An Exhaustive Guide to the Web Design Trends of 2016

Last year brought to the fore many new changes in the world of web design. And this year too is all set to bring about dramatic changes in the web design arena. But this year, the changes will be bigger and better than ever before. In fact, a fair share of experts believe that the year 2016 will be the year of the website design.

An Exhaustive Guide to the Web Design Trends of 2016

Technology is changing fast and so are the designing trends. Different companies and startups are launching their websites with a new and a fresh look and making it more responsive and interactive.

Just as people judge a book by its cover, the reputation of your business is usually judged by the aesthetics, design and functionality of your website. However, it is not only the look of your website that needs to be changed, its functions, presentation, loading speed and how it can be updated are a few things that need to be taken care of too.

The design of your website plays a crucial role in your marketing efforts. It is the first thing your customers are going to notice. Visitors to your site should feel comfortable and confident when checking your brand and products. But how would you ensure that you’re able to meet the ever-changing expectations of users in the year ahead? The answer is simple! You’ll need to embrace the newest design trends in the world of web.

In 2016, many changes are expected in the web design arena. The design trends are likely to shift from bold shadows, complex textures, and heavy gradients to much cleaner and flatter ones. There is no denying the fact that using images and interactive elements may bolster a roost to your website.

This year, your aim should be to make people fall in love with your website so that they come visit and revisit it time and again! So, to help you stay ahead of the curve, we present to you an exhaustive guide to the web design trends of 2016. Have a look!

Innovative Scrolling

Everyone these days are accustomed to long scrolls, thanks to the ever-increasing usage of smartphones! According to recent study by UX Movement, most visitors prefer up and down scroll design than the usual click navigation of one page to another. It can be vertical or horizontal, swiping or animation scrolling. We’re likely to see more of innovative scrolling in 2016. So, don’t forget to incorporate the innovative scrolling feature to attract more visitors to your website in the year to come. It will also ensure that visitors spend a longer time on your website. Remember, the idea is to make things more fun and convenient for your visitors. NASA Prospect is a perfect example of such innovative scrolling. This amazing scroll site never fails to keep its visitor engaged and entertained. Don’t believe us? See for yourself!

NASA Prospect
NASA Prospect website

According to an article published at around 70% visitors check the top of the page and scroll even before the page is fully loaded.

visitors behavior
Chartbeat article

Header and Page Parallax Motion

Yet another significant web design trend of 2016 will be the page parallax motion. It creates a 3D effect as you scroll down the page and can turn out to be a visual treat for your site’s visitors. To add more color, you can design your website in a way that the header and page parallax motion moves every time visitors move their mouse.

An advantage of having a page parallax motion is that it keeps the reader engaged as every time he/she scrolls or touches the mouse, there will be something new to watch. Also, it’ll help you convey your message to your visitors easily and in a more entertaining fashion. However, as they say excess of anything is bad, so don’t overdo it. The Royal British Legion is a classic example of site that uses page parallax designs to put forth a strong message in the most entertaining way possible.

The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion website

Semi-flat Design

Now, this technique has been around for years but gained popularity only since the last few years. It became popular in very short span of time because it’s quicker and easier for users to comprehend and is able to load more quickly on websites. Flat design trend can be seen everywhere, from blogs of small businesses to the websites of the most iconic brands in the world. It is quite easy to create and manage flat designs. But with the ever-changing trends, designers are likely to add a little extra to the icons, the menus, the illustrations in order to breathe life into the site elements.

Now, there is no doubt that why several web designers, from novice beginners to professional experts, choose flat designs when it comes to creating useful, creative and unique website designs. Vine is a great example of semi-flat design that seamlessly blends real-time images with its flat design. In fact, many believe that Vine is one of the best examples of semi flat designs.

Vine website

Outside the Box Design

This one was winner trend last year and this year too, it’s expected to make waves in the web design industry. For long rectangle page layouts have been the first choice of website designers. But we’re likely to see more and more designers put in conscious efforts to come up shapes other than a rectangle in the year 2016.

There are so many other shapes of geometry that can be and are being used for designing websites. Whether is an Sports website, Fitness website or any other geometrical shapes goes well with all. It’s something that yields the power to enhance the overall voice of the website design. Apart from helping users navigate the site easily, it catches eyes easily too. One of the best examples of the site with extraordinary geometry elements and shapes is Full Stop. This amazing website uses circles as the logo design to summon the attention of visitors’ to the company’s name. Some more famous sports companies such as Columbia Sportswear and Adidas are also using geometrical shapes in their sports logo.

Full Stop
Full Stop website

Full Screen Layouts

Finally, we are talking about a single image filling the entire screen with of course a few words. Isn’t that interesting to imagine? As they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. This proverb doesn’t find its weight worth in gold anywhere else than in the websites with full screen layouts. Using a large size image or a video clip grabs the attention and interest of your visitors’ right from the outset. We’re sure this trend will take the world by storm in 2016.

The most interesting thing about a full screen layout is that it makes it easy for users to find, understand and comprehend the information they’re looking for. You can easily use a video or image of the product or service that you are providing that helps in engaging the customer. Here’s an example of a website with full screen layout. Jobs Is Free is an interesting site that impresses with its simplicity and attractiveness.

Jobs Is Free
Jobs Is Free website

Interactive Storytelling

This is the most popular and favorite trend amongst the discerning netizens – visual story-telling! It had taken center-stage in 2015 and is set to grab the attention of the world in 2016 too. So, this year, brace yourself to don the cap of a storyteller and design your sites to share a story with your visitors. Since you need to show a little more on your website, make sure that your content is in the form of an interactive story that actively engages your audience and makes them stay a while longer on your site.

You can incorporate quizzes, polls, videos, images, audio clips or immerse websites to spread the message you want to. This will definitely involve more and more people making your site a hit. Here’s a perfect example of storytelling website design – MoMA Century of the Child – that compels audience to continue scrolling down their pages!

MoMA Century of the Child
MoMA Century of the Child website

Fewer Pages

Less is more these days! We are just talking about the number of pages on your website. Using a one page design or a simplified multi-page design will attract more users to your website. Remember, visitors often shy away from page heavy sites.

Nobody wants to click multiple pages anymore. With an increasing number of people accessing the internet through their mobile devices these days, one page designs are easy and more convenient for them. And when you’re designing a one-page website, it makes sense to ensure innovative scrolling to make things easier and interesting for visitors. Kocha is an amazing one-page site that’ll make you understand what it takes to be the best without essentially adding web pages to your site. Check it out!

Kocha website

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

SVG has been in use for many years. And it still holds extreme importance. With SVG, images maintain their clarity and sharpness on all devices. It packs all essential web elements together with design elements to fit well to all screen sizes. reveals that currently only 1.3% of all websites use SVG. But we’re sure to see ruling the world of creative web design in the year 2016. Here’s an example of SVG.

1.3% of all websites use SVG
Image source

Responsive Web Design

An article published at reveals that more than 1.2 billion people access web from their mobile devices and round 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience. Looking at these figures makes it all the more important for you to have a site that aptly fits the changing screen sizes and provides an optimal viewing experience. Also, an article in Huffington Post wisely explains that “57 percent of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 30 percent will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile devices.”

Here are some mind-boggling stats that will urge you to opt for a responsive web design if you haven’t as yet!

  • Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices.
  • 61% people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.
  • Tablet users spend 50% more than PC users.
  • 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.

In an article published at, marketing director, Charles Darwin reveals that Google prefers responsive web design as the recommended mobile configuration. It offers a better user experience and helps you boost your website conversions. So, if you haven’t invested in responsive website design so, go for it now. Remember, better late than sorry. Sparkbox is a great example of responsive website design. Its sequential arrangement sustains device transfer quite smoothly and effortlessly.

Sparkbox website

Ghost Buttons

The fashion of using loud and flashy buttons are gone. Usage of ghost buttons, also called transparent buttons, is another trend that will rule the roost in 2016. Often described as hollow buttons, ghost buttons include only the outline of a button (no fill) along with a word or two in simple typography in the center. And this is what makes them look attractive and immediately grabs people’s attention. Due their nature of being less obtrusive, ghost buttons help sites highlight more of the content they want audiences to actually see. World in My Lens is a great example of a site that uses ghost buttons to its advantage.

World in My Lens
World in My Lens website

Dynamic Backgrounds

Dynamic background could be anything from using a powerful image to a 3D background or even a video. Adding a video at the background is perfect for drawing immediate attention of the people because the human eye is drawn to movement.

We’re sure to see more of dynamic background in the web design arena in the year ahead. The background video on Yanagiu Kamiko website is immersive and engaging. It makes you want to see more and know the story behind the moving images.

Yanagiu Kamiko
Yanagiu Kamiko website

Split Screens

Split screen layouts are becoming popular all over the web this year and will be seen even more in the year to come. Dividing the web page into two or more parts. Designers are able to present twice the content to users in a clean and simple format. It will be more useful for people who offer two valuable products, services, or angle as they will be able to feature two separate messages. The split screen gives you an opportunity to compare two things. For instance, car maker Peugeot uses a split screen layout on its homepage to blend the human element of the car with the car itself. See for yourself!

Peugeot website


With the technology changing faster than ever, many new design trends continue to emerge with each passing year. We hope the trends above can light a spark in designers to create websites that are unique and stand out from the rest. Make sure that you are well versed with the up and coming trends and practices before designing a web page to stay ahead of the curve.

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  1. I do love the semi-flat website design – just don`t know how long before that will be un-cool though! Can imagine the design times and process of that kind of thing to be quite long and a pain in the ass with clients saying that doesn’t look right etc, but damn i do love it!

  2. Give me a call. I would like to speak with you.
    Marc Reitman

  3. Nice article! Just wanted to mention the Full Stop website was replaced with a placeholder page. Also, it looks like “it catches yes easily too” was meant to be “it catches eyes easily too”.

  4. This is satire, right?

  5. So much good design info, on a site with bland design… What is one to think?

  6. That awkward moment when you say “Here’s an example of SVG” and the picture is not an SVG….

  7. The writing really needs work – do you even check grammar or have someone proofread? It’s a nice list, but have someone else write the article. Some of it is incomprehensible…

    “Now, there is no doubt that why several web designers, from novice beginners to professional experts, choose flat designs when it comes to creating useful, creative and unique website designs.”

    “Whether is an Sports website, Fitness website or any other geometrical shapes goes well with all.”


  8. Nice websites! Peugeot is my favorite.

  9. Great article. Mine favorite is dynamic grounds.

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