VR technology enters mainstream

The launch of Google Cardboard made quite a stir in 2015 and we expect the whole VR scene to get even bigger and better this year.

There are several big launches in the pipeline, and the gaming sector is leading the way. Notably, virtual reality promises to be ‘unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.’ The hype says that whether you’re stepping into your favourite game, watching an immersive VR movie, jumping to a destination on the other side of the world, or just spending time with friends in VR, virtual technology will ‘make you feel like you’re really there’ – we can’t wait to try it out.

Another much-anticipated VR launch is due from PlayStation. The company says its super-sound VR technology will create simultaneous images on the headset and TV so everyone can join in. This will no doubt make VR mainstream on the gaming front.


We’ll see more ‘flat design’

Trends come and go in the world of graphic design but throughout 2016 we expect ‘flat design’ to remain popular both for print and the web.

Flat design is all about keeping it simple, giving straight-forward yet effective structure to whatever we design and stripping back any unnecessary detail.

Sharp edges, defined colour structures, this is how brands are managing to reinvent themselves in a modern way while retaining their distinctive look and feel. Both Starbucks and Google are great examples of how flat design works in practice.


Pictures – less, typography – more message

Where once we designers were limited to a small number of system fonts, we now have a myriad of options available. This is perhaps why the clear minimalism of flat design has become so popular – we’re now able to say more with less by introducing great typography features into the websites we create.

And with so much information competing for our attention on the web, simplicity is absolutely vital. This won’t mean a loss of creativity, indeed, it means we can be ever more innovative with the way we draw attention to brand messages by making use of images, textures and patterns within the typography to make a bolder, clearer statement.


Prepare to get interactive

Everyone using the web is increasingly impatient to get to the exact information they’re looking for. That said, we are beginning to expect more than the simple delivery of facts, so companies which deliver interactive immersive experiences will steal the greater ‘share of mind’ among consumers.

Companies which can engage us with stories and themes will be more appealing than those which impart bland information and facts.   The benchmark for web design will be the ability to use interactive design to tell a great story by keeping users engaged with the content and, particularly where mobile browsing is concerned, enticing them to keep scrolling to the bottom of the page.

These immersive experiences are becoming more widespread thanks to the emergence of creative juice, like CSS3 transitions and Google’s Material Design approach, allowing the use of transitions to guide the users attention to different messages and/or areas of a website.


Engaging layouts

We’re all familiar with websites which structure information on grid-based layouts, like those seen on Pinterest. And it’s likely that this will continue as a popular design theme, especially given the popularity of front-end frameworks like Bootstrap which make applying grids easier than ever.

That said, we expect to see a deviation towards more playful web layouts which encourage users to browse more deeply and engage with content in a more meaningful way.

While there’s still a role for the grid, the trend towards a storytelling approach to content creation is partly what will drive designers away from the constraints of this scheme. As such, you’re likely to see a greater use of split content, which divides the screen into wide sections rather than Pinterest-style boxes.
The rise of single page websites

You have got the message by now that the new world of web design is all about simplicity!

Companies need to become more creative in the way they engage potential customers through story-telling and interactive content. So where it’s not necessary to impart detailed content, it’s now possible to limit a website to a single page, giving the user just enough information so that they can take action.

This means a user can easily access the various parts of a website in a single click which takes them to the exact spot they want to visit. Ease of access to information coupled with clear and entertaining design is the winner over reams of web pages in modern web design.

Is your website looking out-dated? If so, please get in touch to discuss how we can help you harness the power of great web design to grow your business. Please get in touch, we’ll be glad to advise and help.

Written by Emma Puzylo January of 2016