The Website Design Trends of 2016: A Year in Review

2016 was the year of user experience and responsive designs. Responsive designs became the most important goal and increasingly expected by users. When we access a website on our phone or tablet we no longer expect to see a shrunken difficult to navigate version of the website. If we do, many of us will just prefer to go to a competitor who has mobile responsive site.

Creative and unique designs will start to die out after time however responsive designs will be here for the long haul. So, without further ado, here’s our round up of 2016’s most popular website design trends.


Hero Images

One of the most popular trends have been a large hero images that sits in a prominent place. This is usually above the top fold and it will be images that are relevant to the website. The image should be high quality and positively identity the brand. Some designers have taken this up a level by using this space as a slideshow, a moving animation or even a video. A hero image has been use effective as brands have been using the space to add a call to action button or overlay a search bar over the image.

Stand out Typography

With minimalism designs still very much in vogue for overall web design, bold typography has been a major trend for 2016. Simple backgrounds and lots of white space has allowed brands to communicate their brand’s personality through their choice of font. A stand out typography will make your brand font recognisable to customers and they will start to associate it with the business. As well as complex fonts, designers have been experimenting with extreme sizes. They have been using this technique so their keyword is standing out from the page. While more traditional fonts are still being deployed however in a new and innovative ways.

Hamburger Menu Bar

Hamburger menu bar has been controversial topic in 2016. The three horizontal lines are a simple way of de-cluttering navigation which is an on-going problem for small screen devices. the graphic isn’t self- explanatory and relies on the user recognising it as something that needs clicking. This can also have a negative impact on the users as it’s hiding the website navigation. The user doesn’t immediately see the full extent and breadth of a website.

Endless Scrolling

Endless scrolling has been one of the most important changes this year because of the high rise in mobile devices being used to browse the internet. As mobile devices have smaller screens means that information is mainly rad in vertical lists. It’s useful for information to load automatically so the user doesn’t need to click “Read More” which will have a negative impact on their experience. This type of scrolling was popularised through social media: Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Social media and websites that have adapted this type of scrolling need to display large amounts of information, especially on social media the information will need to be continuously updated in a logical manner. Various design tricks have been used to break up the monotony of endless scrolling. Designers have been grouping information together through colour blocking or animation to transition between sections.


Dutones has become a widespread favourite this year. Duotones is simply breaking an image down into two colours, a method originally origins from the print industry. The colours used need to be contrasting so that the image remains clear and detailed. This type of design has been popular on minimalist websites and Spotify. It’s a great way to have a strong visual impact whilst remaining un-cluttered.

So, there you go – some of the biggest website designs trends of 2016. The next year we predicate will be a year of great imagery, animations and videos and increasingly prominence of artificial intelligence.