Trends come and go, and in the ecommerce industry, where updating web page design is as simple as swapping out a few lines of code, they can shift in an instant. To help guide your web design changes this year, we’ve asked members of our Agency Program to share their predictions for 2016 so you can stay ahead of the pack.
Trends from 2015
First, let’s look at some 2015 trends that are sticking around. If your redesigned your website last year using any of these elements, you don’t have to change them. Armando Salvador, Chief Technical Officer at eComm360 predicts these trends are here to stay:
Flat web design removes all traces of shadows, depth effects, bevels, gradients and three-dimensional effects to give a simple, minimalist look. This trends makes a website very clean and clear, and a seamless match for responsive design. Although this trend has been around for a few years already, we will continue to see it used in 2016.
Scroll to tell stories
In 2015, we saw a rise of web pages that seem to scroll to infinity. The scrolling web design not only gives great results, it’s perfect for developing story-like content because it limits the number of clicks a visitor has to make. Coupled with the increased use of mobile devices, this scrolling trend will remain the design preference of users in 2016.
Well-placed animations can greatly enrich the experience within any web website
Here are some of the most popular:
- Loaders: entertains and lets visitors know exactly what’s going on.
- Hover: lends itself to a more intuitive user experience, providing user feedback without having to click.
- Slideshows: present images and videos without cluttering web design.
Not all 2015 trends will be along for the ride in 2016. Mona from NuRelm says goodbye to:
Flashy but Slow Sites
In 2015, there were many flashy sites that used hefty and sizable parallax styles or large file designs that look cool, but slow down users’ browsers to unbearable speeds. Designs should be clean, unique engaging, and easily accessible, but also easy to process both on the server-side. They should be easy on viewers’ eyes and easy to understand.
Design Trends New to 2016
Each new year brings new ideas. Here are the trends Armando from eComm360 is most looking forward to in 2016.
Larger fonts, used expressively, will be more common.
Take advantage of the full width of devices: sliders with multiple images have been replaced with one, high-resolution image. With more advanced technology and improved hardware, larger designs can be better appreciated.
The Burger menu, so prevalent in responsive designs, is now a regular feature on the websites, even those designed for larger devices. It has long been used for mobile, but as the minimalist trend continues, we see the burger menu replacing traditional dropdowns on desktop.
Ghost buttons have been increasingly integrated into today’s design. Virtually invisible, they take minimalism to the extreme. Activated via hover animations, they attract more attention from the user and encourage secondary actions.
Pinterest made this trend popular, and we’ll be seeing it adapted into web design this year. The design works very well when websites need to mix different types of information and invites unlimited and easy content navigation.
In 2016, Sam from NuRelm is looking forward to:
We are expecting to see a rise in developers and designers implementing designs that increase usability for those who have trouble accessing a computer or the internet. Whether it be physical touch limitation or sight impairment, new design trends are shifting to adapt to individual needs. We believe everyone should have the right to easily access the internet and browse the same as everyone else, and no company should ignore people that might have trouble browsing their own site.
In a nutshell
Whether you’re an online merchant looking to redesign your website or a designer picking up ideas for new PrestaShop themes, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Design trends should be carefully considered before integrating them into your online shop. The “flashy-er” a trend, the quicker it can potentially die out. If you’re not looking to redesign your shop for a few years, pick the trends you want to integrate wisely.
- Don’t forget about your audience, the customer. Regardless of how “cool” your website is, it should ultimately help to convert your customer. Make sure your new design doesn’t detract from the products you’re trying to sell.
- A/B test your ideas, if you can. Just because something is trendy, doesn’t mean it will work for your online shop. Make sure that adding these new designs don’t put a damper on your current sales.