We are a few months into 2016 and there are a few trends that need to be pointed out. These trends are popping up everywhere and they seem to be doing more harm than good in many places. Below, we will talk about the trends that you should be aware of and what you can do to avoid the bad ones.
1. Optimizing for Mobile Devices
This is a year where a lot of emphasis will be placed on the appearance and design of your website. People are relying on mobile devices of all different sizes to access your website. Not only this, but they are using their tablets, phablets, laptops, and a variety of other devices to surf the web. This means your website needs to be well-designed with an optimized layout that will be able to accommodate all resolutions and display sizes.
The response to this is that many platforms are making it easy to optimize your site to accommodate all of these devices. If you are using an old website design, we recommend doing a full display optimization check. There are many ways that you can easily do this for your site.
This is not a surpising trend. Mobile has been quickly sneaking up on us for a couple years now. Back in 2014, 60% of website traffic was coming from mobile. So if you haven’t adapted your site by now, this is your last wake-up call!
2. Cookie-Cutter Websites
The best webpage design trends are moving towards a more responsive website overall. In an effort to accommodate this demand, websites are becoming more streamlined and simplified. WordPress, for example, is an easy platform to spot if you are experienced with using it. Although they offer many themes, there are a lot of similarities across each of them within the WordPress model.
This is both good and bad as we move forward. The good thing about this is that people will be able to more easily navigate through websites. They will feel more familiar within the standard models of websites that are popping up.
The downside is that all the websites look similar. People may not necessarily like the look of a custom-designed website that is made to look different.
This does provide a lot of options for the developer. They can fall into the basic model of highly responsive website design, or take a chance and use a more aggressive design in an effort to stand out.
However, WordPress receives a lot of negative press, and web design agencies have even stated that WordPress “is not the most secure.” They say the reason it’s hacked so often is because “it is the most used.” If you chose a CMS that is hardly used, it has a finite amount of possibilities and rewards for hackers. Since WordPress is used by so many people, it it a massive and rewarding target for hackers. However, your less-popular CMS may have more undetected vulnerabilities and be easier to hack.
3. Above-the-Fold Carousels
There was a time when a carousel or slider on a website was seen as unique and visually impressive. This is not the case anymore. Although they were popular a few years ago, websites have been overusing this feature. It is no longer something special and, instead, it is something that people are blowing right past. Awwwards has even said they are bad for SEO.
If you are making a website, it is easy to assume adding an interactive slider to your site will add value to it; however, you may want to reconsider that going forward.
4. Overly Complex Graphics
It is one thing to give your visitors something to look at while they are waiting for your site to load, it is another thing to have it be the reason your site is slow to load in the first place. If you overload your site with too many graphics, fancy visuals, and over-the-top typography, you may be slowing down your website significantly.
If you are interested in increasing the effectiveness of your website, fast response times are one of the most crucial aspects you need to focus on. It is easy to get caught up in dressing up your website, but always know when enough is enough.
5. Parallax Scrolling Websites
Parallax scrolling is a feature that creates a sort-of illusion. The foreground and background scrolls at different speeds as you navigate down the page. It creates a cool effect, but it has been shown to cause more harm than it is worth in many cases.
This type of effect can slow down the responsiveness of your website. These days, people are more interested in fast loading times over cool visuals. It can also interfere with SEO and add unnecessary coding to the backend of the website.
Wrapping Up 2016
These are just a few of the trends that we have spotted throughout 2016 so far. When you are making your own website, be aware of these trends. You can use them to your advantage or disadvantage, depending on the approach that you take.
Featured photo credit: Jeremy Keith via flickr.com