Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2016

There's no better time than now to move your design forward with a trendy, new aesthetic. Many of today's most popular web design elements are both visually pleasing and easy to implement. Not sure what where to start? Consider giving your website a refresh with one of these design trends.

1. Card-Style Design

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Card-style design is one of the most popular trends out right now, exemplified by content that lives in container elements, so that each piece feels almost like a baseball card.

Elements are designed around a single snippet of content and single call to action, such as "click to watch a video" or "fill out a form."

Cards are an easy way to organize a content heavy section in a structured manner. They can also guide visitors through important information, such as the "About Us" cards used by Artisan Bath & Body. While the design style can be presented in a lot of different ways, a popular technique showcases Material Design, made popular by Google and common in Android interfaces.

Try it now: Start with a gallery, which incorporates that card-style feel with images. Then expand the content with text or links. You can also try the Team Cards App, which lets you incorporate professional card-style designs into your design in just a few clicks.

2. Animation

Animation is a popular trend because it provides visual interest and also assists with site navigation and interaction.

When it comes to website animation, there are two schools of (design) thought: Go big or go small. Big animated effects can encompass the entire design, from smooth scrolling effects to attention-grabbing animations that fill the screen. On the flip side, animation can come in the form of divots, such as a movement when a visitor mouses over a button or loads a new page.

Either option can add visual interest to help users stay engaged with your website content for longer periods of time.

Try it now: You can customize any Weebly theme using HTML and CSS, depending on your comfort level. There are also plenty of tools to help you create stellar animations, even if you aren't a coding pro. Popular animated elements from the App Center include sliders for images or a countdown timer. Log in to your account and visit the App Center to add any of these tools today.

3. Split Screen Design

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Do you have a lot of engaging visual information to share? Consider splitting your site into vertical sections.

The split screen aesthetic is picking up speed this year and is a wonderful way to showcase elements side by side. This style is a good option for businesses with engaging brand graphics, portfolio sites, and any other website that features big visuals.

Try it now: The Oasis theme embodies this split-screen design aesthetic. Preview the theme or make a switch for an all-new look.

4. Hero Images

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One of the biggest trends of last year continues into 2016 with hero videos and images. This design feature represents oversized image headers that take up most of the top of a page. It's a powerful use of imagery and can work with any type of content that makes a strong visual statement.

These hero headers extend the full width of your website and can contain text or buttons as calls to action, such as the style used by Joy and Joe Baby.

Try it now: Go the Pages tab to alter your header type and size or add a new photo or video to your pages from the Editor.

5. Personalization

Your visitors enjoy experiences that they can call their own. Small pieces of personalization can help you accomplish this goal. From “remembering" items in a cart, to an email that calls a user by name, these small techniques can help people feel more connected to your brand and site.

If personalizing your website seems like a daunting task, start small with techniques such as a welcome message for users when they log in or a pop-up marketing element that thanks a returning visitor.

Try it now: You can provide personalized experiences with apps such as Segmently or 40nuggets, which help you create personalized marketing messages. You can also take advantage of the new Weebly Promote to send customized emails right from your account.

The key to using website design trends is moderation. Pick a new visual technique and use it in your site design, but stick to just one. The mix of traditional and modern styles can be eye-pleasing and withstand the test of time without looking dated.