10 Powerful Web Design Trends To Use In 2016

Recently we’ve been rounding up the industry trends we’re expecting for the rest of 2016. We’ve already had a look at SEO techniques and web development trends we expect to drive large amounts of traffic and user appreciation over the next 12 months. Now it’s time to take a look at web design, which is so important to every business agenda. Customers arriving at your website expect a modern experience with fantastic accessibility and an uncluttered and enjoyable design.

Customers arriving at your website expect a modern experience with fantastic accessibility and an uncluttered and enjoyable design. How do you achieve this? We got our heads together and considered what  will be the big web design trends in 2016. We’re all part of a rapidly evolving industry, so understanding even the subtlest of trend changes is enough to get your customer engagement climbing.

Wordpress Website | Soap Media

1. A High Priority for Mobile-Friendly Designs

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic. You’ll also be dropped down mobile search rankings by Google, who in 2015 recognised the emergence of the smartphone era by favouring mobile-friendly websites.

As more and more consumers surf the internet on their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, wearables), they expect responsive websites which adapt to smaller screens. It’s a new era of web design and simplicity is all important – cramming a desktop-sized website onto a mobile device clearly and concisely isn’t easy, but it is something every business will have to master in 2016.

2. More Vertical Scrolling

With this shift towards mobiles, websites are now using vertical user scrolling. Small screens mean people have to put the effort in and scroll to access more onscreen content, and this means designers have to create a UI which lean towards a vertical scroll.

3. CSS3 Layouts

The latest evolution of the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) language has introduced plenty of exciting new features to improve web design. Novelties such as rounded corners, gradients, shadows, animations, new layouts, and grid layouts are welcomed by the online community as streamlined new options.

Browser support for CSS3 has been growing steadily and we have witnessed some of the latest layouts being actively used. CSS3 Flexbox, for examples, can be used with the latest popular browsers for a flexible box layout. These are little touches rather than an industry sweeping revolution, but it will allow for more creativity, which is what web design is all about.

CSS | Soap Media

4. Bespoke Illustrations, Videos, and Photos

Stock photography is surely on its way out. Any business relying on models grinning inanely in clearly staged photo shoots must quickly switch to bespoke images, videos, and illustrations in order to improve their content marketing prowess.

You can get your web department on to this and allow them to be as creative as they like. The more distinctive the content you create, the better your website will look and the more consumers will have a connection with your brand. Individuality goes a long way in the internet era.

5. Inspiring Typography

As you’ll no doubt have noticed, typography has become increasingly impressive over the last few years. They can also be distinctive, as you’ll notice with the Soap Media website. Bolg and beautiful typefaces are an incredible way to catch the attention of your audience as they lift your CTAs and USPs off the page. Make sure yours are looking fantastic in 2016.

6. The Integration of Videos

With better internet speeds and advancing technology, videos will likely be more prevalent across websites in 2016. Video clips can act as a compelling piece of content and, just a few years ago, it would have hindered loading speeds and the overall design. Internet speeds were simply too slow, and if you journey further back in time to a decade ago, the idea would have been unthinkable.

Now video clips can be used as snippets for eye-catching attention or homepage conquering centrepieces which wow any customer who arrives. This type of design is particularly popular in the movie industry right now, and there’s no reason why small and large businesses shouldn’t join in.

Video | Soap Media

7. Cinemagraphs

Whilst the use of bold videos and images is fantastic, the rise of cinemagraphs mustn’t be ignored. They are still photographs in which there is an eye-catching and repetitive movement, such as a river flowing. They’re similar to GIFs – the hugely popular, attention-grabbing video clips which some magazine sites have popularised.

8. App Interactions to Increase Engagement

Interactions are a regular part of apps – they can range from notifications to on-screen instructions, but there’s a real charm to the process and they are typically intuitive and users enjoy them. Whether it’s a notification or a sound effect, interactions work at their best when they’re minor and almost unnoticeable, but they’re an integral aspect to any design and they shape how users interact with specific devices.

9. Hamburger Menus Galore

Hamburger menus are criticised by some, but they’re in widespread use whether anyone likes it or not. For mobile devices they’re a particularly effective way to condense menus into one place. It also has to be remembered customers have come to recognise the three symbols and now what its purpose is, so making sweeping changes could confuse users visiting your site.

10. Card Layouts

We’re not suggesting you rush out and replicate this design (simply as it threatens to become somewhat cliched), but card layouts are particularly familiar to many online users. Pinterest pioneered the design and its since been taken up (or blatantly copied, depending on your viewpoint!) by hundreds of websites.

It’s easy to see why – it’s a clear and appealing design which highlights the content contained within each card. This is absolutely ideal for modern internet users, and businesses can also benefit

from an easily manageable website.

Pinterest | Soap Media


In short, web design in 2016 will be the usual blend of evolution and engaging new features. We’re not expecting a revolution of sorts, but it is vital to ensure your website is streamlined, loads quickly, looks the part, and reflects your brand image appropriately. You can achieve this by keeping up to date with industry changes, and adapting your site to include the latest features which will continuously impress your customers.

Be aware that consumer expectations are changing and by the end of this year the business world expects most traffic to come from mobile devices. It’s now all-important your business is fully prepared for the mobile era of web design. Don’t miss out.

Written by
Aaron McLellan
Aaron McLellan

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