User Experience Continues To Push Design Trends Online
Katy Kite
August 2016

These days, it seems like we can’t live without our phones. We’re consumed with texting and checking every social app, ad nauseam. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Email. The list goes on and on.

However, few realize we are also experiencing and interacting with brands daily through our mobile devices. We make many of our buying decisions based on how we judge our interactions with brands online, especially mobile. I know that if I experience a website that takes forever to load or is incredibly difficult to use, then my opinion of that brand and/or product declines, and I most likely won’t engage with either my time or my money.

Which is to say, it’s becoming increasingly vital that your website’s function and design stay relevant. 

To do so, it is important to stay ahead of the curve. You have to focus on design and web trends that develop from new user experience technology.

Here are just a few design trends to keep an eye on:

Long scrolls
Long gone are the days of “above the fold.” Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. have conditioned users to scroll. Scrolling allows you to really engage in storytelling with the user rather than jamming all the information above the fold. Utilize the unlimited space to really allow the typography and images to tell your story.

Large Hero Images
High quality images are one of the fastest ways to grab a user’s attention. With little copy, an image can set the tone of the entire site. Advances in Internet and data compression make this design trend possible without the pain of slow load times. Another trend to keep an eye on is using looping video in your large hero image areas. It is another great way to grab a user's attention and enhance your site's storytelling. It’s also a big plus if you can include more imagery and decrease the overall amount of text.

Card Layouts
Created by Pinterest, cards are everywhere online. They present information in bite-sized bits, perfect for browsing. They act as “containers” on sites, which makes them easier to rearrange for many mobile devices and responsive design. 

Animation is being used increasingly more to enhance storytelling and make a site more interactive and entertaining. But be selective where and when you place your animation. Some current animation trends include parallax scrolling, hover animations and loading animations. Something as simple as a loading animation gives you an opportunity to show design skill and personality on your site.

Flat Design 
Responsive design and improved user interfaces have really forced design to cut the clutter and become minimalistic. Users are viewing websites on small screens, and often the site is adapting to many different screen sizes and ratios. A complicated design makes it much more difficult to adapt to those screens. Within flat design, these trends have emerged. Some ways to stay on trend in flat design are to pay attention to negative space, trimming as many unnecessary elements as possible, and keep the body copy typography simple and easy to read.

The digital arena is constantly changing and evolving. While it can be overwhelming trying to keep pace, it’s important to your brand to stay on the cutting edge of digital innovation.

About Littlefield
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Littlefield Agency has been helping regional and national companies grow their brands and businesses since 1980.