2019 Digital Design Trends You Need to Know About
The word “trend” is like a black hole in the universe of a designer - it is so easy to fall into, and never come out of, and it is just as easy to go about pretending that it is not there until it eats you up by surprise. Writing about trends has become a trend in itself, as every new year plenty of articles, blog posts, and e-books are published on what trends one should follow and be aware of.
As a designer, following the crowd always creates an anxious feeling - as the idea of creativity points to doing exactly the opposite. Knowing what trends do exist though, can give designers valuable information as to what they are pushing against, as well as the ability to critique or comment on the ideas behind the trends.
Being aware of the world around you is probably the best way to see what is trendy at the moment. Spotting a trend is not the difficult part; what is often the challenge is to get behind the psychology of the trend and how it emerged and was adopted. What do people love and hate, and what do they ultimately want? This knowledge helps designers to better understand cultures, people and individuals and hopefully, in the long run, this understanding of each other will help us to empathise with one another and produce work which is honest and relevant.
Here are a few summarised digital design trends predicted or already observed for 2019 (not necessarily to follow, but be aware of).
1. More diverse illustration styles such as photo-collage; 3D; expressive and abstract; are making a comeback. Flat is still prominent but not as overwhelmingly as before.
2. Logo design still seems to be moving towards a more “serious”, sans-serif, homogeneous style; whilst typography is looking more adventurous and vintage with serif fonts making a comeback in general body copy and headlines.
3. The idea of creating inclusive/accessible design which meets the needs of a diverse set of users. This indirectly links to other philosophies in design which are at the forefront of thinking, such as how to keep people connected and in control of their engagement without being invasive and dishonest.
4. The merge between design and code, as more platforms are released in an attempt to develop better, interactive design tools. These platforms enable tighter integration with coding through APIs and plug-in systems.
5. Good writing and storytelling, in an attempt to humanise technology and the brand.
6. The use of the CSS Grid which introduces a new system for arranging design elements within a page. The proliferation of the use of the CSS grid will enable designers and developers alike to also break away from the grid and be more experimental with layouts.
Clean and minimal has recently dominated the world of digital design, especially for UX/UI. The reason for this is called “cognitive fluency” - which means that people are most comfortable with what they have experienced before. A good example of this is the meta-trend of the homogenous hero (and homogenous website in general). The ubiquitous website layout certainly helps with the user journey, if the user always knows where to find the navigation tools and necessary information that they are looking for.
But there is definitely a strong shift from the modern to the nostalgic. Every movement in design is always followed by a revolution and we are definitely seeing a growth in a shift from “subcultural” trends to mainstream mainstay. 2019 seems to promise a lot of technological progress and change and I am, personally, definitely looking forward to seeing and taking part in it.