Web Design Trends 2016: Transforming User Experience

The phrase "You've come a long way baby!" has never been more true than the past few years of developments in web design. In 2016 emerging web design trends that popped up in the past few years seem to be gaining momentum, radically changing the way viewers interact with the websites they visit. Below, I'll explore a few of the top trends for website design in 2016.

HTML5 Expands Website Design in 2015

What you see on your screen when you visit a website is controlled by the computer code that lies behind that particular website. This underlying code also defines the functionality the web site offers, and much more. One of the most exciting changes likely to gain momentum in 2014 is the use of HTML5 in website design, the latest official markup language on the web. The history of HTML5, and more information about it, can be found here if you are interested.

Although work on HTML 5 began in 2003, it was not until 2011 that we began to see it used in websites within the mainstream of the web design world. HTML5 is replacing the use of Adobe Flash and Adobe has stopped further development of Flash in favor of expanding HTML5 instead.

The reason? When compared to Flash, the advantages of HTML5 become clear, especially when it comes to adding video and visual interest to websites easily. Since users do not need to download a Flash Player to view video when HTML5 is used, the user experience is more fluid. You can expect to see more interesting, unique, and beautiful website designs in 2016 due to the power of teaming up HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript.

Websites With Video!

The popularity of YouTube has changed the internet in profound ways. Online users are showing a preference for video content that seems to grow each year! Video blogging (called "Vlogging") is also growing as users seem to increasingly enjoy video content more than written content online. Smart phones and tablets have advanced to record video, so we are seeing more video use in social media as well. One web design trend we will definitely see more of in 2016 is the use of video in websites. If you use a smart phone, then you may agree with many others that it's easier to view a video on your phone than it is to read a long news article, for example.

Parallax Web Design In 2016

You are probably familiar with the way websites have been designed in the past, using pages of content in static designs that required a web designer to make any changes to the website. Then came the development of blogs. WordPress, and other companies like it, began to take website design to the next level, one that simplified website design for non-designers. WordPress allowed additional content to be easily added to websites without having to hire a web designer. This was a big game changer online!

Parallax web design is poised to now become another big game changer in the world of web design in 2014. HTML5, together with CSS3 and Javascript, have given web designers the ability to make "parallax" web designs possible. Here is one of the first websites I discovered in 2011 that was using a parallax design style (to give you an idea of the difference between it and other website design styles). As you navigate through the website in the link above you will discover that the entire site is built on one large page, and that clicking links moves you around the page like magic. Pretty neat!

Parallax style websites are an increasing trend for 2016. This trend is driven in part by the growing popularity of smart phones and tablets. Smaller screens can make navigation difficult when viewing older website designs. Parallax design reduces the need to hunt for small menu item words to click; scrolling makes it easier to find what you want when viewing a site on your iPhone for example. Home pages on websites are increasingly built as a stack of content elements that are easy to scroll down to see, thus clicking menu items is not needed.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is a development inspired by the popularity of smart phones and tablets as well. Responsive web design alters the layout of web pages and graphics based upon the size of the screen you viewing it with. Have you ever tried to view a website on your iPhone and found it jumbled, making it hard to find what you want, while viewing the same site on your computer screen worked fine? This is why responsive design is such an important website design trend for 2016.

 

These are just a few of the web design trends for 2016. Others involve SEO (search engine optimization), graphics, and more. But that's news for another day. I hope you enjoy this blog and find it helpful!