Waving Our Magic Wand Of Web And Social Wonderment!
Each year I take some time to consider my thoughts concerning the Web and Social trends in the upcoming New Year. It’s fun to break out the crystal ball and peer through the fog of opinion to find the new magic likely to be wielded by our wizards of the web! Grab your cloaks and wands and let’s look together.
Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2016
Fads, Trends and Standards, oh my! Fads are those concepts that we think are so amazing we begin to overuse them to the point they become annoying and they implode and fade away. Trends are more stable concepts that have potential to become a standard, but with no guarantee. A standard is a defined, proven way to do a thing and is the default, supported approach.
Here, we are talking about trends for 2016. Trends; those things that are interesting and compelling that we leverage in order to up the level of freshness in our designs. We are looking at the top 5 trends for each, the web and social. So, here’s our list for 2016!
Less Focus On Responsive Design
I like my car to be responsive. I like it to steer well and brake fast and accelerate quickly. That’s a good feeling. I guess I want the same of my content. It has to navigate well, be quick to load and present itself cleanly. Considering those things, though, does it really have to look differently on each of my devices? Maybe Responsive Design was necessary when web traffic was split between mobile devices and desktop. However, today we are seeing much more traffic coming from mobile browsers than ever before. I believe designing for mobile first will be more important than ever. Nicely centered content down the middle of a site is the best approach to bridge the gap between devices and setting decent width and font size for all screens. Sleek and intuitive is much more important to me than responsive. That’s 2016 for you…sleek!
More Video. A LOT more Video
30 seconds. That’s all it takes. 30 seconds of relatable video content. We love cat videos, funny videos, cute videos, stupid videos, political videos, scary videos, holiday videos, helpful videos, and so much more! We friggin LOVE videos. EVERYONE loves videos! Videos don’t require us to think. They let us sit back, drop our jaw and take in the cheesy greatness of underproduced, candid, saccharin, packed content. In 2016, those of the wisest marketers in the blogosphere will drive businesses to include more of these pulp filled, product pushers. We want more! And they are going to give them to us!
One Page Designs With Hundreds Of Pages
We are a bunch of finger-flickers! When we have those smart phones in our hands we flick, flick, flick and our mobile content rolls off the top of the screen. We’ll have more of the one page sites that are well balanced for SEO and ease of use for the customer. Getting a good summary of the content contained in a site right from the homepage is the pinnacle of surfing. It’s like the channel up and channel down on your remote. It’s flipping through the channels until you find something to watch. We’ll see more of the single paged stupefactions in 2016! Of course, these will be riddled with specific siloed landing pages packed with SEO for search friendly rankings. These pages will be finger-flickin’ good!
Lighter, More Nimble Designs
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…it’s time to shed some weight on your site. Google is kicking around a possible change to mobile search results by adding a “Slow” indicator to site listings that perform poorly. Designers will be reducing your image sizes and use HTML5 and CSS to create your images where possible will help to lighten the load. We’ll see increased use of CDN’s (Content Distribution Networks) and embedded video, as well, to help matters.
Hamburger Is Not Dead
Contrary to many of the blogging neigh-sayers spreading their web wisdom on 2016’s trends, the hamburger menu is here to stay. So is flat design and long scrolling. None of these will take a departure from our screens this next year. They will evolve, but they won’t disappear. Mobile first is the mantra of the millennium and we need that hamburger to keep our navigation nicely kempt. Live on burgers! Live on!
Social Media Trends For 2016
Social Media moves fast. So fast, it can make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs. In 2015, Twitter saw the changing of the guard at CEO. Jack Dorsey, former CEO and co-founder of the platform took over the reins at the struggling company. Facebook continued its dominance adding new features and skyrocketing in views of video content. Every year we see new platforms, new uses and demographic changes. Consider these possible trends for 2016.
eCommerce In Social
We need to stop being the needle in the haystack of the web! We need to look at ways to get noticed beyond our little web presence in the dark recesses of cyberspace. We can do that by using Search and Social to get noticed. But how can we grow our online sales? How can we increase our conversions? We have to light it up with Social sales. We have seen few companies use the social platform opportunities effectively. Dominos Pizza chain is the most well known entity to have used Twitter for eCommerce most successfully. Along with Twitter we have seen that Facebook, Pinterest and other channels have all flirted with the idea of offering eCommerce capabilities right from their platforms. We feel this will mature quickly in 2016 and we will see purchasing from social become the boon of the new year.
Captain Picard said it best, “Engage!” I can almost image him standing there between two alien races, like the Antica’s and Selay’s, and just saying with a smile, “engage.” Meerkat launched live streaming engagement in 2015 on Twitter. Soon after, Twitter countered with Periscope. Not to be outdone, Facebook launched live streaming in limited availability and are expanding it to all of us soon. This phenomenon will grow in 2016 and businesses will find new and innovative ways to leverage it.
Continued Monetization Of Social
Most social platforms launched without a clear plan to monetize. Over the past several years, we have seen the big platforms work toward fixing this issue and becoming viable profit centers. The various social platforms will continue to tweak their business plans and work toward additional revenue growth. This means more options for business to broaden their social reach. Of course, this comes at a price. Still, it is cheaper than traditional methods and it is easier to track what works and what doesn’t through instrumentation and reporting.
Web And Social Analytics Will Improve
Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will continue to improve upon their data analysis and reporting tools. Google continues to update their analytics to support social referrals reporting, as well. AT&T recently announced their partnership with Clear Channel in order to provide more data to advertisers for decision-making and results on outdoor. Business owners want more data and this demand will continue to drive innovation with reporting.
Google continues to dabble in social and has partnered with Twitter to produce a new content-delivery platform to challenge Facebook’s Instant Articles. The big platforms will continue to fight for your content. Content remains “king” and the various platforms are looking for more in-depth posts that are comprehensive and meaningful to readers.
Web and Social Media will continue to drive and influence advertising in new and exciting ways. Businesses will benefit from the trends and gain insight into the DNA of success with regard to their content efforts. Online marketing is in a constant state of evolution and it is difficult to put a finger on exactly what will happen with so many players and offerings in the game. Why not tell us your thoughts in the comments?