Should I be trendy?

over 8 years ago from Tevi Hirschhorn, UX Designer

  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 8 years ago

    Design for the project! What does the project need and require to be successful.

    Sometimes a client does... well, suck. If that happens, make the best of it and do what you can. Merge "what the client likes" and, not current trends but, timeless design.

    Trends are always fleeting, but hey, design is ephemeral too!

    53 points
    • Bryant HughesBryant Hughes, over 8 years ago

      Yep nicely said.

      Also, you should be able to explain to the client why his preferred aesthetic is a bad decision for the project (if it is), and why something more "trendy" or modern is the better choice. If you can't articulate why, then your choice is just as unsubstantiated as the clients.

      If you are able to articulate and they still throw a fit, it's either dump the client, or do the work and make a sacrifice on the output (which sucks), but is definitely a reality in a client services industry.

      Good luck!

      11 points
    • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )


      Being aware of trends is good but you can't go into every (any) project having already decided you have to follow current trends. That's working with two hands behind your back.

      Trends are not necessarily an indicator of what's good or what works. They're self-feeding cycles where something gets distilled and drained until it's so shallow that people get bored and look for something new. If that's your starting point then you're already behind.

      2 points
      • Tevi HirschhornTevi Hirschhorn, over 8 years ago

        Totally agree - some good comments here.

        It's not that I want to necessarily throw all the current trends in. This project needs to show that it's modern and new to be taken seriously. If it looks 5 years old, it will fail. Miserably. Photoshop grain, drop shadows and chrome are so dead.

        I tried explaining that to the client, but he insisted...

        I guess I'm just going to have to make the best of it.

        0 points
        • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 8 years ago

          It's also worth noting that most digital designs only live 1-2 years before being redesigned. So, even though this goes against what I said earlier, sometimes current trends are good, as long as you are also attempting to forecast the next two years.

          Unfortunately sometimes a project is a project and you simply do it to get paid :( but I still suggest doing whatever you can to help educate the client and properly provide a solid solution for the problem at hand. Even showing other, current designs as a comparison to what the client is referencing (hint: you don't have to show other sites/apps in the same field, for example banks and universities always have sucky design, so if designing for a bank why would you inspect what other banks are doing? Check out and reference similar industries that are doing it well!)

          Good luck!

          1 point
    • Bryce DriesengaBryce Driesenga, over 8 years ago

      I definitely see what you're getting it. But I think timeless design is tricky when it comes to app designs. I feel like phone apps are inherently not timeless. But creating something that will look good for as long as possible should definitely be something to strive for.

      I like Frank Chimero's thoughts on timeless design --

      4 points
      • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, over 8 years ago

        Sure, saying timeless design is a bit vague, and maybe that's good and maybe it's bad. But I think what should be said is that timeless design isn't about drop shadows, border radii, or pairing the colors salmon and teal.

        Timeless Design isn't about techniques, but elements. Timeless Design is a way of thinking. Timeless Design is focusing on content first, hierarchy, typography, rhythm, and function.

        I'm making all this up as I go, so it's probably partly true and partly false :)

        1 point
        • Bryce DriesengaBryce Driesenga, over 8 years ago

          True! Timeless design is tricky to define, I think. But I'd say focusing on the thinking and process aspect is the right track to be on.

          0 points