Opening Up A New Pathway for Digital Design
Digital design approaches continue to evolve in our time. This is in part influenced by emerging technologies (e.g., IoT) and the behavioral evolution of those engaging design. This evolutionary shift is (1) challenging how design has been approached in the past and (2) shaping how design will be like in the future. As we look back on 2017, here’s our assessment of where we are today and where we think this may all be going in the years ahead.
1. Digital Design Trends A Recap Of 2017 & A Look Ahead
2. Digital Design Trends: As we look back on 2017 and the projected trends we had reported for websites earlier in the year, we have found it necessary to broaden the scope of our design trends insights to other digital spaces. This is inﬂuenced in part to the emerging technologies (IoT) that continue to change our behavior and how we, as a culture, respond to visual communication.
3. Websites Interacting With The Digital Space
4. Gradients 4 We have become so efﬁcient in web design to de-clutter for better user experience while speeding up load times for an instant-gratiﬁcation culture, that we must ﬁnd interesting ways to create visual impact without sacriﬁcing speed and user experience. Gradients are a by- product of this to provide more visual intrigue and depth. Source: prymd.com/product/
5. Duo Tone Photos 5 This can be executed in various ways, but the purpose is to create visual impact while staying cohesive to the color palette (or branding) used. In a more light-handed way, these types of photos are used as texture. Source: kikk.be/2017/
6. The Power of Two 6 Vertical split screens are still prevalent and provide a larger static space than the top navigation for user engagement that is much more reliable than elements not found “above the fold”. Source: cidreriemilton.com
7. Overlapping 7 Overlapping elements are used to provide more depth. While some can argue about legibility, we must walk the thin line of trusting the viewer’s comprehension than oversimplifying. For insurance, many overlapping elements are actually duplicative content that is 100% legible somewhere else in close proximity. Source: simplychocolate.dk
8. Cropping 8 To create visual intrigue, elements are strategically cropped in interesting ways. In this style, composition is key while visual legibility is sacriﬁced. While legibility is sacriﬁced it is inferred that there are enough visual cues for comprehension. Source: polaroidoriginals.com
9. Product Demonstrations 9 In the slides prior to this, you may have noticed that many of these sites are product-based. Due to ever- evolving technology for brands, companies are vying for consumer attention in order to show them how to use their new product and/or feature. Strategically, putting a product demonstration on a website helps communicate the beneﬁts and features of a product while priming the user for easier on-boarding. Source: ubersignlanguage.com
10. Illustration 10 Illustration beneﬁts are two-fold: (1) It ensures tighter brand experience/ relationship and (2) facilitates a more expressively humanistic approach. This usually comes off much more genuine and authentic. Source: slack.com
11. Handwritten 11 Much like gradients, this type of typography is a by-product of what was a sterile design space. Custom typography helps convey much more emotion as either a primary or supportive element. Additionally, this helps to create a sense of authenticity in a culture that may be increasingly losing touch with human-centered expressions. Source: adobe.com
12. Authentic 12 Another theme for most of these examples has been “authentic”. To put it brieﬂy, due to technology and perhaps our reliance on it, our culture is starved for authentic experiences. In order to visually communicate a more authentic attitude, photography has taken a shift towards shots that are less staged with models we can relate to rather than hyper-perfection. Source: cellartours.com
13. Graphic Styles Visual Cohesion in The Digital Space
14. Digital Design Trends: A Recap of 2017 & A Look Ahead An In-Depth Look — At Depth 14 Moving from a good few years of ﬂat/material design, we are now transitioning to adding more and more depth to design. It is interesting to note that around the time when the ﬁrst iPhone came out (2007), skeuomorphic design (realism; ex/ Instagram’s old icon) was the trend and was closely followed by, the polar opposite, ﬂat/material design. Currently the pendulum is starting to swing towards a mutual medium as inﬂuenced by AR/VR. This medium has caused designers to really consider depth between various design elements and how the audience interacts with it.
15. Isometric 15 Isometric design/illustration is peaking right now. This type of style also transcends into prototype mockups as it provides an interesting point of view and provides a sense of depth. There are multiple factors in the style such as material design, app game design, the prominence of hexagon shape, and AR/VR tendencies.
16. Low Poly 16 In relation to isometric design, low poly is not restricted by the point of view, but rather, the details involved. Even within low poly, there is a broad range of stylistic choices. Many inﬂuencers in this style come from designers extending their repertoire to Maya for game design, particularly VR/AG.
17. Waves 17 Waves are the next step in the exploration of gradients within design to provide texture and depth. This transition is complimented by, you’ve guessed it, AR/VR.
18. Element Mask 18 This type of application has been around and has been used as a staple for magazines such as TIME. A few years ago Nike adopted it for their print media and not too long ago Apple used it as motion application for their Series 2 watch. This type of style is still currently on the rise for almost all media including websites. The execution is very nuanced as it needs to happen on an image that would not seem as if it were separate layers. This application provides additional depth as a design piece. Source: Time Magazine; Nike; Apple; beargrylls.com
19. Logos Interacting With The Digital Space
20. Digital Design Trends: A Recap of 2017 & A Look Ahead Unchained From Printing 20 Historically in logo development, there used to be a heavy requirement to make sure a logo “prints well”. Currently, there are emerging trends that use graphical elements that break this rule. This case is being made due to heavier usage of the digital space and the opportunity to mirror logos to the digital application of the design. Many brands will consider printing with a “backup” logo made for such purposes instead of it being the primary.
21. Gradients 21 Like websites, gradients are becoming a trend in logo design. While the techniques employed in these examples are much more speciﬁc, they are essentially gradients. Source: logolounge.com
22. Shadow Break 22 This type of logo compliments “material design” which is ubiquitous with web design. Source: logolounge.com
23. Simple Shapes 23 The minimalistic trend is inﬂuenced by the idea that form follows function, which is the primary principle of digital media from a programmatic perspective. Source: logolounge.com
24. Marketing/Advertising Interacting With The Digital Space
25. Digital Design Trends: A Recap of 2017 & A Look Ahead Digital Killed the Television Star 25 In this section, we will cover the various mediums in which advertisers are using or are projected to use due to the digital landscape. While we can argue that attention span is decreasing, intentionality is actually increasing. This means that we can strategically spend marketing resources towards those already with intent to ﬁnd our products and/or services rather than trying to convince someone passively interested or not interested at all.
26. Mobile Influence 26 Mobile viewing has inﬂuenced how we digest information. Due to our culture’s limited attention span, we must communicate more creatively in a shorter amount of time. This makes marketing strategies a lot more direct than before with a restructured “script”. Source: Google Insights
27. Product Ads 27 Cards for YouTube help increase consumer purchases by removing the friction between videos and ecommerce sites by integrating them. Source: Google Insights
28. Machine Learning (AI) 28 Marketing just with keywords is starting to phase out for more real- time speciﬁc targeting. Through machine learning, data is able to be analyzed automatically to discern between a consumer searching certain keywords with intent or with passive interest. Those with true intent are more likely to purchase when presented with the opportunity. Machine learning capitalizes on the present data. Source: Google Insights SERIOUS INTEREST/PASSION PASSIVE INTEREST ONLY PURCHASE INTENT
29. Landing Pages 29 While landing pages are not entirely new, emerging technology has shaped the landing page to be more experience and brand centric than product-driven. It is important to note that website trends and landing page trends should be formally separated as the goals of each are very different. Source: soundtrack.fedex.com
30. Emerging Technology Interacting With The Digital Space
31. Digital Design Trends: A Recap of 2017 & A Look Ahead Utilizing APIs to Provide Relevant Consumer Experience 31 Consumer experience has always been an important factor for effective brand building. Currently, our access to data is at an all time high. The idea of utilizing APIs to bridge the gap between data and the consumer in a relevant way is on the rise. An effective way to do this is through “triggers”. For example, a coffee shop could use weather as a trigger to recommend drinks for customers looking to consume accordingly.
32. Digital Design Trends: A Recap of 2017 & A Look Ahead The Rise of AR/VR 32 Since PokemonGo, more people have taken notice on how to integrate and implement AR (and APIs) into their brand experiences. There has been aggressive growth in developing more and more product experiences that feature AR/VR. Brands should explore this space through partnerships (think product placements) or through location based integration to bridge context of the brand to the consumer being reached.
33. Making Good Ideas Remarkable