You are going to see lots of articles in the coming days/weeks about the "Top 10 things in technology" this year (FYI, ad blockers, Snapchat and chat messaging services (WhatsApp, Viber) are going to be the big movers in 2016 so if you are investing, that's my two cents). Some of these can be pretty interesting with some useful tips, the fact of the manner is that the majority are basically clickbait. I had this article in mind for a few days over Christmas and in between eating literally everything I could get my hands on and ahem, socialising far too much with my friends I put together some thoughts on what I think will happen to website design in 2016.
1. Contrast, I like the way you dye boy.
A recent re-watch of the incredible Django Unchained showed me once again power of contrast in any form of design. Tarantino has always been one for the dramatic and I absolutely love his use of colour in Django. The blue suit worn by Jamie Foxx in particular is amazing against the cinematography. Red on white, black on yellow. Colour is amazing in this film and its strong effect is filtering down to designers all over the world. As large imagery is being implemented everywhere as part of the minimalist trend, the quality of this imagery has improved tenfold in the last few years.
This has allowed designers to let the imagery do the heavy lifting and the contrast it creates when done right is magnificent. Personally, I do not like even using a blocky navigation menu if possible on a site. Sticky navigation ensures no links are lost without ruining a fantastic image while browsing through a website. Thanks to the massive amount of talented people online, imagery is where I see the difference between designers, I see it playing a massive role in 2016 and I am excited about it!
2. Animation & Scrolling.
Animation is here to stay people. Get used to it, some people, myself included think it really adds the finishing touches to a site design while others think they are too "flashy". It can be hard to draw the line but things like Parallax scrolling, hovering interactions and the spinner animation that are all present on this site are now commonplace and are here to stay. In terms of the scrolling issue I am not sure where this phobia of having to scroll down a page came from and who is responsible for it but I dislike it with all my being. People became obsessed with hitting browsers with all they could upon landing.
This really puts pressure on a designer and forces them to sacrifice their design work. If someone is interested in your products/service they will want to know a bit more before purchasing. On the other side of the coin, what is so important to people that they do not have time to scroll down through a site for more information? Thankfully with the takeover of mobile devices and responsive design, this has gone out the window and designers can now actually design again. One page design ring any alarm bells here, anyone? 2016 will see it become even more mainstream as users will be granted more power as they browse/shape websites on their own time.
3. Responsive Website Design.
The big one and has been the daddy for a while now in terms of web design trends, for anyone who is even a little bit aware of the happenings in the technology/design world they will know that responsive design is not new. It has been around for a long time now. I am not going to bore you with the details. Get your website responsive, do it yesterday.
4. Designers Just Wanna Have Fun.
As with any walk of life, if you get the opportunity, have some fun with it. Projects typically fall into two categories:
A) You are forced into conceding any design input as there is a very strict brief in mind.
B) You are allowed to pretty much go mental and do what you wish.
In my limited experience, the second category does not happen enough in the design world and when it does I recommend you give into whatever mad instinct you have. I mean, if you are not pushing some kind of boundaries in your life, you are standing still and stagnating. Who the hell wants to do that?