Web Development in 2016
With a new year we continue to move forward in web technologies and browser support – allowing for us to push our creativity on the web further, and use tools and techniques that speed up our build process and streamline our code.
With Microsoft dropping support for all their browsers older than IE11 in January, it means that we are closer to the day that we can develop sites without worrying about prefixes, polyfills and hacks to cover the array of browsers our sites get viewed in.
This ultimately means we can start fully making use of great tools like Flexbox and CSS Grid Layout to construct the layout of our sites, whilst making them fully responsive, quickly and easily without the need to add a ton of extra code to ensure the site behaves in all browsers.
Something that might start to disappear in 2016 is the hamburger menu. There’s been a long standing debate on whether the use of the hamburger menu icon is help or hindrance to users on mobile devices – but with YouTube making the point of dropping it when updating their app last year, and the likes of Google, LinkedIn and Twitter all adopting the tab approach in their apps, the hamburger might be on it’s way out.
It’s becoming more common for businesses to produce microsites within their current websites, or as subdomains, to allow a step off brand/site style guides, in an attempt to allow more fun, creativity and interactivity in getting their message across – whilst still keeping the aim focussed on pushing people back to their main site. See this fun ‘Mission’ site for Fleximize
Similarly, using microsites as large interactive infographics, making delivery of the content more digestable, creative and engaging – like the Safety On The Slopes site by Irwin and Mitchell
Being Bold With Colours and Fonts
With Google Fonts and Typekit developers/designers have access to a vast amount of web fonts – meaning there is more scope to play around and focus more on the typography.
Bolder use of colour, with lots of high contrast and highly saturated sites appearing in the last few months, including large companies like Spotify and Bloomberg. With the combination of font and colour being used to draw attention to words/phrases, and highlight key interactions.
Maturity of Animations
Now everyone has got over the “wow look what we can do” stage of CSS Animations/SVGs, the use of these techniques is settling down – with people thinking more about what they are trying to achieve from including the animation.
“Get ready for thoughtful transition animations with deeper thoughts behind them instead of seeing generic animations that just look pretty.” – Forbes.
It is important that we remember accessibility when it comes to animations, and offer alternatives to, or the ability for the user to stop, any potentially triggering carousels or parallaxing for sufferers of visually triggered vestibular disorders such as vertigo.
2016 is looking to be the year when a lot of technologies and techniques will help streamline the web build process, and enable us to build sites quicker and cleaner than ever before, finally get fully adopted into the mainstream build process, no longer held back by browser constraints. Which will give us more time to concentrate on delivering more interactive, dynamic and personalised web experiences for our clients.