Five design trends that are here to stay and why.

With advances happening cross-device impacting the way users are interacting; everyone wants to know What’s the next big thing in UI/UX design? Rather than looking at what is coming up this article will focus on what is already working and why you’ll see more of it in 2016.

Here are five design trends that you will definitely keep seeing this year.

Micro-Interactions & Animations

They can come in big and small packages but animations give life to your site and (good or bad) are noticeable to your users.

Small animations take the form of loading spinners, hover animations and progress bars. There is an opportunity to delight even in these micro-interactions where the user isn’t necessarily interacting with the web page.

Large scale animations such as parallax scrolling make a bigger impact on your user and can be exciting or frustrating depending on the execution.

Flat Design Evolved

With the introduction of Material Design the old flat design has seen an evolution. Additions to traditional flat design come in the form of long shadows and more detailed iconography.

Vivid colour schemes are used to help highlight content and provide contrast. Simple Typography (usually sans serif) and a consistent use of one font-family throughout the site. This increases readability and ultimately provides a great user experience.

Our love affair with all things flat will continue to evolve this year to allow for an intuitive, smooth user experience.

Minimalism

With flat design comes minimalism. The two go well together and provide a de-cluttered space to get your main point across to the user.

With only the essential elements on the screen you emphasize each one’s importance. With minimalism you intentionally use a lot of negative space as a way of highlighting content.

This style becomes less distracting but it can be difficult to pair down your ideas and focus on the bare bones. Try playing with symmetry and contrasting element sizes and colours. This will help to add structure and visual hierarchy to a stark page.

Cards

Cards are great when incorporating a modular grid layout – which is conducive to responsive web design. Using a grid layout with a card structure allows for the content to be both easy to understand and simple to navigate.

Cards are consistent across all platforms. The user knows how to interact with a card the same way on mobile, tablet and desktop. This kind of cross-device consistency is perfect for optimizing your user experience.

Long Scroll

The old rule stating important content must be above the fold is out the window. For the first time we’re finding mobile trumps traditional desktop viewing in how users view the web. The popularity of the Long Scroll which is perfect on mobile is seen more and more across all screen sizes.

The advantages of a long scrolling site allow for designers to become storytellers and engage the user over the course of their journey.

Consider this for your site to aid with simple navigation and seamless mobile integration. Be mindful of your SEO for single pages sites, and consider sticky navigation to aid your users wherever possible.

What to expect

The new year will surely bring about a new design aesthetic especially with the emergence of AI, microinteractions and data-driven design; but these mainstay principles aren’t going anywhere soon and can be built upon to deliver excellent user experience.

Image Sources Google Brand System, publicis90, Sunbrella, Kelsey Drake, Victor Erixon