTA (call to action) at the top of home page. With the rise of Wordpress, themes and responsive design, many sites end up looking like “me too” sites.
But having a site that looks like other sites isn’t a bad thing. Common UI (User Interface) patterns make it easier for users to know how to find the information that they want or need. And when you have mere seconds to convince a user to convert into a lead or engage with your content, using common UI patterns significantly cuts down on user frustration and your site’s bounce rate. Think about it this way, if all online shopping carts worked the same way, then there would be a lot less cart abandonment.
There is no reason to reinvent the wheel; similar looking sites that follow common UI patterns guide your users through your site and your goals easily and efficiently.
Creating Memorable and Shareable Sites Through Motion and User Interaction
Tactile feedback is something humans love, and having a website that interacts with users, such as reacting to their clicks or movements throughout a page can be a great addition.
Animations are being used more and more to enhance a site’s storytelling, making the experience more interactive and entertaining. Working closely with a design/creative team, a UI/UX developer should be well versed in implementing motion into the front-end of a website. However, you shouldn’t use animation for the sake of using animation. Consider whether the animation enhances your site, and if it does, show restraint in using it and make sure it benefits the user.
Building on the idea of utilizing motion for users to create a more interactive and pleasing experience, another direction the web is moving toward is fully-fledged user interaction. User interaction is a great way to build a memorable experience and covers a wide gamut of material, which is part of the reason why you should be considering it.
People like to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and being able to do more than click “share” or simply “leave a comment” will prove to be more lucrative for your website in the long run. Some popular examples of this are the Gawker Media network of websites running on their Kinja platform, where users can annotate and comment on images in an article even selecting specific parts of an image to reference. SoundCloud and Youtube also provide a great examples of User Interaction where people can comment on specific time points in a song or video, not only sharing their thoughts on the media itself, but the specific point in the media. An example in the DMO industry would be using virtual reality to tour your destination, where users can move around the virtual space by holding out their phones and moving it around.
An Increase in Mobile Search and New Devices Sizes Means Responsive Design Continues to Be A Trend
Responsive design isn’t a new trend. But we think that it’s so important that it required inclusion in this list because of another trend that continues to rise: mobile usage. Last year Google announced that mobile search overtook desktop in the US. With more and more searches taking place on mobile, and most website traffic typically coming from search, it’s more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly site.
Additionally, with the influx of devices with even more screen sizes and use cases, your development team needs to be aware and ready to handle the different sizes. Smart Watches, VR Headsets, and even oddball devices such as smart fridges with Internet browsers built into them, there are more screen sizes than ever to take into account. This isn’t to say that everything needs to be developed with every device in mind, this is simply just a reminder of the importance of using responsive practices.