As web design changes, you want your website to remain modern-looking and professional, so that you don't get left behind. Joomla is a veteran among content management systems, but it still has a lot to surprise you. Professional web design studios that create Joomla templates understand that, and try to implement new trends and features as soon as they appear on the horizon. That’s why we decided to illustrate each trend followed by a Joomla template example.
So, what design techniques will be ruling the roost in 2016? Let’s have a look. Here’s the list of what we consider to be the major web design trends for 2016.
1. Multipurpose Design
Why opt for a multipurpose website design? It allows you to choose a design by its layout and functionality, and not by its topic. That’s why content-first templates are so popular: they allow you to divert your visitors’ attention from the user interface of your website to its actual message.
The ‘one-type-fits-all’ approach is a winning strategy if you are designing website templates for sale. Promoting it as a multipurpose product will allow you to access a wider target audience, and, as a result, more money. The main difficulty is that you have to pay attention to each and every detail in order to ensure cohesion between all the template’s functions.
Here is Wegy – a multipurpose Joomla template developed by TemplateMonster:
2. Clean Flat Design
Flat design doesn’t necessarily equal minimalism, but these two trends often go hand in hand. The reason is that both of them profess the UX-first approach to designing web pages.
Flat design relies on plain colors, sharp lines, simplicity, and clarity of all design elements. But pure flat interfaces may seem dull and repetitive, as more and more web designers tend to implement this trend as is, without adding any personal touch.
And here comes Material design, introduced and actively promoted by Google. It is just as clean as it is flat, but it also harks back to its skeuomorphic roots by using shadows and pseudo-3D effects. Google is among the most influential trendsetters, and it’s going to determine the vector of development for web design over the next several years, so, you can be sure that Material design will, for a while, stay at the top of the most used web design trends.
3. Code-Based Effects
CSS3 opened a whole new world of visual effects that can be implemented with the help of plain coding: various animations, rounded corners, shadows and transformations that will liven up your design without having to use obsolete GIF animations.
Moreover, code-based visual elements can be encoded to protect them from being copied.
4. Advanced Navigation
Website navigation is the keystone of user experience, so making it convenient and informative is the number one task for every web designer. Modern navigation types are not limited to dropdown and mega menus.
‘Mega’ stands for complex menus with multiple columns displaying not just links to categories and pages, but also banners, videos, and other types of rich content. They are particularly popular in eCommerce, where a well-positioned call-to-action element can encourage a visitor to make a purchase.
If you have long, scrolling pages, it would be smart to make your menu bar sticky, so your visitors always have access to it. It is especially important if your design includes infinite scrolling. In this case you might want to include a back-to-top button.
The good news is that you can combine all the menu types making your navigation sticky, and enhanced with ‘mega’-functionality at the same time.
5. Extensive Use of Dynamic Elements
Modern eCommerce is all about dynamic web elements. Much of its functionality is impossible without supporting scripts: the entire process from adding a product to cart to checkout, and verification of a credit card; adding a wish list, tracking your customers’ location, and so on. Without those dynamic features your online store would be just a showcase of products without any automated selling functionality – definitely not an option for a website in the 21st century.
Other personalized website types, such as social networks, bookmarking services, and forum boards are heavily dependent on this trend as well.
But be careful: excessive use of scripts may possibly slow down your website, so if you are planning to launch a simple personal website, don’t overload it. Better to personalize it in a more ‘human’ way.
6. Focus on Media
90% of all information we perceive comes to our brain through our eyes. This fact makes engaging media such as images and videos an ace in the hole for those web designers, who use them wisely. Professionally designed image-based websites look stunning, just like pages of a glossy magazine. Such an approach grants your visitors full immersion, and delivers unmatched user experience.
Background videos are relatively new to the web, but they have already proven their effectiveness as boosters of user engagement. At the same time, embedded videos placed on product pages are a great way to educate your customers, and increase the conversion of your store.
7. Card Design and its Variations
If your website’s aim is to present some uniform pieces of content, the card design trend is for you. If you are not sure what those ‘uniform pieces’ are, here are some examples: tweets on Twitter, posts on Behance or Dribbble, profiles and announcements on various job portals and marketplaces.
Typically each item consists of an image that attracts attention; a chunk of text that gives your visitors an idea of what the post is about; and some additional meta data: tags, badges, rating, and so on. Such a card briefly describes each aspect of a post, saving page space and boosting user engagement.
There are several ways of implementing this trend in your design: you can build a masonry grid website with cards forming the bulk of the layout; or use them for individual content blocks.
Being trendy doesn’t mean being mainstream, at least, not in web design. Behind every trend there are months of research conducted by experienced UX specialists, and financed by large corporations. If you are skeptical about any of them, take a closer look anyway. Perhaps, it is just what you need to skyrocket your business.