Another new year is here, and with it we have another new era of design trends defined.
However, let me tell you beforehand that if you are expecting drastic changes in design techniques, then you might be disappointed. Basically, what we have is a beautiful evolution of ideas and practices that we saw at the beginning of 2018. Nevertheless, it’s a mindblowing ride through the ever-changing landscape of designs.
So, shall we fasten the seatbelt? Let’s move!
1. Gradient 2.0
Now this is something that we have seen in 2018, too, but that was just the beginning. Through the past year, gradient 2.0 has evolved to bring a realistic approach to how we use illustrations.
Vibrant shades are being used to emit positivity and fun.
In an absolute contrast to the vibrant coloured images, gradient can be used to create deep and mysterious effects.
Who needs 3D tools when you can exploit gradients? Well, 3D tools might just as well be needed sometimes, but not here.
Well, after seeing all these gorgeous illustrations above, how could we move on to something else?
Illustrations have taken the world by a storm. This also includes UI designs for web and mobile, and not only standalone images.
So, what’s the big deal about illustrations? When customized to one’s requirement and branding, illustrations open up a big portal to convey the brand’s message and its emotions in a playful way, while at the same time sketching up the brand’s originality.
Awesome, isn’t it?
Now, while we are brooding over illustrations, let’s explore the different types. You might be surprised!
Inspired by real life scenarios and with an intent of including a wide sphere of people, these illustrations are the most common form found in the digital world.
Now we move into some unconventional forms. Medium has adopted a style which blends illustrations with images, in the form of collages. This style is quite rare, but uniqueness lies in being rare, doesn’t it?
While stick figures may sound primitive, they have been embraced by Dropbox, and have been quite a hit. Stick figures bring us to the basics and stir in us a nostalgic feeling.
Creativity is endless, and so are the opportunities to establish something unique for yourself. Whimsical as we may call it, Mailchimp has shed the “nice” look and moved on to something more creatively weird and quirky.
Last year we had seen sans serif make its way into the digital world. Throughout this time, it has not only established itself, but has also set a bold mark in digital typography.
Brands are bending the conventional serif fonts and customizing them for creating their distinctive identity. After all, how can one be unique if they use the same fonts as others do?
Another trend on the rise is that of using variable fonts.
Variable fonts allow using only one file to cover all the variations of the typeface, and are hence much more popular among designers and developers than conventional typefaces.
4. Unconventional Page Layouts
Broken grid layout
Layouts of this kind have seen a rapid rise in both popularity and use through 2018.
Broken grids take the user out of the conventional system of scrolling through a fixed set of sections, and make him/her look at and comprehend the page in a different and interesting way; it’s something new and hence refreshing.
There are other advantages. Too many sections or too much of text can be accommodated in a stylish way, and yet not look congested.
Good posters have a knack for drawing attention of even the most boring person. Websites are now implementing this strategy to grab and retain the attention of their audience.
The idea is to blend images with handwritten fonts or maybe play with only the fonts, while keeping conventional grids out of the way.
5. Motion Design
It is a known fact that our brains are wired to process visual messages 60,000 times better than textual messages. And videos do a better job at it.
While videos may not be outdated, the new talk in town is that of animation or motion design. Meaningful animations can give the brand a boost in user engagement.
Motion designs not only appeal to the audience but are customized to speak the brand’s story in its own language.
6. Multilayered pages
‘Depth’ is the buzzword in design world. We have seen it in illustrations where gradient is used to create a pseudo 3D effect. On web pages, this is created using multiple layers that float over one another, thus creating an entirely different universe within the webpage.
Though these might seem to be insignificant, these are the little big things that users are most likely to remember, even if they do not convert.
So, what’s the point if they don’t convert?
The point is that people who love interacting with your website will want to pass on the experience to their acquaintances. This means increased traffic, and who knows, some of your best customers might be one of these many ‘acquaintances’.
Look at the innovative way the menu has been displayed here. There’s no animation or out-of-box design, just out-of-the-box content.
Check out the way the menu reveals itself here.
Microinteractions can include anything and everything like error pages, page transitions, loaders and anything else that you can think of.
8. Conversational Content
Gone are the days when websites were all about tech talks and bland self-promotions. Browse through any good website today, and you will find the pages almost talking to you.
Content has found a new place of importance in the past couple of years, and companies are investing more and more in it.
C’mon, now which website interaction would you like better – the one with bland, robotic words, simply blurting out information and instructions or the one with quirky, cunning words that tell a story and stir up your emotions?
While 2018 saw a rich Ultra-Violet shade reflect the technological surge, 2019 will have a warm, sober yet powerful colour covering every domain. Living Coral has been introduced to bind everything back to the roots, as a stark contrast to the aloof colour of dreamscape we had last year.
10. AR, VR and Chatbots
At the end of the list comes one of the most important things we should all prepare ourselves for – the world of artificial intelligence.
With the advent of Chatbots, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, we should start making room for interfaces, rather experiences, that can exploit these.
The end result?
Beaming clients who become your loyal customers because you just made their day super easy and thrilling!
So, we’ve reached the end of our joyride through design trends. Hope you enjoyed it!
If we look deeper, we will find many more branches emanating from these trends. The best way to know is to keep browsing. Never stop looking for what’s new. Jot down whatever you like and whatever you think is popular. That’s it. Then start building your own story.