THE BEST TO COME OUT OF THE DESIGN WORLD IN 2015:
Some amazing and exciting things happened during this past year. Evolving the way the world thinks and interacts, through ideas, technology and design. Our personal favourites though? Have to be what we interact with every day of course. Here are just a few of our favourite design trends to come out of 2015.
HUGE background images: The hero image, is a picture featured prominently at the top of a website stretching the entire width of a user’s browser window with only a few words of text overlaying it. While this style of design may have started to peak out of the web-works in 2014, it was in 2015 where we had seen them develop into something even better.
Last year the hero image had changed in a few remarkable ways. Some sites have taken the HD photo one step further and embedded HD video onto their landing page, while others pursued the opposite route by blurring out the banner photo to make the primary focus on the text. In doing so, this opened up new creative avenues to experiment with bold and flashy typography.
Digital first branding: Macbook, iphone, android, ipad, tablet, apple watch. There is no denying that digital interaction between consumer’s and companies has evolved drastically and continues to evolve every year. As a result, more companies realise their customers’ primary experience with them is now online, so they needed to take a more digital-first-approach to their branding. Ditching traditional branding which treated the web the same as a ‘branded mug’, and instead conceiving a brand that works first online before filtering down to other print channels.
Responsive Design: A digital-first-approach to connect with the online crowd, also means design which is able to perform on any platform. With so many avenues a client may look to connect with a company, companies must ensure that no UX is left unused. From iPhone to Android, iPad to Tablet, Macbook to PC, 2015 was the year for brands to adjust their online presence to suit any user.
Stock photos that don’t feel like stock photos: The days of generic stock photo are over (thank the photography gods) and natural stunning visuals are in! Finding high-quality do-whatever-you-want-with-it photography became easier than ever. And as a result, websites no longer looked like ‘a person who couldn’t find a pair of matching socks’ mismatched imagery. Instead they actually felt genuine, relatable to the audience, and not like a ‘digital used car sales man’ trying to sell them something they didn’t want.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 2016:
2016! A new year, new adventures, new design. Woot! As we head into this new year, the trends that will most affect our practice aren’t just about whatever colour ‘Pantone’ has picked to symbolise the year ahead. Instead, its down to the social cultural and technological changes that affect what our work means, what our clients want and what people choose to engage with. Brands are now choosing to focus on how they are speaking to their customers first, and the message to be delivered second. Going up against their competition to grab the attention of a constantly distracted audience, only the fiercly creative and innovative will win.
Innovative Logos: As well as being influenced by a company’s message and their products, logos also have to factor in trends that develop year to year. Staying fresh and consistent to keep up with what the ever changing consumer wants, is a part of brand survival. And with the design industry taking bigger and bolder risks in how they incorporate elements like typography, geometry and negative space into their work, logos must do the same. This year has already seen some big companies redesign their logos.
Speedy App Design and Prototypes: With handheld devices becoming more prominent in every day life, designers are starting to focus on the overall interactions of an app as opposed to the initial layout. And with new programs being released later this year in app design (such as Adobe’s Project Comet) wireframing, interaction design and prototyping has never been easier or faster! The limitations of prototyping tools have always been that it’s a pain-in-the-ass to test with real dynamic content, but with the advancement of this new software, overwriting live pages and throwing together a quick prototype from scratch will allow designers to think about app’s in a fundamentally different way. We’ll start seeing many more ways to interact at a micro-level on what we have traditionally expected to be static web pages.
No Headers or footers: While there is some controversy on this design trend peaking out of the gates, there is no denying that it only adds to the impact of your homepage when a viewer visits your site for the first time. It keeps things simple and to the point and allows for more creative freedom when your designer is looking to create something completely unique to you and your company. And as we’ve seen in the logo’s, it’s not about taking those bigger and bolder risks.
Split screens: We love this trend so far! Not only does it have massive versatility when it comes to the overall design, it is great for organizations that have sister companies or numerous departments under one roof. The idea, is to have a platform that is able to decrease click throughs for customers, but keep that strong and bold visual impact that the hero image and minimalistic websites have. If by necessity you have a lot of information that needs to go on your website, this is a way to break it up without having to compromise your visual appeal.