We’ve seen a lot of changes in our time that effect what a website looks like on the internet. Connection speeds have increased, the size of screens on mobile phones have expanded and an easy usability experience on every device is now expected rather than simply a possibility. The combination of these advances results in a number of popular trends that we see moving forward into 2016:
Hero images (and videos)
The graphic you’re greeted with when you arrive at a website has the power to be such a great attention grabber that entices you into the rest of the website. No longer just for the movies, an well produced short video in this space can engage visitors too.
The end goal for animation should be to keep the user engaged, rather than fill their screen with a pile of singing and dancing elements. Give the user a little animation while loading, encourage a click to important sections or the notion to scroll down: keep it simple so you don’t overwhelm the audience to the point that these elements become annoying.
Those magical three lines that hide and show the menu on mobile devices have drifted their way into desktop navigation too. Much like the Start button on Windows, users know that to move elsewhere they’ll probably have to look in this space. This has resulted in sites that look cleaner, and menus that fight less with the content that surrounds them when they’re opened up.
Full screen elements
Not just hero graphics, but less obvious elements like forms and navigation might move to this space too. Design based sites have incorporated these in recent times, directing your attention to the very element you’re trying to engage with.
Like all trends, they’re fleeting and may be superseded as technology continues to evolve. The end goal should continue to keep the user experience at the forefront of web design discussion.