Web design is constantly evolving. Each year web designers try to come up with new and innovative ways to build websites. With five months into 2016, some new trends can already be seen as clients try to get the most out of their website. These trends are meant to not only make your website look better but to also convert views into sales. Below is a list of the Top 5 web design trends that you should pay attention to in 2016 and beyond.

1.) Mobile First Websites

We can’t stress how important it is for your website to be mobile friendly. In a past article we mentioned that having a mobile friendly website can increase sales and also build your rankings on Google. But having a responsive website isn’t the trend we are talking about here. Instead we are talking about website built with phones in mind first and foremost.

Typically when Thayer2Design builds a website we focus on the desktop and laptop versions of the website. After we make those versions we will then focus on the phone version of the site, followed by the tablet version. But what about websites that expect most of their clients to use their phone when visiting their website? A client of ours, Liverpool Area Taxi knew that most of their clients would be using their phone to call for a Taxi. That is why their website was designed with a simplistic look that would be easy for their customers to access on their phones.

Look for this trend to continue to grow moving forward. One out of every three users views your website on their phone. As smart phones continue to advance, that trend will only rise. We can’t stress it enough. Your website needs to be mobile friendly and Thayer2Design can help.

2.) Large Background Images

The text of your website can help with SEO and tells your audience what you’re all about. But let’s be honest, a picture is worth a thousand words. People use images to engage and to illustrate the message they are trying to deliver. Stock photos have gotten better over the years with less cheesy images and more realistic scenes to create a more realistic experience.

Today, websites are take advantage of those great images and putting them front and center for their customers to see.  A great example is this bakery template. This isn’t a real company, but it gives you an idea of the possibilities that you can create.  You’ll see that a combination of their logo, and background image create a great first impression. It looks both professional and makes you want to know more about them.

3.) Hamburger Menus

Love it or hate it, the hamburger menu is here to stay. Now many of you might be wondering “what the heck is a hamburger menu”. As delicious as it might sound, it has nothing to do with food. Instead the hamburger menu is simply three lines that represent the navigation bar. When you click on those three lines, your navigation links appear. You’ve probably seen this most often on your phone. However you can now expect to start seeing it on your laptop as well. That’s because the hamburger menu is becoming more known. People know that when they see those three lines, they know to click it.  So if your website has tons of links that could be cluttering up space on your website, you can now hide it behind the hamburger menu and create a much cleaner look.

4.) Website Security

Does your computer have antivirus software? Would you use online banking if they weren’t secure? What kind of security does your website have? If weren’t able to answer the last question, there might be a problem. Everyone has heard about breaches in security. LinkedIn is the most recent victim with users having their passwords possibly stolen. A big trend moving forward will be having your website secure from cyber threats. We’re not just talking about online shopping sites; we are talking about every website. My own website for example gets attacked on an almost daily basis. Most of the people trying to hack into my website aren’t even from the United States. Hackers use programs to try and steal your password and do harm to your website. Some even hold your site hostage until you pay them to release it back to you. To avoid this, your website should have some sort of security program running at all times.  At the very least you should have at least one backup copy of your website stored offline. That way if your website is ever taken offline by a online threat, you can restore your site quickly.

5) Evolution of Web Design

This isn’t so much a trend as it is a guarantee. Web design will always evolve. It will always grow and change just like technology. As a web designer you are constantly studying patterns and changes. It not only helps you create better websites, but it gives your clients a sense of relief knowing that their website won’t be obsolete after a year or two. New technology is already starting to show itself.

Smart watches simply won’t go away. Although not as popular as the iPhone or iPad, the Apple watch and other smart watches are slowly starting to gain momentum. It’s only a matter of time before websites are built to work with your watch and allow you to quickly get access from it. Virtual reality is also starting to peak its head into tech world. How cool would it be to access your website in virtual reality? Perhaps a real estate company could have a virtual showing of a client’s house on their website that could be viewed with a virtual reality headset? Or make a theme park could have virtual reality rides on their website that customers could experience right from their couch.

You never know what the future will bring, but we are certainly excited for it. For all of your Web Design needs, give us a call or send us a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!