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UI Design Trends in 2016 Right Now

From unique branded illustrations to bringing your main content up over the fold we look at the UI design trends so far in 2016.

We are coming close to the end of the last quarter of 2016. And with carousels having finally run their course and gradients making a big comeback, now seems like as good as time as any to go through the UI design trends of this year so far.

What is popular and lighting up the world of UI? What UI design trends could keep your website or app on point? Let’s find out.

1-rezo-zero-com UI design trends

Image source: rezo-zero.com

Patterns to add texture and break uniformity

Whether it is in the background or on top of an image, patterns have become a must. They add texture and depth. They are a perfect fit for pages without images or for subjects that are hard to illustrate. Patterns add life and break uniformity, allowing the user to connect a little deeper with your message.

wearehuntly UI Design trends 2016

Image source: wearehuntly.com.au

Going off the grid

For a long time, we’ve been used to the standard 12 column Bootstrap grids, but that has all changed. Grids just got interesting. We are now seeing them unfixed, openly floating, with elements on top of each other. This fresh take gives a unique look and emotionality to the design.

3-rigo UI trends 2016

Gradients 2.0

Gradients are back! And they are not just being used as a background. Now we are seeing them as a transparency layer on top of an image. They are being used in apps to give more life. As an image overlay, using dual tones, and differing background image gradients. The ability to use gradients in such a wide range of ways has given the simple gradient a whole new lease of life.

4-andrew_mcgibbon_animals_small ui trends 2016

Card layouts are still going strong

The ability to create components that encase your information and allow them to be stacked like cards is not new. However, the ease of digestibility for the audience and the fact that it is a dream for responsive design is reason enough why card layouts continue to be trendy.

UI trends 2016

Image source: dribble.com

Using transition animations to interact with users

Animation has advanced from just highlighting the push of a button. It is now being used to make designs more sophisticated and interactive. The animated micro-interactions and the ability for it to show how things are done are both reasons why it is even more popular right now.

6-dribbble dropbox UI trends 2016

Unique branded illustrations

Custom illustrations are a great way to tell your brand story and make you stand out from the crowd. Dropbox is an excellent example of this with their hand-drawn style. The instant recognizability of their unique illustrations works to strengthen their brand by building a relationship with the audience.

Saying goodbye to the carousel (finally!)

People seem to be taking a break from carousels. While they were all the rage a while ago, they are no longer popular for usability reasons, but also because they don’t work with SEO. People are opting away from them as they want a design that will strengthen their position on search engines rather than diminish it.

8-dr - UI trends 2016

Bringing your main content up over the fold

The time of the full page image (above the fold) trend is over. People are now opting to showcase their body information ‘over the fold’ rather than below it. Doing this gives the target instant access to the vital information you immediately want them to consume.

9-interactions

Parallax scrolling interactions

Parallax scrolling has been given an upgrade. It used to be that you could only see an image scroll inside its own container. Whereas now, with parallax scrolling you can see the content react – Which means that when scrolling down the site the content appears on the screen at different points on the page.

What are your favourite UI design trends so far this year? Are there any that we missed off our list? Let us know on Twitter at @melewi!

And if you want to find out how we can help strengthen your brand and make you stand out from the crowd, we’d love to hear from you – hello@melewi.net

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