No matter what sector you fall in, websites are starting to look similar. Big hero images followed by basic grids are getting dull and forgettable. As CSS advances and browser support catches up, web designers and developers can get back to graphic design routes and create things that were simply not possible in recent times.
COLOUR & GRADIENTS
There are a few trends emerging here and it's too early to tell what will last the test of time but we have a pretty good idea. Brighter colours with gradients, vivid photography and even pastel colours are in whilst flat, primary colour palettes are out.
There's now a huge number of fonts that render beautifully on the web. It gives brands the chance to be stand out rather than be forced into a corner and using Open Sans. We must be careful though, loading too many fonts (and even font weights/variations) can lead to slower load times.
ANIMATION & INTERACTION
We're a huge fan of animation in web design at Bigger Picture and it's not going anywhere. Light weight animated SVGs using CSS, hover effects and content reveals make browsing through a website much more engaging. Don't overdo it though, it'll just get annoying.
Video is nothing new to the web and embedding videos from YouTube or Vimeo into your web pages is a breeze. But designers' are always looking for new ways to story tell and keep people engaged. As text heavy pages and scrolling banners with a million messages are dying out, video is being used to replace them with great affect. Producing videos is getting easier (and cheaper) too, so we expect to see video used a lot more in 2017 and beyond.
I can't say I am a huge fan of burger menus, you know, the three little horizontal lines stacked on top of each other. Originally popularised due to the space on mobile devices, burger menus made their way to desktop. What is the point of having an additional click to reveal your key pages when there is space to display on screen?!?! I recommend reading http://jamesarcher.me/hamburger-menu if you need convincing. Thankfully we've started to see much more intuitive, creative ways of integrating a menu/navigation into a design in recent times. Whist there is nothing wrong with the traditional horizontal menu, we'll start seeing some different implementations more often in 2017.
Those stock images of smiley models with a headset are quite simply horrendous. They show no personality, are way to overused and are doing your brand no favours. Whilst stock images can come in super handy and certainly have a place in design for 2017, there is a change happening when it comes to photography in web design. Until virtual reality, interactive video and animation make their way to mainstream websites, static images and photography will become more vivid, custom and overall better quality vs recent years.
HUMANISATION OF BRANDS
For smaller business getting across personality is much easier. Using video and photos of real people that work in your local store/office gives that immediate connection. Historically larger businesses failed miserably and had a bland, corporate tone that nobody bothered to engage with. With social media exploding, and the need to connect emotionally with an audience growing, brands are working hard on their tone, messaging and design. Whether it's using a famous figure to promote a product, putting the CEO in front of the camera, or simply injecting a sense of humour, brands must be more interesting now.
With all the cool stuff available to designers and developers, it's far too easy to create an awesome, interactive website, that takes 20 minutes to load. Argh!
Not good for your user experience, conversion rate, or search optimisation. In 2016 we saw the introduction of Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP, which focus on delivering an instant web page to mobile users. You won't see anything funky happening on these pages, it's all about the content. So with speed becoming such an important factor, pages that are all about content rather than animation won't become a thing of the past any time soon.