Five web trends to watch in 2016
Flat design 2.0
Flat design 2.0 or 'almost' flat design are terms formulated in recent months to describe the evolution of the favoured flat design style; a change for which Google's material design language is largely responsible. This change honours the minimal aesthetic of the original flat design trend whilst incorporating visual metaphors of material, light and motion. This adaptation of flat design makes for a more positive experience by offering the user signifiers to clickable elements on the page.
The Cinemagraph is the sophisticated gif, a still image that creates the illusion of video. Unlike the gif the Cinemagraph allows for HD quality whilst ensuring a relatively low file size. Although they have existed for a few years they have recently emerged partly due to the launch of Apple's "live photos" on the iPhone 6, as well as a range of commercial tools that allow the production of the Cinemagraph. We can expect to see a lot more Cinemagraphs in 2016 in place of the current hero image or as a substitute for video as they allow for much faster load times.
It is important to make your website stand out from the crowd, and with the rise of the hero banner and responsive design this is becoming more of a challenge. Illustration is unique and personal; by integrating this into your website it can instantly give your site these qualities. Illustration can feel friendlier, unpretentious and as a result can encourage trust.
Evolution of infinite scrolling
Infinite scrolling is a great feature which allows users to scroll through large volumes of content endlessly. This is especially good now we are viewing this content on mobile devices.
As convenient as this sounds it's only effective for the right content. It's a good solution for social media sites where new content is generated every second in real time. As a result of these sites infinite scrolling has become a trendy feature to have on any website and has grown massively over the last couple of years.
A feature that was originally implemented to improve the user experience can end up having the opposite effect. It's frustrating when a user wants to return to the same resource and has to scroll through the never-ending content again; chances are they won't find it the second time.
But there is a solution. In 2016 we should see more pagination of this feature which allows the user to scroll as much as they like but with set points that can be accessed via a URL.
A microinteraction is a single moment that exists around performing one specific task. These types of interaction are all around us and not only on the web. For example turning the volume down on your phone might result in a vibration response. On the web this type of interaction might be clicking an icon to like an article, dragging the page with your finger to refresh a page, or a hover state on a call to action.
Whichever form the interaction takes; the microinteraction should assist, engage and delight users. The experience begins to feel more human when we use elements like conversational text and visual metaphors. Although subtle it is these details that make the difference between a good, and an excellent user experience.Back