The digital world is constantly evolving to adapt to new web design trends and new methods of communication and interactivity with users. There is a constant need to be the best of the best and to out-shine the competition in a crowded digital space. So what’s the trend for 2016?

Get Moving with Animation

As in the recent past, the web is moving towards a visually dominated experience. Whether it is animation or large imagery, the goal is to be able to tell a story without a lot of clutter. For example, large hero header images can provide impact to a brand message with bold statements and compliment other visuals. Animation will be a huge part in web design trends in 2016. Animation will not only be seen on regular illustrations, but also on buttons and as hover effects for icons as well as for text.  Check out our animation on YCEA’s website, or Community Progress Council for an idea of how Gavin has been on top of this trend from the get-go.

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Along with animation, virtual reality may add even more visual interest to websites and social media. Mobile devices are now integrating motion-activated apps and experiences. A challenge for web designers for 2016 will be to integrate this technology into websites.

Not Mobile-Friendly, Mobile First

To further declutter websites, we anticipate that the mobile-experience will no longer be an after-thought, or even a supplement to desktop. Rather, sites will be designed first with mobile in mind, then altered to adjust to desktop. This approach will force designers and brands to prioritize information and eliminate aspects of sites that would normally appear on desktop versions.

Deliver a Tasty Nav

More content is viewed on mobile devices than ever before. The push for responsive websites has spurred two web design trends in regards to navigation: hamburger menus and scrolling pages. In 2016, be prepared for second helpings of the hamburger menu, designed to decrease clutter on websites, like Uve’s.

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For web designers without the taste for hamburger menus, designing pages that connect with the user’s instinct to scroll down to gather more information is an alternative. Sometimes scrolling causes important information at the top of the page to become lost. To overcome that challenge more websites in 2016 will integrate what is called a “sticky navigation.” Sticky navs allow the menu and important bits of information to always be accessible at the top of the screen and will no longer be hidden when scrolling through a site.

That’s How We Scroll

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A third alternative to the two staples of responsive design is a mish-mash of the hamburger menu and scrolling design called parallax scrolling. In 2016, we anticipate seeing websites that actively control the user’s instinct to scroll by dividing each scroll into a layout reminiscent of a single page. This means that rather than reading the same article continuously while scrolling, scrolling will instead direct the user to a different article or page. When a user wishes to explore more in-depth content, calls-to-action will appear. For a swank taste of parallax scrolling, visit le Mugs.

Going Off the Grid

Trying to break free of the grid that responsive design has programmed into most web designers in 2015 will be the most crucial design element of 2016. Thinking outside the grid to create a unique, engaging user experience, to push past the cookie-cutter website layouts used in 2015, will be the mark of a truly great web designer in 2016. To do this a designer needs to highlight your brand’s differentiators. Exploring your core values and how you interact with your audience will allow your brand to build a website that converts.