the top 5 web design trends for 2016 part 1: bye bye bad photos & hello hero images
Well, I made it. In Vancouver, B.C. in the last 24 hours I survived a moderate midnight earthquake which shook, rattled and rolled my apartment building. I watched the potted cactus wobble and found a doorway to stand in. Nothing like a little vertigo to wake you up. I ate homemade pizza on a naan bread while waiting for an aftershock that didn’t come. No matter! It gave me time to research one of my favourite topics: the future. 2016 is upon us and with that, it seems appropriate to share some highlights of 2016 web design trends on the horizon. I have narrowed it down to the top 5 that I am most excited for. Today’s post highlights numbers five and four.
As they say, out with the old and in with the new!
5. that old stock photo tho…
According to an article on Forbes, we will continue to see better quality images on websites that lean towards the natural and organic, and I say thank goodness for that. The photos you use on your website are hugely important and must be carefully curated and selectively chosen in order to best represent your brand. Think of your website (especially if you are a merchant) like a magazine or a catalogue. You want to convey that what you’re selling is contemporary, timeless, and on trend. Outdated photos are a big no-no. Can you imagine opening a tech magazine and seeing an old Apple iBook alongside an advertisement for current technology? Abandon ye cheesy stock photos. Heave ho fluorescent overhead lighting and make it your resolution for 2016 to find images that represent your brand whether you are a blogger or business. The article cites a fact from 3M Corporation (of Scotch Tape fame) which corroborates a fact I suspect many of us who work in the creative and design fields know to be true: the brain receives a tremendous amount of it’s information from visuals and can process visuals more readily than text. Make those visuals work for you. If Mother Earth is on trend and you lack the budget to hire a professional photographer or have an aversion to nature, head to my new favourite stock photo sites Death to the Stock Photo and Pexels to refresh your online presence.
4. the hero image we deserve and need right now…
Please excuse me while I incorporate the Dark Knight into as parts of my speech as possible. The humble hero image ties in nicely with 2016 design trend number five, the eschewing of staged and artificial images in order to present highly curated and high quality natural images instead . A hero image is simply a very large, high resolution image found on a site’s homepage meant to clue users into what the site will be about. Some people utilize them as a static image, while others incorporate several images into a slideshow. According to awwards.com, this trend has been allowed to flourish due to advances in bandwidth, thus ensuring visitors to your site won’t be stuck with long loading times seeing a few centimetres of an image at a time. One site I used a hero image with is wpsitepatrol.com. The hero image here has been overlaid with text, and is presented in high resolution befitting the impressive retina screens we look at daily. To get some hero image design inspo check out line25.com which has collected 30 beautiful websites that use the hero image with panache.
Numbers five and four of my countdown focused on the visual trends for 2016 web design. As we continue to gaze at our smartphones and commit hours of screen time daily, it is of particular importance that you are communicating the right information visually to visitors of your site. Tomorrow, numbers three and two.