As 2015 fades further into the background, it's time to take a look back at some of the Web design trends that helped shape the past 12 months. Last year was an eventful one, with some emerging Web design trends starting to gain prominence and some past ones fading into obscurity. Let's go over some of the most popular Web design changes that made waves this year and take a look into 2016 to see how these trends will fare in the near future.
Though responsive design has been around for several years, 2015 was a breakout year for mobile optimization. Not only is this trend becoming more and more prevalent across the Web, but, as Forbes notes, this year also saw Google finally update its algorithm to favor websites with responsive design, ranking those with automatic mobile optimization higher than those without. Because of the rising importance of responsive design, you can expect this trend to continue to grow in 2016. Though 2015 was the year that that responsive design took off for big businesses, there is still room for growth among small and midsize businesses, which is where you can look to see responsive design continuing to grow in 2016.
Cards Take Over
Card-based design was everywhere in 2015, and for good reason. This design trend provides a framework for businesses to organize large amounts of content with a predictable image, headline, main text, call-to-action format that is easy for consumers to scroll through. Card-based design is also ideal for mobile and responsive designs, too, as the rows and columns that form the backbone of this Web design trend can be automatically rearranged to fit different screen sizes. Card-based design spread like fire across the Web in 2015, and while there may be some pushback in 2016 from groups who would prefer to stand out rather than follow popular trends, don't expect see the card format going away any time soon.
The End of Flash
For years, Adobe Flash was a staple of multimedia on the Internet, helping marketers create splashy landing pages that could easily catch consumers' attention. However, 2015 was a turning point, as security concerns put the decline of Flash (which was already put in motion thanks to Apple's refusal to support Flash in its iOS) into hyperdrive. Perhaps the biggest blow to Flash in 2015 was when Facebook decided to abandon the platform as its video player in December, embracing the more stable HTML5, as reported by Tripwire. This movement away from Flash will continue into 2016, as medium and small businesses follow Facebook and abandon this old platform and toward the new HTML5 standard.
Yes, 2015 was a great year for Web design trends, but as 2016 begins, it's important to look to the future. Web design trends like cards and responsive design will likely grow next year, as antiquated trends like flash-based animation fade into obscurity. And of course, always expect to see some surprises next year too!