2013 saw huge changes in design—it was the year skeuomorphism died, and flat design took center stage. Alongside it was the blossoming of responsive web design, minimalism, expanded use of color, and creative typography.
These changes were influenced by the increase in smartphone and tablet users. Gone are the days when people only access the internet using a desktop computer. Designers had to adapt by creating content for a variety of screen sizes.
In 2014, flat, minimalist design will be front and center, and designers will continue to refine this style by adding color, elegance and beauty in place of the starkness that used to define minimalism. And its influence won’t just impact the web, it will spill over into all aspects of design, from digital, to print, to branding, product, and packaging.
Smaller Screen Design
Now that we’re more experienced with designing for smartphones, it’s time to start thinking even smaller. How small? Wristwatch small! Glasses small! While smartwatches and Google Glass haven’t made a big splash in the market yet, technology will continue to evolve until we will have to consider how users will view our content on them.
And let’s not forget product design, like interactive screens to manage your television, your home’s security or temperature system, even your grocery list with built-in refrigerator tablets. And they’ll be programmed to interact with each other. Imagine your refrigerator uploading a grocery list to your smartphone or smartwatch. Information needs to flow seamlessly from one to another. You will begin to see more and more of these types of products throughout the year. See how Archos is leading the way using Apple’s iOS mobile platform.
As new, more complex technology enters the market, design trends are leaning toward a cleaner, simpler, more elegant look. Instead of cramming everything on one page, designers are using white space and perfect typography to help users find the information they’re looking for no matter what size screen they are using. Read why simple websites are scientifically better.
Speaking of typography, typefaces that are easy to read, have even strokes, clean lines, and are visually interesting will be popular this year. Here’s more on typography trends for 2014.
This trend can also be seen in product and packaging design as more companies realize that consumers more easily recognize simple shapes and messages over complex ones. Here’s more on package design trends for 2014.
Faux wood-grain, stitched leather, crinkled, lined 3-hole-punch paper, fake-shine overlays, or anything that smells of skeuomorphism has gone the way of the dodo bird. Flat Design will dominate 2014!
With its simple, two dimensional elements and bold colors, it’s the perfect style to take us into the future as we design for various different types and sizes of digital interfaces. Find everything you wanted to know about flat design.
As we design interfaces in 2014 and beyond, we need to remember that the content we create will need to serve our viewers in a variety of formats and sizes. Simplifying shapes and icons, choosing readable fonts, and using pops of color to liven up your designs will help readers navigate your content as they adapt to new technology. These changes are exciting and I can’t wait to see where we go next!
About the Author
Cindy Wilcox is a visual/web designer who loves to create compelling stories and user experiences. She designs for inMotionNow, and is also a painter and AIGA volunteer in her free time.