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the top 5 web design trends for 2016 part 3: and the winner is

the top 5 web design trends for 2016 part 3: and the winner is

part 1 of this series can be found here and part 2 can be found here

Well, I’d be lying if I said I picked one winner for my favourite trend of the year. I’m picking  6 trends I’d like to incorporate into more of my design and development this year. Here’s my top 2, both which have occupied the number 1 position in my nerdy little heart.

1.  Mesmerizing, Beguiling and Enchanting Design

After half an hour of searching for the perfect adjective, those are three words to describe the trend I’m trying to put words to. 2016 is going to be the year that web designers and developers will create and design interactive, entertaining and compelling sites for all kinds of visitors to flock to. Just think of every time you have visited a site that has an element of design to it that makes you go “whoa!” and utter “hey look at this cool thing…” to the person next to you, only you’re not tricking them into a the hundredth caturday picture they’ve seen that day or an argument about what colour the dress is. No, you’re showing them a nifty effect on a site. It’s not that this isn’t already happening online, I mean, we’ve all had the experience I’ve mentioned above, however, in the past it has been relegated to the big guns. Slick websites that have that certain je ne sais quoi, typically companies with mammoth advertising, and marketing budgets, marketing firms  and web design firms themselves. But, as I mentioned earlier in the series, with the ubiquity of the smart phone comes the increased presence of not only users but business online. More and more people who are not in possession of 5 digit web budgets, but require websites for their own businesses are seeking the competitive edge to attract visitors to their site and keep them there. And that edge is to get people talking, sharing and in this jaded little world, having a moment of awe.

Some of these effects started to trickle down into more web design in 2014 and 2015, like the parallax scrolling effect found here at parallaxis.it. The parallax scrolling effect occurs when the background image of a website moves at a slower rate than the foreground image, which is quite often the text. It creates a grounded lifelike feel simultaneous to a dreaminess when you navigate through a site with this effect. Already a major presence in many sites online, it is something that can be done with many WordPress themes and would add a touch of modern pizzazz to a site. A more subdued version of the parallax scrolling effect can be found on my client Kate Duncan’s site. Kate, an incredible furniture designer with a refined artistic vision, maximizes the effect by keeping it simple on her modern and precise homepage.

Also 1. In my Wildest Dreams….Material Design

Material Design.

Material Design. Uh. Material Design?

Is it a piece of paper? Wait, it’s about how materials are layered and all have an nature of 3 dimensionalness to them, right?  Is it the same old stuff we’ve always been doing that has been gussied up in a Williamsburg industrial office space full of hipsters?

If I had trouble articulating the other number 1 trend, then Material Design is about to throw me for a massive loop. So, like everyone else, I turn to google for an explanation. I read the explanation. I did not understand the explanation. It is as if my brain is composed entirely of 1s and 0s, but not the useful kind of binary that the magical and enthralling effects I listed above use to be magical and enthralling. The kind of binary that kept IT departments associated with geeky math nerds relegated to the basement, with pocket protectors, giant texas instrument calculators all huddled over screens glowing with tiny green text reading and deciphering code.

Suspecting that people might have difficulty understanding what Material Design is, Google created a video explaining it. I’m not going to mansplain it to you, because well, I just can’t. I can just sit back, in my own jaded little world and have that moment of awe we so eagerly search. Awe of people far more intelligent than me. I’ll be over here, inspired by their creativity and out of the box thinking.

And on that note, we have reached the end of the series, my first blog series in fact. A business resolution of mine is to be more engaging on social media this year. I have many clients who do a great job with their social media presence and I am inspired by how they each interact and reach out to their world via their genuineness and easy, gentle approachable sensibility. I’ll be posting blog updates more regularly, sharing more of what I find interesting, funny, inspiring and topical. Coming up later this month a feature on how sedentary desk people like myself can get it together fitness and health wise. Coming up next week, cat memes. You just never know what you’re going to see here!

If you made it through this series, thanks for the read. I’d love to hear which of the trends you liked best, which spoke to you and which didn’t. What you’d like to see on your website, what you think I missed and how to make websites more user friendly, visually stunning and entertaining for us all. As I move to re-design my own site, I’ll certainly have these trends in mind.

Why? Because it’s 2016.