New Year celebrations have several traditions, however none are as overused as the cliché of creating a resolution that you will (hopefully) stick to the entire year. Resolutions typically include bettering your life, increasing or learning a new skill, or finding a goal to achieve.
Our prediction about the upcoming year is that it will focus mostly on design techniques and coding, and that taking the time to learn new and sophisticated tools that allow you to design, export, and organize code cleanly and as efficiently as possible is in your best interest. Your resolution will most likely involve improving your coding skills in some way for the upcoming year!
Let’s face facts; next year will narrow the gap between code and design even further as designers are pushed to have knowledge in multiple fields in the design industry to stay competitive. As design standards are growing rapidly, we should expect even greater demand for great designers.
Besides coding, we think there are several rising trends that will stick around in 2015. The following is our list of design trends we know will be a big part of the next year. Tell us what you think – do you agree with this list?
#1 Flat design or material design?
Flat design is a steady trend for now; we don’t see that disappearing any time soon. Gradients and bubbles are still outdated, but we are seeing a rise of shadows and patterns returning as businesses begin looking for something a little more in depth – although simplicity is still the selling point for web design.
However, this shadow depth is related to Google’s influence on the design industry as material design continues to celebrate clean, modern looks, and a smart use of shadows. We predict shadows will come back into heavier use in 2015.
#2 Collaborative remote working
As the world becomes increasingly smaller and the design industry continues to interconnect, collaborative remote working in browsers to form a team of designers will happen more frequently in the upcoming year. Working with colleagues remotely using true collaborative, multiuser browser web applications is expected as the demand for quality design rises and teams are put together.
#3 Web speed and performance
This year will have a greater focus on better understanding of user needs and how they will interact with websites. Page speed and performance in general will be the key to any web project. The more graphics that can be built with SVG or squish using optimization tools like Image Alpha, the quicker lighter the web will be.
Users won’t take the time to wait longer than 4 seconds and web designers must keep that in mind as that timing may shift to even shorter over the course of the year.
#4 Hero Images
Hero images are here to stay, but now they have color overlays. The color overlays help them match with the color scheme of the website as well as making sure elements on top pop and don’t be overwhelmed by the photo background.
Our warning to designers is this year – stay away from the typical stock photos! Businesses will suffer if their designers overuse them and users are becoming more aware of what stock photography looks like.
Web typography has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years as designers have been able to use more fonts, adapt them for the web, and create their own web typography. As mobile devices improve, content that has responsive typography will draw more attention.
Using responsive scaling, designers can adjust type proportions appropriately for the device or resolution. Responsive is still a factor in design and we don’t see this trend dying down any time soon.
#6 Animation, custom videos, and GIFs
Animation and custom videos are part of what designers can come to expect in 2015 as the web becomes more interaction based on user habits. People crave viral video content and interesting content.
Designers will find the demand to including more animation in their web design increasing almost every action that makes sense for an effective website will have fragments of animation behind it. The goal would be to stay effective without being annoying or overdone with the animation effects.
The world has also embraced short form video and motion graphics, from Vine to Instagram and, of course, GIFs. Expect to see more of this incorporated into designs in the upcoming year.
#7 Mobile optimized email marketing
Email design will become a key in securing clients in 2015. As email marketing continues to out-performing any other form of marketing, businesses will turn to designers to create the best looking email designs to attract new clients.
With the constantly growing need for mobile adoption in all areas of a business’s digital presence, email marketing will have further mobile expansion and responsive email designs.
The main problem for designers is you will be restricted to the capabilities of the email clients themselves (e.g. Gmail, Outlook) and whether they process the @media query correctly.
#8 Story telling
Story telling is a trend that won’t disappear – it’s a terrific way for potential customers to connect with a brand. It provides insight and perspective that consumers relate to. Designers will be primarily focusing on how to create designs that will relate to what a brand is trying to portray.
One fantastic example that we love to refer to is LEGO’s story. By blending graphic design, animation, and brilliant branding, LEGO wove these elements into a story worth watching.
We predict many designers will struggle to bridge the gap between brands and their clients in the upcoming year. However, the designers who understand what makes an interesting visual content are the ones who will succeed. Any designers looking to do branding work this year should consider the latest branding tips and what mistakes brands should avoid before they put the pen to a paper.
What’s your design resolution for 2015?