2 distinct and somewhat opposite web design trends we'll be seeing more of in 2016 are the use of rich illustrations and animation.
In the past web site designers have relied heavily on stock photography and image libraries to provide the visual elements of their designs. Something that has become more prevalent in 2015 and that will carry on into 2016 and beyond is the use of original art work either created using traditional or computer based art tools.
With consumers becoming immune to the stock photography that is often overused and repeated across web sites hand-drawn imagery offers warmth, authenticity and originality.
Some brands will soon be associated not just with their logo and colours but also with the art style that they contain. The integration of handmade artwork in web design may well become something of a branding calling card.
The web went through a period of embracing animation with the use of Flash, however once this lost its appeal due to cross platform, seo and usability issues the web became increasingly static for a good few years. However we are now again embracing rich animations, the web has never been more dynamic with so much use of animated elements within design, and it's only going to get better.
Animation if used well can engage the user and enhance storytelling. It can make a website feel more interactive and engage the user with an experience that is more than a basic portal to source information on a business, product or service.
As with any design tool it’s important not to go over the top Overuse will distract the user and become irritating rather than enhancing. Animations should be kept simple and thematically consistent. By "thematically consistent" I just mean that the animations are used in a similar way throughout the website revealing important details and guiding users through a path. Animations should be used selectively within the site to illustrate important points or to indicate a required action.
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