Designers have an anxious relationship with the idea of trends. On one hand, following the crowd feels wrong — after all, isn’t creativity doing anything but what everyone else is doing? To this line of thinking, the only value in knowing what’s trendy knows what you’re pushing against. You can’t simply do the opposite of a trend, of course. But knowing what the trends are making it easier to subtly comment on and/or critique them.
What matters understanding the hows and whys of trends’ emergence and adoption? Because at the end of the day, trends have a lot to tell us about our cultural moment: what we love, what we hate, what we want to move toward. The closer we get to understand those things, the closer we get to get inside others’ heads — to empathizing with them.
Glitch art is the practice of using digital or analog errors for aesthetic purposes by either corrupting digital data or physically manipulating electronic devices. Glitches are significant in our modern times when computers are so pervasive.
The breakdown of technology makes for appealing subject matter both as an idea and in its design execution, where it can draw the viewer’s eye to those parts of the site that are warped, double exposed and glitchy. Glitch art amplifies this feeling of disorientation by giving websites a distinctly psychedelic look.
Animation get more attention on web, it draws users to certain parts of the design, helps drive engagement or interest or tells a story. Use animation in web projects to provide a great depth of understanding to users who engage with the design.
Vibrant Color Palettes
On the site Bright color is everywhere. From gradient backgrounds too bright image overlays to animations that feature moving colors, vibrant color palettes will continue to gain popularity.
Many of these bright colors have evolved from other design trends. Bright’s first started gaining popularity with flat design, morphed into even more vibrant colors with Material Design, and now some of these hues even have a hint of neon in them.
The nice thing about this design trend is that color – once you have a palette – is pretty simple to deploy. You don’t have to completely redesign your website to add this trending element to the design.
Serifs On Screen
There’s a good reason why serifs were designed to be decorative, making them perfect for emphasis. While sans, with its clean readability, is still the go-to for longer bouts of website copy, more and more brands are turning towards bold serifs in other aspects of their designs such as headers and callouts.
And even though serifs are often associated with the past, they have lots of character and are more adaptable than you might think. Take for example the rounded serifs that play into Mailchimp’s cheerful branding. Or the wedge serifs and bold strokes that create a modern look for Medium.
Flat Design Emulates 3D
It’s like a touch of virtual reality in designs that don’t require anything special to look at. Three-dimensional renderings are providing an update to flat design. The result is a mash-up of 3D realistic and flat interfaces that are complex, visually interesting and showing up everywhere.
When you look deeper into the trend, a lot of what makes it work are depth in layers plus animation. (See how multiple design trends impact one another?)
Some people are starting to call this concept “deep flat.” But we just think it is a natural evolution of flat design.
Every visual element in the design provides a cue to users about how they should react. You have to create a connection with users. That’s what emotional design is all about.
Emotional connections fall into four basic categories — joy and sadness, trust and disgust, fear and anger, and surprise and anticipation. Think about how your content falls into ones of these grouping and use color, imagery and the user interface to further connect on that level with users.
The movement in the bike app, above, for example, shows motion; that makes the user want to ride along. The same is true of the example from Sprout – a smiling face creates a positive first interaction with users. The woman in the image is happy and users can feel and want to emul+ate that emotion.
Chatbots have finally moved into the spotlight in 2019. This is mostly due to the advancements in AI and machine learning, making them more intelligent and efficient.
The new chatbots will be showing up more and more on web pages with higher levels of customization than we’ve seen in past iterations. Bright colors will make them not only more prominent on the page but more inviting. We can also predict an influx of friendly mascots to represent brands and give these bots a personable face.
Video is one of the most powerful means of distributing your message. Video not only diversifies the page but caters to an on-the-go audience who don’t have the time to scan through a lot of text.
What is new is the move Google has made toward mixed search page results, featuring video content above standard web pages. This has led websites to prioritize video production in order to make them easily searchable and offer content in the most efficient, shareable way.
Designing mobile navigation means designing for small screen size. With limited real estate available, there’s no room for clutter. Get right to the point then cut the fat. One of the most important studies in this area was that of Josh Clark with his book Designing for Touch, in which he investigates how users hold their mobile phones and how their movements, particularly those of the thumb, should be processed in the web design process. More and more now, users will encounter navigation tailored to the thumb, such as the hamburger menu moved to the bottom of mobile screens.
It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. Too often, people forget that the web has always been accompanied by a pair of other important W’s: ’World Wide.’ The internet connects billions of people all around the world from various different cultures, abilities, ages, gender identities—people who want to see themselves reflected in their content rather than grinning stock photo models.
Even small considerations of the past (like Apple’s varying skin tones for emojis) have gone a long way in making people of all walks of life feel a little more welcome in a brand’s digital space. The world still has a long way to go in this arena, but these designers can use their craft to demonstrate that the web is supposed to be about real people making real connections.