Web design in 2016

At the end of the year, it’s always good to look forwards to see what can be expected in the different areas of digital marketing for the year ahead.

Web design in 2016 is looking like a mixed bag – more of the same, some newer techniques that are pretty innovative – and some surprises. The article contains a number of elements which althogether come under the umbrella of web design, such as UI.


There are a lot of sites out there which seem to come from a cookie cutter. The ones that win Awwwwards definitely seem to be of a fashionable design. However, being on trend can’t be a bad thing in the quick moving world of web design. Standardisation is good when it comes to some elements of a website, of example, checkout processes should all really be the same.

Patterns over Pages

User interface is a key component of web design, and design patterns which are component-led, not interface-led are helping to drive UI to be the keystone of great web design.

Codeacademy have had a recent redesign built around UI patterns. They used 10 guiding design principles – a way to accommodate for typical user interactions with a website to ensure that any build is based upon how people actually want the site to work.


While Flash is almost in its grave, HTML5, CSS, and JQuery still provide the ability to do some amazing things when it comes to animation. The issue is that animation is often overdone, coming at the expense of other elements on the site.

Sophie Paxton managed to sum up the trend for animation and how it should be done wonderfully.

Super Saturation

Bold colours are go! Move over teal and orange, because it’s time to pull out all of the colour palettes. Medium has gone neon, Bloomberg is full in-your-face colour and the internet went mental about Spotify’s new brand colours recently.

Blurred Backgrounds

Using a smaller image for your background will mean that it loads faster, but it won’t look great. However, using Gaussian blur will render the image still usable and it will speed up your page loading times by up to 30%. Keep your eye out for this trend in the new year.

Subtle Loading

When a user clicks something, an action should occur. For example, Facebook loads the frames that hold statuses and images on the page before the content so that a user knows that it is working. This subtle load state will become increasingly popular.


So pop-ups are all over the web and set to continue, usually delivering a passive aggressive message that encourages people to like them on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter. The close button is obscure and the messaging pretty rubbish. No sign of this abating. Cracked, I’m looking at you.

No More Hamburger

The hamburger menu, those three bars denoting that there are options for a user to explore, is disappearing from sites. Instead, designers are opting for more clear and visible menus. YouTube, Google, Apple and Microsoft no longer use the sign. Others will be following.

Are there any other key trends that you think will hit in 2016? Discuss below!