The presents are unwrapped, the Christmas trees are down, and we’re all back to the grindstone. Here at Kariba we thought we’d hit the ground running by predicting the digital world’s winners (and losers) in 2016.
1. Brand Design
As far as logo trends go in 2016 we, and others in the design world, think that clever typography is on its way back, with less focus being placed on icon based branding. Retro will rub shoulders with modern, with a sprinkling of hand written fonts thrown in for good measure. Colour wise, black and white will still be in, offset with striking luminescent neons.
Another interesting development is the return to dimension. After the last couple of years shift to flat design, devoid of shadows and highlights, we think there will be a move to more angular 3 dimensional design. An excellent example of this is the new Rio 2016 Paralympics Games logo.
2. Web Design: It's Time to Get High Def in 2016
Increased bandwidth, high resolution retina screens and robust browser support of HTML5 video will mean that immersive high definition background images and videos on websites will become the norm in 2016.
Check out one of our sites – http://www.berkeleyedwards.co.uk - as an example.
The success of ‘live photos’ on the latest iPhones mean that ‘cinemagraphs’ - still images with a selected animated portion that draws in the attention of the website user - are likely to get more and more of a look in too.
Despite the rise and rise of popular frontend frameworks such as Bootstrap, that make designing grid based layouts a breeze, 2016 will see more playful web layouts that deviate from a rigid grid design. Through story telling and interactive content, designers will be encouraged to be unique and endeavour to break away from the shackles of grid like structures so noticeable in 2014 and 2015.
For a site that breaks away from ‘the norm’, take a look at http://www.burgerandlobster.com/home/
Other rising trends for 2016 will include: tabbed hamburger menus such as those found on https://jdand.co, bigger and bolder typography and more vibrant colour schemes.
3. Online Advertising: The Rise and Rise of Ad Blockers
According to recent analysis by the likes of Adobe, there were 15 million desktop adblock users in the UK at the end of last year, and the company believes this will grow to about 21 million by the end of 2016.
Fuelled by Apple’s move in September to allow iPhone and iPad owners to download apps to block ads, Mozilla’s release of a new adblocking app for Firefox, and the promise of true in-app adblocking, digital advertisers, daunted by declining revenues, are having to look at other forms of marketing (see below).
Whilst we’re a dab hand at setting up Google Pay Per Click campaigns and Facebook ads, here at Kariba we think the campaign to block unwanted ads across the board will herald a new era of improved user experience and speedier websites, which can only be a good thing for all of us.
4. Content Marketing: Making VR a Reality
As more consumers download ad blockers, the online ad industry has had to adapt. In 2016, marketers will begin to move their digital budgets towards more content specific advertising, influencer marketing and more innovative opportunities such as virtual reality.
While there will always be a place for the written word and visuals, industry insiders think that static content will start to be replaced by more interactive and immersive experiences that will lead users to spend more time engaging with a brand.
5. Search: Why Vertical Search is On The Up
Until recently, Google has dominated search. It has been the main stomping ground for consumers looking to buy products, visit sites, or conduct research. However, the nature of search is evolving, especially on mobile devices.
According to comScore, searches conducted on traditional search services - a category that is dominated by Google - declined 3 per cent in the second half of last year. Meanwhile, searches on topical sites - known as vertical search - climbed per cent.
The Kariba team are prime examples of this changing behaviour. We tend to use Skyscanner to book flights, Amazon and eBay to search and buy products and Just Eat to order our pizzas after a great week at work.
6. Search: DuckDuckGo Will Be The Fastest Growing Search Engine of 2016
‘Privacy search engine’ DuckDuckGo saw substantial growth in 2015 and we predict even greater take up in 2016.
Generating more then 300 million searches during the last month of the year, the site saw its average daily search numbers climb from 7.7 million in January to 10.8 million in December, reaching a single day high of 12 million on December 4.
Other than its simplicity (and it’s quirky logo), we like the fact that DuckDuckGo has open-sourced much of its front-end code.
7. …and the Demise of Yahoo
Despite being one of the .com companies that pioneered the internet, and originally valued at over $140 billion, Yahoo is struggling to tread water nowadays and has been experiencing sluggish growth for some time.
Over the next few weeks the board of directors should be announcing their decision to either sell its core search and display business, or create a subsidiary company with Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant in which Yahoo owns a $30 billion stake.
One thing’s for sure, after 20 years Yahoo can no longer survive as being the single web portal that served all of our online needs.
8. Social: ‘In the Moment’ Real Time Social Media Updates
Social media continues to move at pace and is already at a point where live updates are becoming more and more commonplace. Driven by new live video broadcasting applications such as Periscope and Meerkat, the current trend is to capture the moment and share it instantly with your friends. Instagram and Snapchat are already harnessing this power and more platforms are likely to follow in 2016.
9. …and the Decline of Twitter
With the recent trend to live video updates, we think this will have even more of an effect on the likes of text based mediums such as Twitter. Sharing images is a basic human behaviour – remember when your dad pulled out the old slide projector – and we think users are increasingly more likely to do this in a couple of thumb presses rather than 141 (or 1000 as recently rumoured).
If Twitter is to survive, it first and foremost needs to find a way of making money. Perhaps if it finds a way of tapping into the behaviours of those not inclined to broadcast Tweets and concentrates on more experience based messaging, it might make a penny or two.
10. Web Hosting: Increased Data Privacy Issues and More DDoS Attacks
Throughout 2015 there were a plethora of privacy concerns, summed up by the recent scandal around Ashley Maddison. What this has done is make users data more vulnerable than before and any new web or social media portal will not only have to keep their promise to protect customer data but will also have to prove it. On top of the data protection issues, we’ll also see an increase in DDoS attacks (an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources) to governmental and large corporate websites and additional cyber risks to critical infrastructure.
Google and Amazon will finally pay the tax they owe us. Yea, right.