I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but in the last 25 years, the internet has really grown up. In addition to the unlimited information available at your fingertips, it is an amazing tool to get stuff done. Free programs like Squarespace, Wix, and Canva have provided a toolkit for the general public to design. It’s almost as simple as baking a cake. Sign up, pick your favorite template, add half a cup of content, and BAM! You have a website.
This new “everyone has the ability to design” atmosphere combined with exciting technological advancements and the influence of major trendsetters will set the stage for design in 2016.
Here are my top four predictions for the new year:
- Minimalism with a 99% chance of sans-serif.
We will see this transition to flat AND minimalism in 2016. This makes me excited. Today’s world has an overwhelming amount of visual stimulation, and so I welcome any sort of simplicity a design can offer. Removing unnecessary elements, in my opinion, is needed. This will result in an increased use of sans-serif fonts as well as custom typography to distinguish brands. A great example? Google’s new logo.
“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” –Leonardo da Vinci
- Versatility with a chance of pop.
First and foremost, with such a wide range of screen sizes available, we will see an increase in logo and design versatility. Successful brands will embrace this ever-changing landscape and create dynamic designs that adapt to all mediums, and all screen sizes on the market. In the logo world, we will see a decrease in the amount of colors used.
Neutral tones with contrasting bold spot colors (pop) will dominate the scene.
- Custom photography with a guarantee of human connection.
I’m not a fan of stock photography. In fact, it’s about as boring as the drive through Kansas. And I think this is a shared sentiment in today’s marketing atmosphere. Instead, brands will embrace custom photography. Whether this means hiring local photographers or using resources such as Unsplash, New Old Stock, or Little Visuals, they’ll find a way to make unique, relate-able visual pieces. Getty Images is embracing this trend by creating beautiful collections – I’m in love with their Lean-In Collection. Warmth in photography emphasizes the human connection.
- Obvious with a chance of delight.
Have you ever noticed that the majority of websites actually look very similar? Responsive design, the popularity of WordPress, and theme pages have created common patterns users are more comfortable navigating. This is why we typically find navigation bars at the top of a webpage and mainstream hamburger menus. Changing these patterns would be like moving the front door of your house. Visitors would become confused and irritated, causing them to be less likely to knock on the door at all. Brands will embrace obvious UI patterns and focus attention on solving pain points with delightful customer experiences through animation and captivating images.
A less complicated, interactive, and engaging user story.