Web Design Trends 2016 – Part Three: The Experience

Part three of our Web Design Trends 2016. This time, we’re looking at how design and aesthetic combine to deliver an online experience.

Telling a story

It’s not just about attention spans, it’s about presentation. Nowadays, getting a brand message across takes more than just a wall of text or a few bullet points. Combine the trends of natural stock photography and personalised, illustrative presentation with increased online performance and you have the base for a rich user experience that can be classified as a journey.

For branding work, it’s also essential to have a grasp of the brand itself beyond aesthetics. This type of presentation requires deep planning, storyboarding, and a focus on what story you want to tell. It’s intensive work, but can produce great outcomes, and some beautiful, well-designed sites.

Advertising in the age of Ad-block

Ad-block isn’t going anywhere, and even users who don’t have it installed can develop a blindness towards banner and sidebar advertising (pop-up will always be obnoxious and off-putting). There are currently four approaches to take:

  • Forcing users to turn off their ad-blockers – Some sites are outright denying access to their content if they detect ad-blockers. Whether this will work or direct traffic elsewhere is yet to be seen.
  • Allowing users to browse, but with warning – Other sites take gentler tone, allowing ad-blocking users to access their content, but only after navigating a landing page, pop-up or banner.
  • Produce advertising content – As well as generally focusing on quality content, sponsored content and sponsored links are a way of attracting revenue.
  • Crowdfunding – Sites such as Kickstarter and Patreon allow creators to produce projects or content with funds directly from interested parties. Musician and artist Amanda Palmer has used both platforms, completely circumventing advertisers and producers. Whilst not without controversy or criticism, her endeavours have been very successful.

With ad-blocking software maintaining its popularity, it’ll be interesting to see which of these tactics prove most successful in the long run.


Whilst also an aesthetic issue, and an excellent way for designers to insert a personal touch, iconography will make a big impact in terms of UI/UX. Correctly used icons can be a simple way of continuing the minimalist direction of web design. Cleverly used icons can cut down on clutter and make sites more universal and easy to navigate. We’ll be interested to see if there’s a standardisation in iconography similar to Material Design’s effects on web design in the years to come.



We hope you’ve enjoyed out look at the web design trends for 2016. You can check out our previous parts here:

Click here for Web Design Trends 2016 – Part One: The Design!

Click here for Web Design Trends 2016 – Part Two: The Look!

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