Web Design Trends 2016

Posted on July 14, 2016 | Design Concepts
Alex Hemker
Alex is Partner & CEO at Buhv Designs. His main focus is biz dev and helping us grow as a company, as marketers, and as designers. Read more of his posts here.

by Robert Lane

We see a wide variety of different design styles as we update our client’s websites.  Some of the current trends are a refreshed look on previous well-working design and others are brand new concepts.

There are a variety of different designs that can contribute to a successful experience for the end user of your website.  Functionality is crucial. There may be a design style that you love but keep in mind websites are a balance of aesthetics and functionality. This balance will contribute to the whole UX and how your company attracts leads or provides information.  The following are some specific features present on different websites.

Full-Screen Hero Images


Full-screen hero images, either via a video or images, is a trend I love and has gained a lot of traction with our clients. The video is especially effective by telling a short story through a brief clip. If a picture is worth a thousand word than a video is probably closer to a million words. This basic feature only adds to the power of the story your website is telling.

Full-screen images are another way to engage meaningfully with the end user and showcase a lot of information about your company and your culture via imagery and minimal content.  Users find these very engaging and informational to see if they feel like their style will line up with yours.  A Carousel feature in conjunction with a hero image is a particularly effective way to keep a user engaged and on the page.  By showcasing new pictures in a scrolling manner, you can keep the information new, and it gives the person a reason to stay and view different information/images.

Full-screen hero images partner well with a tool called a Hamburger Menu.  This tool is that delicious looking baby hamburger-shaped icon in the corner of your screen.  When you are trying to engage with your end user with a full-screen hero image display, you do not want a clunky navigation bar getting in the way.  The hamburger menu works well giving the end user a minimalistic icon that can expand when the user needs to explore navigation options.


Card Layout


Some of the most exciting trends we see are based around providing information in an easy to digest form.  A great example of this is shown with Card Layout style and the use of tiles.  Tiles are informative blocks broken down into smaller pieces that form a larger image showcasing a variety of offerings and services.  These smaller blocks might be the same shape and size or vary in size to emphasize the importance of some topics over others.

The Card Layout works well with a new design trend, a Hover Over feature, that provides a user with additional information that previously was perceived as too much content or too dry. Overall the use of this new design trend allows our team to develop a page that previously would not have been very engaging for the end user because of the saturation of content.  Where Hover works great with tiles/cards to add a new level of balance between content and imagery, it can work in many different ways to give the end user more info when they want it.


Long-Scrolling Single Page Design


Another successful trend is the long-scrolling single page design.  This allows the use of large hero images to capture the attention of the user while keeping the clean, simplistic style that users love. This is a great option for clients that need to provide solutions and information, but the nature of their business is relatively easy to explain.  Customers that have a wide array of offerings, eCommerce, and many service levels are not a good fit for this option.  Someone with a few options to offer would be a good fit for this style.

At Buhv, we have some clean functions to make the site appear to have more content and information by offering a header bar that can jump you to the appropriate section that expands on the desired subject.  This gives the user the feeling they have jumped to another page but only are visiting a different section or container on the home page. This will typically be the most economical option for someone who is starting out and needs an easy to navigate, informational and a visually stunning site.


Flat Design


Lastly, flat design is back.  Our team is getting requests to return to simple, clean fonts that are easy to read and letting the pictures add to the depth and complexity desired in many of today’s sites. Most icons are an excellent example of how flat design keeps things simple but allows you to convey complex information in an easily digestible manner. We find most of our customers prefer a flat logo style that complements the website and doesn’t compete with it. These flat logos anchor the header as you scroll for additional information.


Website Design is greater that the sum of all the parts

These are the top trends that I see most of our customers getting excited about implementing.  Weather they use one or many of the design features we can create a great UX for your customers. Contact us today to see how we can improve your website and help utilize our ongoing marketing techniques to help more clients find your beautiful new website.