As we look into our crystal ball at what the future of the web looks like, we think 2016 is shaping up to be a great year of advancement for the internet. Here are the 5 web design and development tends that will emerge as the most important topics for 2016:
It’s no mystery that Google has been using site speed as one of its ranking factors for at least the past couple of years. We think that this trend will continue and that Google is likely to use site speed as an even stronger ranking factor than it does today. After all, Google wants to provide its users with the best possible results, taking into account relevancy (to their search query), and site speed. Plus, with humans’ ever decreasing attention spans, we think it makes great sense to optimize every site’s loading speed to the maximum degree. We look forward to making even better use of SVG graphics, CDN-hosted images, and caching in 2016.
Just as Google wants to provide its users with the fastest experience possible, they also want to provide them with the most secure experience, too. For over a year now, Google has publicly stated that https is a ranking factor, albeit a relatively small one. We think that 2016 will see that ranking importance increase quite a bit. Plus, getting an SSL certificate for a website just got a lot easier and cheaper. Who knows, in a few years we may look back on when sites weren’t encrypted and laugh at ourselves for being so foolish. But until then, we plan on switching some of our clients’ sites over to https this year.
This is something that we all strive to do (or should always strive to do), but I think a lot of companies are finally figuring it out. I think it’s time that we leave the days of creating fluff content for websites behind and create fun, interesting content that will continue bringing users back.
We think 2016 will be the year that more and more brands will embrace a more minimal style. For years, we (as the design community) have been adding bells, whistles, and bloat to our websites in the form of sliders, slideshows, social widgets, and sharing services. After a rather good talk on minimal design at WordCampe US 2015, we’re convinced that minimal design is where things are heading in 2016.
Ahh, the venerable homepage slideshow. The old trusty design element that has been used on homepages of nearly every website for the better part of a decade. We’re not going to say that it’s time for this too-often-used design element to be put to rest, but we’re pretty much saying that it’s time for it to be put to rest. Sure, it’s a great way to showcase multiple messages that you want to display to your users. But the fact of the matter is that many users never wait around long enough to watch more than maaaaybe one or two slides. Plus, isn’t it time that other design paradigms got their 15 minutes of fame? We’re going to make a serious effort to find more creative alternatives in 2016 and we hope our fellow designers will, too.
So there you have it: Our top 5 trends to look for in website design and development for 2016. We’d love to hear what you think. Shoot us an email or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Peach (just kidding, nobody’s using Peach quite yet, although we have set up an account on there, so look us up!).
About the author:
Partner, Director of Technology
Jeff is one of Torx's founding partners and serves as the agency's Director of Technology. He built his first website back in 1996 and has never looked back. Jeff wears many hats at Torx: front-end designer and developer, server administrator, and resident Apple enthusiast.