Top Web Design Trends 2016 — My Personal Wishlist

With the New Year barely started, top trend posts tend to appear and spread everywhere.

Here’s my personal web design wishlist for 2016:

1. Design follows function (and never vice-versa)

Although this quote is so old and much used, it is still valid today. Instead of the latest available design fad, the top-notch animation technique or the craziest CSS styles — let’s focus on the very functions our users need and want and make them work brilliantly, i.e. fast, reliable and without any extra obstacles or unnecessary bohoo on the road.

2. Meaningful Design (not just Material Design)

I don’t say Material Design is bad. But instead of simply following along the latest trends or copy the newest design benchmarks, we should focus more on the question what design fits our specific purpose and user context best.

3. Creativity (instead of bootstraptivity)

Bootstrap, Foundation and their companions can be a great start and allow us to easily mock-up something. But it has to be our goal as designers to create our own designs, fitting to the specific project, instead of diving into the ever-growing pool of look-alike-sites.

4. Accessibility

We have come a long way to make our sites responsive. But that’s just not enough. It is time to focus on overall accessibility, i.e.

  • Speed
  • Making our sites usable for everyone, whether they use screen-readers or whatever assistance tool
  • Progressive enhancements — apply modern features where they make sense and are possible but make sure our sites are at least fully usable by all

5. Originality (instead of stock-picking)

There are some great stock pics out there. And it is easy to mumble-jumble-up some great sounding content which when looking at it in detail is just bla bla signifying nothing (except maybe for Google with regard to keywords). We have to create our own original content and make sure it has worth for our users and readers and not just any searchbots.

6. Security

It is our job to keep our users data secure at all time. Period.

7. Teaching our clients

From personal experience I know that many of the points above might not be exactly what the client wants when they take that great flicky-techy-website of their competitor they have just seen as a reference for their own redesign project. It is our job to explain and make them understand why the above points matter. This will also help to promote and grow our roles as designers from the clients viewpoint.

8. Giving something back

These are good times for us as designers and coders. We have millions of resources out there, millions of tools and snippets to use for free and include them in our own projects. While taking advantage of that big pool of open-source, we should not forget that it is also on to us, to keep that pool alive and growing. Whether it’s by contributing our own code or at least sharing our experience and knowledge with the community.

For me personally, I hope I have the discipline and strength to apply all those points on my current and next projects this year. I know how hard it can sometimes be.

And as a personal wish for 2016, I hope to hear, see and read more of some great design and code colleagues such as Jason Fried, Jeffrey Feldman, Nicolas Gallagher, Ethan Marcotte, Scott Jehl just to mention a few. Let’s join these guys on their journey to make the web better this year.

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