Fear the scroll, no more.

Think back in time and you’ll recall the mandate for having as much content “above the fold” as possible. Perhaps that’s still something you hear. Well, this has led to countless cramped designs –some of mine included – with little to no white space. And the inherent challenge of creating hierarchy with so much content competing for attention.

Partly because we consume more content on mobile devices and partly because we’ve becoming accustomed with scrolling in general, you’ll see less sites’ content constrained “above the fold.”

Using as much height as the content warrants, vertical scrolling naturally lends itself to storytelling. It’s easy to establish clear, intuitive hierarchy. A byproduct is larger, more legible text, immersive imagery and minimalist designs with increased whitespace.

Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.

Coco Chanel

Grids galore.

Whether its due to standardization and proliferation of content management systems, the need to easily restructure content for responsive sites or to design patterns created by Google (Material Design) and Microsoft (Metro), you’ll increasingly see grid-based, card-style layouts.

While the grid is here to stay for the reasons above, look for designers finding ways to challenge the constraints this imposes.

Adorable animations.

Perhaps due to the layout constraints, you’ll find designers looking for opportunities to add unique personality to websites and apps. A great way to do that, without breaking a grid-based layout, is utilizing animations.

Whether it’s an elegant fade, a friendly bounce or an impactful product demonstration, animation in content, design elements and interactions will become more commonplace.

Secondary video.

High-speed Internet connections at home and on the go and better video plugin integration has made it easier to deliver high-quality video en masse. While load times are always critical when delivering content, there’s less fear that your audience won’t have a suitable connection, especially when video can be loaded in the background without impacting the presentation of other content.

High-quality video content, the new norm with more streaming services than you can count, will naturally continue. And video as a design element, in backgrounds and secondary placements will become more common.

And now, I'm just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.

Lady Gaga

A little less flat.

Google released its Material design language back in June 2014 but the adoption has been slow with more flat design prevailing. Designers’ understanding of Material design is growing and I anticipate it more as documentation and real-world executions become widespread.

Material design focuses on tactile, dynamic elements that are reminiscent of physical paper and ink. Shadows are realistic, items overlap as they would in physical space and interactions stay inside of a defined ‘material’ without impacting other elements.

Since we’ve seem to have reached peak flat design, designers are opting for the next thing.  Google offers that up in their Material design language. And given that it’s not a severe shift from flat design, I anticipate seeing the aesthetic more in 2016.


Desktop design is taking cues from mobile; with many opting for a mobile-first approach to designing responsive websites, it’s natural that design patterns would transfer from mobile when it comes time to tackle the desktop layout.

Sites and apps are more frequently presenting all types of content in a single column. But this is especially true for forms and input screens (such as shopping cart checkouts, signups and logins). Click on “login” and or “contact” and you’re greeted with a full-screen overlay instead of the browser loading a new page.

This trend makes sense. It reduces time taken loading a new screen and gives more screen space for less precise touch interaction. This encourages users to complete the form.