7 Top Trends for 2016

Are you as cool as us?

Now we are well into 2016, we’ve had a chance to decide our top 7 trends for this year.

Video

We’ve already seen a growing use of video online and we expect this trend to continue in 2016.

The growth of 4G (high speed broadband over the mobile network) has made video more accessible mobile users. Businesses are taking advantage of this, using videos on their websites, social media and email to deliver evermore engaging content.

Video, if done well, can create a personal connection with your audience. Customers will feel more confident and a business can feel more credible – broadening their customers understanding of their product / service. Video can work well on social media, where the auto-play feature is likely to grab the audience’s attention.

Mobile Responsiveness

Responsive Design means ensuring that you’re website works across devices (from desktop computers to smartphones).  That is the same website / domain, the same content, but adapting to the differing limitations of each device to provide the best user experience possible. Mobile responsiveness has already become the norm in website design and we expect to see less and less ‘unresponsive’ websites through 2016.  Mobile now accounts for more than half of total internet usage.  And mobile users expect an ‘optimised’ experience. So if a customer finds themselves fiddling with ‘pinch and zoom’ or struggling with tiny form fields, they’ll be more inclined to leave the website and find one that’s more in-tune with the way their device works.

Google recently released an update that places yet more importance on mobile responsiveness – see Continuing to make the web more mobile friendly.

Is your website mobile responsive? You can check if your website is mobile responsive here.

Slack

Slack-logo-300x120Slack makes it easier than ever to communicate with your entire team. This messaging app is certainly the modern tool for business collaboration and at Boson, we love it. Slack is a growing trend, not just because of its simplicity, but it’s unique features.

If you’d like to find out more about why we love Slack, you can Read our blog post on Slack!

Hamburger Anyone?

solveburger-kojoThe hamburger menu icon, otherwise known as the 3 line menu, is becoming ubiquitous in websites and mobile apps.  The icon was designed to contain / reveal menu options on smaller screens, hiding an abundance information inside it. As responsive websites increase, we’ll see a lot more of the Hamburger.

Examples of apps using this trend include: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – and many more!

High Quality Photography

High quality, unique photos have always been important on a website.  A great design can be ruined by poorly captured photos or badly chosen stock images.  On the flip side, unique and well considered photography can enhance a users experience… establish credibility and hold visitors for longer.  Have you bought anything online recently without seeing at least 1 photo first?  Quality product photos can be the difference between a conversion and no sale at all.

We’ve noticed are growing realisation of the importance of good photography, and we think the web will see more and more quality photography across the web in 2016.

Hero Images

And speaking of good photography…

A ‘hero image’ as we call it in the trade, is typically a large banner image prominently placed on a web page, generally front and centre. They’re often the first thing you see on a website, grabbing attention and delivering key messages.

It really matters what images you choose. A picture speaks a thousand words and well designed hero images, whether photographic or illustrative, can make a big impact. Okay, these aren’t a new thing, but we think this trend will continue as website owners try to capture attention and build their brands online.

Rich Animations

Animation, when used well, can enhance a user’s experience and encourage greater interaction.  These are often quite subtle and they help to put an ‘action’ (e.g. a button click) into some sort of context.  They can create a more live, fluid experience than traditional static banners or images.  Of course animation should be used sparingly, and with good reason.  We’ve seen this work particularly well on historical timelines, for example and we think we’ll see the trend continue in 2016. 

slack-loadingLoading and hover animations are a growing trend. They provide important user-feedback, keeping the audience engaged whilst demonstrating a little differentiator.  Hover animations occur when your mouse hovers over an item (and when you touch it on touch-sensitive devices), encouraging users to delve deeper.

Slack has a good example of a loading animation.

Your thoughts …

What do you think of these trends? Are there any trends that you would add to this list?