Design Trends 2016 Infographic

Last Updated October 2017

Making great design doesn’t just involve planning and creation. It is inevitably also a process of updating, especially in the digital realm where technology and consumer expectations evolve quickly.
In 2015, we continued to see designs trends that reflected our changing digital landscape, from the continued rise in material design and responsive interfaces to the wide spread use of beautiful background imagery. Many of these changes, one could argue, were spurred on by increased access to high-def displays, speedy internet connections, and better mobile data coverage. Many marked a shift towards designing to the strengths of digital spaces, but proliferated offline just as well.
2016 has its own spin on some of the design trends that we’ve grown to love since last year, as well as a few new trends that develop as the year progresses. The design trends of this year place special emphasis on mobile – designing and optimizing design content for every screen. This is no surprise when you consider that 2016 is the year when mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing for the first time ever. Mobile-friendly design now has incredible importance, not just for your customer’s browsing experience, but also for their ability to find your site at all. Google, after all, favors mobile-friendly sites, a preference that can hugely impact your search engine rankings.
Many digital design trends can often be traced back to evolving communications infrastructure: as technology advances and consumer needs change, digital design quickly adapts. But that doesn’t mean that trends in digital design are exclusive to digital spaces. Our collective taste as it applies to apps and websites is also reflected in offline spaces.
For example, minimalism is a design trend of 2016 that you’ll see on the web as well as in many other areas of life. From minimalist home decor, to the increased prevalence of subtle etched glass paneling over colorful window stickers, to a preference for sleek and simple signage: the minimalist design aesthetic isn’t just for the web.
Card-based design, which is hugely prominent across the web, is another trend you are likely to see echos of in the offline world. Displaying quadratic images in neat panels from foam core or other sign materials is the grown-up 2016 version of cut-and-paste collages, an interior design trend that resembles the card-based design phenomenon.
There aren’t many clear borders between digital and physical spaces, something that our constantly evolving design landscape can attest to. As you observe changes in digital and graphic design over the course of 2016, try to draw parallels to the trends and circumstances around these shifts. The interplay between the two is fascinating! This infographic can help you identify some of the most prominent and up-and-coming design trends of this year:


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Want to see more? Check out our 2015 and 2017 design trends infographics!