Ever evolving UI and design trends
The last few years have seen an amazing progression for the web and graphic design industries. Great UI design underpinned by a well structured UX architecture is now at the forefront of many startup ventures and plays a huge role in the further growth of an established company. There are many trends that are gaining momentum this year but I have focussed on a few key areas that are predicted to be popular over the coming year.
With an increase in the quantity and diversity of new devices, design must, as always, focus on content. This isn't about moulding the same design and content into different frameworks, but giving it a clear message and use regardless of its container. Whilst responsive design is now almost a rule, it will continue to develop this year with even more diversity amongst device families, and is likely to throw up some really exciting design questions.
Google have been increasing their focus on design for some time now and the release of the Material Design guidelines has created an interesting visual language for designers to play with. Its clever use of tried and tested design principles are sure to make waves this year.
These subtle animations add depth to the 'Material Design' trend whilst also increasing engagement. When a piece of design wobbles, slides or spins, we as the user acknowledge that something has happened. This user feedback method is non negotiable for highlighting or confirming an action and makes the traditional clunky submit or confirm boxes redundant, freeing up your interface for the essentials.
Light & Clean
A path that seems set to continue, at least for the time being. Google and Apple appear to acknowledge that clean and light is the way to go, with visual suggestions like light and shadow making more of an appearance than they were when the Windows phone rocked up and iOS7 ditched the Skeuomorphic look. Less clutter, added depth, and a stripped back approach to design is set to aid hierarchy and legibility making content king.
Typography will be bigger, bolder and demand more attention from its reader. Digital type has been used relatively conservatively in the past due to the constraints of web fonts, but this area has developed vastly over the last few years which opens the doors for further experimentation.
Hand Drawn Elements
These finishing touches have always been popular within print, but a committed crossover into the digital world could make for an interesting collaboration. We're now seeing hand drawn graphics being utilised much more effectively with SVG vector graphics becoming common place in web as oppose to heavy transparent PNG's that struggle to live with high res screens. Whether it's custom calligraphy or a font that depicts that effect, I love playing with these elements when a UI needs a little injection of personality.