There is no denying that web design trends vary year after year. However, there is one thing that remains constant: the use of the right colors to keep readers fixated on the page. Right use of color is one of the foundations of web design theory. Designers view color as an effective tool for improving overall aesthetic and for fostering user interaction.
Trending colors change over time, but using vibrant colors is a technique that has remained consistently effective over the years. If you want to ensure that your website will provide your visitors with a satisfactory user experience, then you should find out the up and coming color trends of 2016 and use them to boost the appeal of your page design.
This article will teach you everything that you need to know about the different design and color techniques detailed in the e-book “Flat Design & Colors”.
Hover and Color Blocking
Color blocking and colored hover elements have become increasingly popular, thanks to the popularity of web design trends that designers refer to as design and card-style interfaces.
In a nutshell, color blocks involve partitioning the contents of your page into identifiable grids and assigning different colors to the individual parts, thus creating an effect that looks like a mosaic. On the other hand, color hover elements are the different parts of your page that change in color and style once the cursor is placed directly on it.
The examples below, which are from the websites Wrist and Play Dot To, show the color block and hover techniques used independently from each other, but forecasting show that color trends 2016 will prompt these techniques to be used together more often.
If you prefer bold colors that jump out of the screen, check out the examples below, which are from Column Five Media and PFD. These samples will show you how vibrant and lively colors look when they are used with different interface tools that are also popular in modern web design trends: animated effects, linking, and hover states. These websites use card-style interfaces that use the hover effect when the user view the different blocks. The example from Column Five favors the use of colors for hover elements, while the one from PFD favors color blocking and hover elements to draw user attention to specific parts of the page.
From the example above, you will be able to deduct that using color blocks and hover states serves the main purpose of catching the readers’ attention and fostering a certain level of interaction with the viewers. This is an emerging part of color trends 2016.
Seasoned designers will agree that using color does so much more than helping the page viewers tell the difference between the different parts and contents laid out on a single web page.
Web design trends forecast that using color to facilitate user interaction and to give the users a certain feeling of control, will be staple technique in the coming year. In addition to this, colors will also be used to engage the viewers and encourage more participation. If you, the designer, would place this in the context of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you will understand that using colors will not only improve the usability and interactivity of our website; it will also add a certain feeling of friendliness and accessibility to your web pages.
Combining Colors and Textures
Gone are the days when the use of texture was reserved mainly for neutral backgrounds. Web design trends suggest that using bold colors with subtle texture will become increasingly popular. The use of color is set to evolve as other design trends go back to using subtle effects, like what is apparent with Flat Design 2.0.
There are basically two ways through which you can play around with color and texture combinations. First, you can use these tools as integral parts of the background or, second, you can use them as subtle accents to the overall design.
As shown above, Ryan Keiser’s website combines the use of colors and textures to create an attention-grabbing background. The grid patterns set against the yellow-green photo may seem like an odd choice. However, you can see that these choices showcase bright blue and pink accents. The touch of softness does not only make the text more readable; it also gives off a feeling of boldness and unorthodoxy.
The above example for Joyride Taco House also shows how eye-catching colors mix beautifully with subtle textures. A shadow between the header and the contact information adds a feeling of depth, while the blue green lines add texture to the text. The colors used also reflect the casual and hip vibe that the restaurant is known for.
Using Vibrant Colors
Now, using vibrant colors is not a trend that is only popular among creative websites. Today, even news, health, and weather websites are becoming more and more colorful. The commerce industry is following this trend too and slowly doing away with their black and white staples.
2015 showed how designers can balance professionalism and fun. The same if foreseen for web design trends in the coming year, with more and more brands starting to use fun colors for a casual yet credible feel. If you want to jump in on this color trend, there you can make it work by using these three techniques vouched for by Flat Design and Colors:
- background and text
- buttons and UI elements
- navigation and menus
Background and text
As far as web design trends go, color has been consistently used to make certain content standout. It has been a staple practice to make text stand out by placing it against dark-colored backgrounds, as seen in this example from For the Love of the Reef.
Buttons and UI Elements
You can also use bright colors to attract user attention to certain buttons and to your main call to action. Consider this example from Mijlo. In this website, bright orange buttons are effectively used against an overall muted aesthetic. These bright-colored action elements effectively convey what site visitors are supposed to do upon visiting the page.
Navigation and Menus
Designers also effectively use colors to guide users through information-heavy websites. Check out this example from Colored Lines. The rainbow-colored navigation menu gives readers a glimpse of the whole website and encourages visitors to check out every section of content.
Using bright colors is also popular for sites that use parallax-scrolling effect that defines and separates sections of content. As each color is assigned to a particular section, the content is made to look and feel more structured and organizes.
Color Trends 2016
There are different ways through which you can use colors; from using them as image overlays to employing them to create interactive backgrounds. Web design trends forecast that using bold colors is a trend that we will see more of, since it adds a certain layer of interaction to overall schemes. In 2016, more designers will use more colors and will, thus, cause this design technique to evolve further.
Be bold enough to combine bright colors and images and video backgrounds. This kind of combination fosters both emotional and functional connection between websites and their readers. As shown in the example above from Focus Lab, this kind of aesthetic is set to grow in popularity as high resolution images and videos are made more available and more accessible.
Color trends 2016 will see interesting colors on more websites as designers are set to favor deeper and brighter designs. This is shown in the example from Digital Agency Birmingham. The deep bluish purple color is distinct enough to serve as its own focal point.
Styled color patterns are also speculated to become more popular, much like the filters used to give imaged a more period look and style. The above example from Lounge Lizard combines subtle green tones and orange accents to create an old school feel.
You can very well use color to improve your website’s overall level of interaction but make sure of this one thing: use colors to show your users the connection between chunks of content instead of merely diving content into parts. Stay tuned to the Hoasted blog for more information and more examples of how you can use color trends in web design for 2016.