As a service design and digital consultant with an accent in visual storytelling I pay close attention to the ever-changing trends of design, on and offline. With the new year approaching there are more and more articles out there elaborating on some of the most prominent trends in visual communication, service and web design for 2016. It has become more and more apparent that the number of screens with which designs must interact as well as the number of users is only going to grow.

What’s more, the growth seems to be exponential. Equally compelling is the number of intersecting technologies for which a designer must prepare. The design profession itself is expanding to be more and more multidisciplinary as a designer needs to understand and embrace the entire end to end user holistic experiences across devices, interactions, screens and browsers. Here is an interesting article on what to look for in digital design trends in the year to come:

EXAMPLE OF A LIST DONE WITH SHORTCODE

    • Focus on usability; In 2016, design will be all about the user. User experience (UX) will indeed be the new black. Your audience won’t appreciate the visual design of your site if it is not user friendly  and creates frustration while browsing on various devices.
    • Bringing design thinking in-house: With unprecedented pressure to innovate, a growing number of organisations are investing in bringing design thinking in-house as design is more widely recognised as the catalyst for business change, competitive advantage and innovation across multitude of internal and external operations.
    • Responsive design continues to thrive; this is not optional any more, all your graphic design and artwork have to adhere to the rules of responsive. Which means “no one size or format fits all.”
    • App inspired web design; people are getting more and more used to faster browsing experiences in native apps. Designers have long proposed that websites should learn from app design’s quick wins (speed, zero distractions, tailored user experience). Remove all unessential information and let the user interact with your content as fast as he can.
    • Clever, interactive website menus; Hidden navigations that appear out of nowhere depending on the user’s actions will soon be the norm.
    • Modular design: Modular design is a technique where everything is built using a block grid pattern.The first trick to breakdown long texts in the web was to try to write in short paragraphs. Just like reading a magazine, a website is certainly more fun to read when our eyes can jump from one module to another, and the type of content changes as we hop along.
    • Material Design 2015 trends: principles continue to gain momentum in 2016.
    • Infographics: Do you know a better way to convey stories or pieces of information than with a neat infographic?
    • Photography and videos produced for specific project, or customised illustrations will further take over stock photography in web production. People are realising that stock photos are one of the most boring and unoriginal things you can include in a website.
    • Service design thinking applied to customer experience across digital and physical service design will further gain its momentum as more and more companies compete on customer end to end journeys and embed the science of customer emotions (and emotional motivators) into their business strategy (including marketing, communication and digital design). Shaping the digital customer journey. 

The explosion of digital technologies over the past decade created “empowered” consumers – customers so expert in their use of tools and information that they could call the shots, hunting down what they wanted when they wanted it, to be delivered to their doorstep at a rock-bottom price…

Harvard Business Review (Oct 2015)

CONCLUSION

Now, through the use of emerging digital technologies, processes, and organizational structures, companies are restoring the balance of power to create new value for brands and customers alike. Central to this shift is a new way of thinking about the decision journey; rather than reacting to journeys consumers themselves devise, brands are shaping the journeys customers take, leading, rather than following them along the path.

Written by Michal Jerzy