16 Feb 6 design trends to watch this year
Last year we noticed consumer’s search for authenticity whether perceived or real, was the driving force behind emerging design trends. As we shift further away from flat design reigning supreme, brands and individuals alike are starting to break away from what’s standardized to incorporate design elements that are more inclusive, personal, and dynamic. This year, personality and user experience are stealing the show in these emerging trends.
User-friendly ad formats
Who else hates mobile pop-ups? 🙋🏽
Our first design trend is long overdue. We all know disruptive ads are irritating, but brands and advertisers still continue to fail us with their UX. It’s gotten so bad that mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year over year. But we’re in luck: the Coalition for Better Ads has heard our grievances and Google’s about to roll out in-browser ad blocking. Companies everywhere (and quite a few household names) will scramble to adopt user-friendly ad experiences this year in the hopes of avoiding a colossal SEO hit.
It happens in everything from urban planning to product design. Large groups of people are left out of the conversation, and we’re starting to see the design dialogue shift to focus on the people designers often neglect to consider. Inclusive design will take on so many different forms, from flashing cues for deaf Uber drivers and toddler-friendly brunches to stronger color contrast within apps for legibility.
“With a clear focus on empathetic, human-centered design, more businesses will be able to share their best offerings with more customers from even more walks of life.” -Justine Lee, Frog
Hopefully, this will wind up being more of a design epiphany than a trend.
Ugly is the new black. We’ve watched flat design and standardization peak, and web designers, in particular, are breaking the rules in order to stand out. Expect to see more asymmetry, broken grid layouts, and intentional imperfections than ever before.
Typefaces with personality
Believe it or not, this trend goes hand in hand with brutalism. Though the approaches can be entirely different, both are about finding different ways to create visual interest in a world post-flat design. Serif fonts and creative typography are both having a moment, and are considered a great way to incorporate a dose of style.
Interactive storytelling gets practical
As AR and VR gain traction and become more than just a party trick, brands are challenged to bring their marketing metrics into the loop. It’s time to see this technology dynamically react to its environment and help consumers connect to physical products, and design will ultimately be the piece that brings them together.
Illustrations are another great way to add a little bit of personality, and industry giants are leaning into custom or even hand-drawn illustrations to make their campaigns stand out.
They’re a great way to make designs distinctive and can work wonders when it comes to reinforcing your branding.
Keeping it fresh
As attitudes toward technology begin to shift, design trends have to adapt in response. This year, that means design will seek to bring back some of the individuality that may have been lost while we were looking at a standard. It’s time to let your brand’s voice do the talking. The key thing to remember is to keep the user and their experience in the front of your mind.
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