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16 Web & Graphic Design Trends to Watch in 2016

Online Design Trends and Tips For Business Owners and Small Brands. Responsive trends, modular design, material design, hand-drawn illustrations, etc.

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16 Web & Graphic Design Trends to Watch in 2016

  1. 1. 16 Web & Graphic Design Trends to Watch in 2016
  2. 2. 1. Usability • In 2016, design is all about the user. User experience (UX) is the new black. • No one will care about how cool your design looks, if it’s not usable. • Your online business won’t grow if you don’t take user experience into account. • Your website needs to load fast and be easy to use. • Page Load Speed is a great issue. Adding just one second of bloat to your site means sales drop by 27%.
  3. 3. 2. Responsive Design • Mobile is already the “first screen”. • Google is literally crushing sites that don’t offer a mobile-friendly experience. • User experience on mobile phone is key. • Hiding a desktop function for mobile users is not an acceptable solution anymore. • If your users can’t fully experience your website on their daily metro conmutes, then your whole site needs to be revised.
  4. 4. • In 2016 the meaning of responsive design goes even further. • Now, all your graphic design and artwork will have to adhere to the rules of responsive. No “one size or format fits all”. • The best example of this is the recent Netflix brand redesign.
  5. 5. 3. App inspired web design • Websites should learn from app design (speed, zero distractions, tailored user experience). • Remove all unessential information and let the user interact with your content as fast as he can.
  6. 6. 4. Clever menus • Some people hated the now omnipresent Hamburger Menu or navicon. Now, say hello to clever menus. • Hidden navigations that appear out of nowhere depending on the user’s actions will soon be the norm. • Even if we can’t see it at the moment, experience tells us that there is a menu on every website. So no need to worry, it will just appear when we need it. • Experts are predicting that clever / hidden menus will be fully responsive to multidirectional scrolling.
  7. 7. 5. Modules and modular text • No one likes to read a dreadfully long blurb of text. • The first trick to breakdown long texts in the web was to try to write in short paragraphs. • But you can take a modular approach to web page layout. • Modular design is a technique where everything is built using a block grid pattern. • This doesn’t mean a boring pattern, like a chessboard. • In fact, it can mean exactly the opposite: hard to anticipate patterns, that make it easy for us to read and be interested in the different parts of a website. Image: Well Made Studio
  8. 8. 6. Modular and infinite scrolling • Modular scrolling means every module on a website may scroll on its own, independently from the other modules. • You may have already seen it (though sometimes it’s hard to notice) in sites with a sidebar that doesn’t scroll at the same speed than the main content. • But it’s about to get better. Picture a website divided in two columns with independent scroll, as you can see here. • It all began with infinite scroll. A trend that you may have noticed in 2015. Some of the most popular sites on the world today, like Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook already use it.
  9. 9. • Infinite and modular scroll work on the same premise: scrolling down is easier and faster than clicking and it doesn’t interrupt user experience by loading a new page. •’s bounce rate dropped 15 percentage points after they adopted infinite scrolling (source).
  10. 10. 7. Material Design • Material design wasn’t widely adopted until 2015. • But Material as a trend that you’ll find in websites, apps, artwork, etc. will be adopted massively during 2016. • It will be the year of material design’s dominance. • Expect to see those long, solid shadows virtually everywhere.
  11. 11. 8. Flat Design • Material design came along to fix some of flat design’s usability problems, but that doesn’t mean flat is dead. • In fact, flat design will also grow to be even more popular during 2016. • With a lot of big brands adopting flat design in the last few years, mass audiences are more aware that less is better when it comes to visual style. Images credit: Brafton
  12. 12. • Flat web design has another UX advantage: image files weigh less and do not add to page load time. • The general guidelines of flat design will be widely spread around small brands and blogs artwork all over the web (eg, ghost buttons). • At the same time, those on the know on graphic design will be moving on to Flat 2.0.
  13. 13. 9. Visual Storytelling Some data: • 100 million people worldwide watch at least one video per day. • Website visitors are 64% more likely to make a purchase after watching a video. • 80% of viewers recall watching a video ad up to 30 days after seeing it. • 92% of those watching video on mobile devices share the content with others.
  14. 14. • Human beings process visual elements 60,000 times faster than reading words. (Source). • Now, design needs to play a content function; it won’t be a mere companion to the text that tells the story anymore.
  15. 15. 10. Infographics • Everyone loves a good infographic, and above all, they love the results: infographics are shared 3 more times than any other piece of visual content. • What kind of infographics are we going to see generating buzz in 2016? • The time of boring old infographics based on the same old templates are about to fade away. Putting three or four bullet points and adding a few cute icons just won’t cut it anymore. • It’s time to mix infographic storytelling capabilities with the deep insight of data visualizations. Infographic and big data together.
  16. 16. 11. Cool Typography • With typography becoming a key element in any serious branding efforts, broad audiences are g designers etting used to seeing more artistic typefaces. • Typography is a language in itself. • Years ago, only graphic were able to talk that language. • Today, more people are gaining access to it, thanks to the wider range of available web fonts. • 2016 will see a comeback of big fonts, italic and all caps for logos and headings. • Another big trend here are typefaces that appear to come from someone holding a pen.
  17. 17. 12. Modern retro • Modern retro is cool. It started as a trend in logo design and it’s already permeating to web and graphic design. • There’s a subtle difference in what retro means now. Old retro refers to early 20th century, up until the 60s. • Modern retro is all about the early days of computer age: think vintage video games, pixel art, big cell phones, Tron… • Anything that was big in visual style between the late 70s and early 90s is back!
  18. 18. 13. Rich colors • When it comes to colors, the 80s will rule. Prepare for a world of bright pastels and rich, bold accent colors. • “A happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves”, in the words of the Pantone Fashion Color Report For Spring 2016. • The Top10 2016 spring colors according to Pantone look like this: • Whatever you do, just don’t pick a boring, washed-out color. You’ve been warned.
  19. 19. 14. Grids and geometrical shapes • Grid design is a clear system, easy to work with for designers, plus the users can easily understand it and use it very easily too. • But every trend has its flip side, and experts also predict that, as a response there will be a rise in free-form shapes. • These are just like geometrical shapes, but with dents. • Rough edged and hand-drawn shapes are a signature of neo-grunge, another trend that will gain prominence in 2016.
  20. 20. 15. Kill The Stock Photo! • Stock photos are one of the most boring and unoriginal things you can include in a website. • 2015 was the year that a host of free alternative stock photos sites tried to make it more accesible for anyone to get quality stock images in their sites. • Everyone ended up picking the same photos and you found them everywhere online, over and over again. • Why use stock photos? You have millions of alternatives. • Please use images custom made for your site, either by yourself or by a professional. • What about a hand-drawn illustration? (You’ll see a lot of these in 2016). • Or a custom graphic? Or even better, what about video?
  21. 21. 16. Video & GIFs • You’ve probably noticed all those cool websites with video backgrounds. • Most of them take a long time to load, but that will change once people understand they have to compress the video as much as possible. • Video will replace images in lots of places, other than website backgrounds. • Vine, Snapchat et al have gotten us into the habit of staring at short video loops. • Watch out for profile pictures that are not pictures anymore, but a short video • Above all, watch out for the invasion of animated GIFs. • Facebook is to blame for opening the Pandora Box and they will soon be EVERYWHERE.
  22. 22. So what do you think: Will my predictions be spot on, or will they utterly fail? Please let me know in the comments.
  23. 23. Thanks! @VisualErnesto

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Online Design Trends and Tips For Business Owners and Small Brands. Responsive trends, modular design, material design, hand-drawn illustrations, etc.


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