Mobile and Web Design Trends for 2016
Ever since flat design completely overhauled the digital design landscape there hasn’t really been any major developments. Design lately has been about small tweaks and changes to make everything better and easier to use. Users have been the ones to have benefitted from patterns emerging. Patterns, while aren’t earth shattering cool new concepts, make the user experience easier and expected. It’s playing within these patterns that we get to see creativity that isn’t at the expense of users. I expect to see all the highlights in design of 2015 pushed further and continue to be explored in 2016’s design trends.
#1. Design Patterns
Patterns have been emerging over the last few years that users have become accustom to. Things like the much debated hamburger menu, the hero image in web, the long scrolling page and content cards. These patterns are easy to replicated in a design and a user immediately understand them rather than learning a new function. It doesn’t mean to have to use all of them in a design, but it’s always good to think about what a user is used to and expecting when thinking about your layouts and interaction.
#2. Better Typography
With more and more companies offering open source, web based fonts, sites like Google Fonts have made good digital typography more accessible to everyone. Now there’s no excuse for Arial to be your web font of choice. There are hundreds of awesome combinations from huge display font text on your hero graphics down to beautiful clean body copy for your content. Be creative and experiment with some cool combinations and see what works for your brand. (Just remember not to go overboard, stick to around 2–3 fonts per project max.)
#3. High Quality Images
Along with Open Source fonts available online, there are also some amazing quality Royalty-Free stock sites that are out there which is a perfect way to utilize popular blurred background/hero image pattern. These layouts call for very large high resolution images and beautiful one are easier to access than ever before. High quality images are just needed for display, they’re also incredibly important for marketing. Any website you have that is trying to sell a product or advertise should utilize as many gorgeous sharp images as possible. People will always response to an image more than just descriptive text.
#4. Continued use and further adoption of Google’s Material Design
If Flat Design was 5 steps forward from Skeuomorphic, than Material Design was one well intentioned step back. Material sought to bring a little bit more depth and shadow to flat design, making it all the better for the user experience. I expect we’ll see a continued adoption of this design style in the next year with more and more of those handy little FAB buttons as well. Those might even be the next hamburger for choice of simple menu interaction.
#5. Mobile Commerce
We’ve definitely been seeing the transition to making it easier and easier to shop from your phone. Both ordering online and using your phone as a payment method. Responsive design has been making it much easier for users to shop large collections of items on their phones comfortably. I expect to see this trend continue with customers wanting more options for online shopping on the fly. As far as paying with your phone, the technology has been around for a few years. Apple has finally joined the club and started including NFC in their new phones which opens them up to be able to front the mobile payment revolution. I’m all for having less cards in my wallet that can be replaced with the convenience of mobile pay.
To wrap up, I’d say this year is going to be a really great year for the user. All of these design trends have been slowing playing into better and better user experience. With more people than ever using their phones in every aspect of their lives, a great user experience and a great interface should always be the priority.