Ask DN: What will be the dominant UI style in 2014?

almost 4 years ago from , Founder at Bjango

Ask DN: What will be the dominant UI style in 2014?

Most of us here have a pretty good idea of the backstory — as computer displays have increased in resolution, pixel density and colour support, UI designers have often made use of the hardware available. I believe this is why there’s been trend towards realism, for the entire story arc of computing thus far.

Miner 2049er

When you all you have are primary colours and chunky pixels, stylistic choices are going to be largely dictated to you.

But that’s not where we are now. We have 16,777,216 colours and pixels so small you can’t see them. We have so few technical constraints that we’re using physics engines to run UI animation, and we’re throwing particle systems into weather apps… you know, for delight. Or deference. Or something.

We’re at an inflection point.

The last few years have seen a surge in minimal design (no, I’m not going to use the F-word). Minimal design has always been popular, especially in print, but it’s hard to ignore the vice-like grip it had on UI design in 2013. I see that as a good thing. If nothing else, it has been a reboot for many of us. An acknowledgement that we don’t need to do things purely because we can.

Diversity is good, and designers should do what they feel is right for the time and the project. However, fashion tends to move as a herd and it is likely 2014 will be remembered by the design community for one or two prominent styles.

What pings your pong for 2014?

I personally feel that the pendulum may have swung a little too far back. I think we have lost some of the useful design cues realism provided. Elements can’t have any more stripped from them — they’re as bare as they can be. Plenty of buttons in 2013 didn’t even indicate their active region (oh, the humanity!).

However, slapping some realistic lighting onto a design is a great way to kick it back to iOS 6-ville. So, although I don’t think the future is entirely gradient-less and absent of lighting, I’m not sure what it looks like.

Do you think we’ll see a resurgence of detail in 2014 and beyond? Why?

tl;dr version

Can I use gradients again?

56 comments

  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I love speculating on this stuff.

    1. Animation - This will become a huge focus in 2014. It will become the main differentiator. No more things popping in and out, now they will come from somewhere and go somewhere. It will also be abused and misused by those not versed in the laws of animation and annoy users who must wait for it to finish. But done well, it will be a huge draw and delight for users.

    2. Web will act more like apps - All the UI that worked in mobile will flow into web and web will use a lot more "Ajax" type loading of content. Pages will be preloaded, transitioned, etc.

    3. We will start designing for the real world again. Designers, and especially those of us who became designers during this whole computer thing, will start designing for the real world more as the digital and physical merge. More "internet of things" apps, more self tracking, and even more so iBeacons will be some of our new clients.

    4. 80's/90's colors and style will be popular. Color blocking, geometric shape patterns, etc

    5. The pendulum will swing back just a little bit. I think the "card" style will be popular. No skue, just some depth will return.

    6. Physics and 3D will be big. - UI will be built and animated in 3D. It will be subtle but UI will use more horsepower.

    8 points
    • Desmond A.Desmond A., almost 4 years ago

      Plus one on .6

      1 point
    • Keith EsernioKeith Esernio, almost 4 years ago

      Totally agree with all these points!

      1 point
    • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      Great reply! I definitely agree with your take on things.

      I’d add one more:

      1. We’ll start to see more environmentally aware design, using device sensors. We’ve already seen a hints at UI responding to gyroscope movement and to a smaller extent, light sensors. Other sensors will probably be used more frequently. Proximity to allow hover for multitouch, more face-tracking for 3D effects, and hopefully other new sensors we haven’t seen yet.

      Some of these things will be gimmicks. Some won’t stick at all. But when it comes to input, minor improvements can usher in changes that feel significant.

      2 points
      • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 4 years ago

        Very good addition! I can see that especially paired with iBeacon, there could be some very interesting experiences. I also wonder how much of the smartphones capabilities will become available to web developers

        0 points
    • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      Physics and 3D will be big. - UI will be built and animated in 3D. It will be subtle but UI will use more horsepower.

      Before the web, I pursued 3d character modeling, and spent years studying modeling, rigging, animation, rendering and particle/cloth/physics simulations.

      I would be so incredibly tickled if 3D came full circle for me.

      1 point
  • Antonio PratasAntonio Pratas, almost 4 years ago

    Tartan. I believe that tartan will make a comeback in 2014 for websites. http://bit.ly/1eCmhd0

    6 points
  • George Kedenburg IIIGeorge Kedenburg III, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I definitely see the use of video as a texture/supporting element becoming more and more popular, especially as bandwidth increases for the majority of the internet. Just take a look at any recent Apple product page or even this Oregon Football site. The Oregon site may be an extreme example (even the menu items are videos), but I definitely think that this shows how much more "alive" the web can feel with the use of video outside of the embedded youtube player.

    EDIT: I also just realized that this rambling is more related to a web design trend rather than UI styling. Oops.

    5 points
    • Jaeson BrownJaeson Brown, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      I think you make a really good point about the bandwidth increases across ISPs. That is at the heart of why Google jumped into the Internet Service industry. They wanted to push competitors to increase bandwidth; which would spur innovation, imagination and creativity of what could be done through the internet. Video is such a powerful vehicle for communication.

      1 point
    • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

      especially as bandwidth increases for the majority of the internet

      While true for the US, EU and other regions, the internet’s reach is expanding, and many new users are arriving, typically on mobile devices and with poorer cell networks.

      I guess you need to be a little cautious about who you’re targeting before throwing a big video on your site. I definitely agree that 2013 saw more video use on the net than before, often as an in-situ texture (which looks great).

      I love how the Oregon Football site uses an overlay image to mask the blurry video, and give it a TV-display look.

      I also just realized that this rambling is more related to a web design trend rather than UI styling.

      It’s all related, so the opinion is definitely welcome. Thanks!

      0 points
  • Account deleted almost 4 years ago

    My opinion is ... use whether make sense ... gradients, shadows, borders etc. but everything needs to have a reason behind it (if you will be able answer / defend your decision, perfect).

    Also don't fallow trends to much, it's proven that all trends have short live / they go away after some time, treat them as a nice touch / addition to the particular project you are working on.

    Design with head and consider real needs instead of "what's hot at the moment".

    Just a quick thought ...

    4 points
    • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

      Also don't fallow trends to much, it's proven that all trends have short live

      I feel the same way, but I do feel that I need to keep learning and moving. By discussing what others think is on the horizon, I’m hoping to help refine where I want to go.

      2 points
    • Tor Løvskogen BollingmoTor Løvskogen Bollingmo, almost 4 years ago

      How do you decide if a project needs no or sublte shadows?

      0 points
      • Philip KarpiakPhilip Karpiak, almost 4 years ago

        At a high level, see if the subject matter inherently uses something like shadows a lot – horror, sci-fi, time, weather, etc.

        At a lower level, see if adding a shadow helps convey the intention of an element more. Text a bit hard to read but not unreadable? Add a subtle shadow, if you can according to your theme (a bad example since you should probably address the actual colour or typeface used for the text, but you get it….

        1 point
        • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

          At a high level, see if the subject matter inherently uses something like shadows a lot – horror, sci-fi, time, weather, etc.

          Devil’s advocate: All of those traditions had to be created at some point. Anything that’s a cliché wasn’t the first time it was done.

          What if you want to break the mould?

          1 point
    • Nathan NashNathan Nash, almost 4 years ago

      My opinion is ... use whether make sense ... gradients, shadows, borders etc.

      I wholeheartedly agree with this. Flat, skeuo etc. are all just aesthetics and should be used as such; they are not dogmas.

      3 points
      • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

        I wholeheartedly agree with this. Flat, skeuo etc. are all just aesthetics and should be used as such; they are not dogmas.

        I completely agree that they’re all just different approaches (with pros and cons). My question relates to where we go from here. What have we learned from the minimal trend of 2013 that can be used to improve our work?

        0 points
        • Nathan NashNathan Nash, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

          What have we learned from the minimal trend of 2013 that can be used to improve our work?

          I think the most important thing we learned is that everyone has gotten past the need for digital representations of analogue interfaces. My hope is that we're going to see these things being abstracted in new and interesting ways.

          0 points
          • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

            I think the most important thing we learned is that everyone has gotten past the need for digital representations of analogue interfaces.

            Have we? Some iconography works brilliantly and doesn’t need to change. Take iOS 7 as an example — it keeps the reel to reel glyph for voicemail, the phone icon that looks like an old desk phone, the settings cogs etc. I makes no sense to ditch these and replace them with something that’s “digitally authentic”. Replace them with what?

            Or, if you’re talking about realistic lighting... lighting hasn’t gone away in the real world, so the reference seems relevant if it helps explain how to use something. I think it can make sense on a digital device.

            If anything, I think we should be learning that cultural references play a big role in easy to use interfaces. And also that stylistic choices can be great, but they should be treated as fashion.

            1 point
        • Andrew LiebchenAndrew Liebchen, almost 4 years ago

          What have we learned from the minimal trend of 2013 that can be used to improve our work?

          For me it's that our definition of "minimal" should be a little more maximal.

          0 points
          • Tor Løvskogen BollingmoTor Løvskogen Bollingmo, almost 4 years ago

            How so?

            0 points
            • Andrew LiebchenAndrew Liebchen, almost 4 years ago

              When your aim is to reduce extraneous elements until you reach an essential core, you necessarily have to go "too far," otherwise you wouldn't know what is and isn't necessary.

              I'm restating something that's been already said above, that we may need to bring back some of the things we cast out in the race to "flat" or " screen native" or whatever.

              The option in the latest iOS beta that brings back some button outlines is an example of this.

              0 points
  • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I'm not going to lie, this thread is kind of everything I despise about the design community as it exists today.

    Design what you want, how you want. Visualize your own future. More importantly, design what makes sense. "Trends" are exactly that—you don't have to design with the mold, and threads like this perpetuate that.

    New "trends" have to start somewhere, but if you try to figure out and discuss and hypothesize over what the next one will be, you'll inevitably get stuck daydreaming while someone else goes out and makes something great. Then everyone else (including you*) will copy it.

    *Hypothetical you, not actual OP or any individual

    3 points
    • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      I'm not going to lie, this thread is kind of everything I despise about the design community as it exists today.

      It’s interesting you say that. My intention is to be better at building useful things, and to help others be better at building useful things.

      I want to not only know which design fashions are on the horizon, but to also be able to understand how they may be used to build interfaces that do their job better. I want to see what’s coming, so I can choose to embrace or reject them (usually at a fairly granular level).

      Design what you want, how you want. Visualize your own future. More importantly, design what makes sense. "Trends" are exactly that—you don't have to design with the mold, and threads like this perpetuate that.

      I don’t think this discussion is perpetuating any particular style. Please note the language chosen in the original post. This isn’t intended to be a religious war. Trends typically exist for a reason.

      I think “Design what you want, how you want” is a good mantra, but you’re not designing in a vacuum — it’s very difficult to not be influenced by things around you. My approach is to design what I want, but do so while being aware of what and why things are popular.

      New "trends" have to start somewhere, but if you try to figure out and discuss and hypothesize over what the next one will be, you'll inevitably get stuck daydreaming while someone else goes out and makes something great.

      I don’t agree with this.

      New things exist because people thought about them, not despite thinking about them.

      2 points
      • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

        It’s interesting you say that. My intention is to be better at building useful things, and to help others be better at building useful things.

        Totally. On the same page here.

        I want to not only know which design fashions are on the horizon, but to also be able to understand how they may be used to build interfaces that do their job better. I want to see what’s coming, so I can choose to embrace or reject them (usually at a fairly granular level).

        I guess it's the words "fashion" and "trend" that bother me. Interfaces that do their job better, great. Things being "flat" for the sake of being "flat"—not so much.

        Those words imply glamor. The work we do shouldn't be glamorous, it should be useful and usable. Why not use the word "design pattern," or "visual language?" Those things aren't sexy. I doubt it would ever broadly catch on.

        I don’t think this discussion is perpetuating any particular style. Please note the language chosen in the original post. This isn’t intended to be a religious war. Trends typically exist for a reason.

        This is where I disagree. From what I understand, this was started as satire of trends in the design community, and designers ate it up and dribbbled it and rebounded it and it was beautiful. People didn't care what the "reason" was—they did it because it was cool.

        This will always exist in the design community, but as literal visionaries as the future, my honest opinion is it needs to exist way, way less. The use of words like "trends" and "fashion" alongside a generation of designers who learned their craft exclusively from Dribbble only serve to exacerbate this.

        I think “Design what you want, how you want” is a good mantra, but you’re not designing in a vacuum — it’s very difficult to not be influenced by things around you. My approach is to design what I want, but do so while being aware of what and why things are popular.

        You're never designing in a vacuum. On top of that, everything is a remix. I still would rather throw away everything that my ancestors (at other companies) did and try something new over appropriating design. I want to at least see what happens if I try. I made custom UI elements for everything on the web for the product I built for my senior thesis, and it was terrible. No one understood anything, but I learned from that.

        I don't learn by doing what X does just because they're huge, or good at design, or really successful. It sounds kinda silly, but if everyone isn't learning then that kinda sucks for everyone.

        I don’t agree with this.

        New things exist because people thought about them, not despite thinking about them.

        Designers don't spend nearly enough time explaining why they do things and what their thought processes are—instead, they lick and obsess over pixels and icons on Dribbble. So even if new things exist because people thought about them, I don't think anyone else would ever actually know.

        0 points
        • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

          I guess it's the words "fashion" and "trend" that bother me. Interfaces that do their job better, great. Things being "flat" for the sake of being "flat"—not so much.

          I’m not suggesting things have to be a certain way for the sake of it. I am suggesting that there’s many known styles, and when designing, it’s good to choose an appropriate one for the task at hand.

          I am also suggesting that one or two of those styles will evolve and be dominant in 2014. I think it’s a good idea to be mindful of what those are, especially if you intend to explore ways to use them yourself.

          I have no problem with calling it fashion. That’s precisely what it is.

          Those words imply glamor. The work we do shouldn't be glamorous, it should be useful and usable.

          Design can be exciting and glamorous. Sometimes that’s what is called for. Why do you think the parallax effects exist in iOS 7?

          Designers don't spend nearly enough time explaining why they do things and what their thought processes are.

          I hope you think I do. Where appropriate, I try to explain my workflow, document my creative rationale and provide tools for the community.

          It’s fairly rare for me to start a discussion that’s entirely about style, but I think it’s a worthy one to have. If nothing else, different styles often affect usability and have technical benefits and drawbacks. The conversation may not be as vapid as it first seems.

          0 points
          • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 4 years ago

            I totally think that you do—I'm just pointing out that I also think it's rare. No one can argue that you probably give back to the community more than most!

            I don't think I agree with you on the "fashion" and "style" part of things. I think that there's a place for them, and there are times that they're important, but given all the things that a talented designer can do, they're just another tool—no more or no less important than any of the other tools that we employ. I happen to think a designer can get pretty far without using that tool at all. That's my personal bias, and maybe my shortcoming.

            I think what I find the most interesting about this kind of discussion is that if we were carpenters (and I didn't pick that analogy for no reason :) ), would we gather in a circle and say "Alright guys, what new tools are we going to use this year?" I actually don't know—maybe we would. It's not my favorite tool to use, which again, is all me, but to get into that would totally sidetrack into a different topic!

            0 points
        • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

          Why not use the word "design pattern," or "visual language?" Those things aren't sexy.

          Speak for yourself, those get me totally randy!

          Seriously though Justin, if I’m understanding you correctly, I agree with your sentiment that design is more than just pushing lickable pixels. It’s alarming to me how many designers equate design with—oh god here it comes—"Visual Design."

          Design is, by definition (in my own words) a holistic strategy aimed at the intersection of form and function… and unfortunately, you’re not wrong saying that many designers might be more accurately described as interface stylists, addicted to trends.

          I don't learn by doing what X does just because they're huge, or good at design, or really successful.

          Everyone learns differently. I personally gain a huge amount of insight analyzing what other people do, especially fellow developers. Yet even dissecting (and sometimes, yes, emulating) other people’s design work can uncover insights.

          This doesn’t mean copy thoughtlessly, but your tone errs on the side of condescending and cynical. Not every designer—scratch that—not every person is going to be a leader, and sometimes those that will still require a bit of time to discover the true depth of their craft.

          There was a time when I blindly followed Photoshop tutorials and put lens flares and fire effects on everything… and called myself a designer. (I even had clients!)

          1 point
          • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 4 years ago

            I think we're on the same page! Sorry if I did sound condescending— I don't think that was the intent at all.

            For whatever it's worth, a fun fact: People make sloppy PSDs and I am really OCD about them, so I end up remaking a lot of PSDs in the course of a week from scratch to work on top of them. I feel like I learn a lot about how those people think and why they did the thing that they did through that. I think it's awesome—it's not how I prefer to learn things but I actually learn different things than just trying things and watching them fail.

            Everyone has to start somewhere—I've made some pretty beautifully terrible things with Photoshop too. I just wish the outcome were more discourse about how we can use Design in meaningful ways (There was a really amazing thread on people organizing to design something for social good or something about a month ago and I can't find the link and it's killing me. Tell me I wasn't dreaming) and less how we can design better buttons.

            1 point
  • Brian AlexandrowiczBrian Alexandrowicz, almost 4 years ago

    To add to what Christian said:

    I think we're going to see more cutting-edge technologies used as older, less-friendly browsers fade away. I too agree that minimal will still be pretty big, but I think that we'll be shooting for "depth", rather than straight-up skeumorphism or flatness, and the line will start to blur a little.

    3 points
  • Ryan GloverRyan Glover, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    My bet is that the biggest enhancement/change to UI won't necessarily be the style, but how interactions are styled with animation. There was an article on DN about this recently but I can't seem to track down the link...

    This is a good primer on the topic, though: (Transitional Interfaces) - https://medium.com/design-ux/926eb80d64e3

    2 points
  • Maciej ZadykowiczMaciej Zadykowicz, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I think the entire pantheon of styles popularized/derived from iOS7 be it thin fonts, thin line icons, blur or movement in 3D spaces hasn't reached its critical mass yet and we'll see more of that in 2014, for better or worse. It goes back to what Marc said, in that it's enabled by advances in display technology and silicon performance. The same way increased bandwidth allows for video backgrounds. My main bet would be on movement, UIs will be more dynamic, scalable and well… alive, with physics and 3d playing a pivotal role there.

    1 point
  • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I suspect a couple things will become more prominent in web and UI design over the next year:

    • Movement — Whether it’s through video, CSS or physics and particle engines, I suspect a substantial rise in the prevalence of movement and its unique implementations—particularly for web. (Mobile has already begun leveraging more unique implementations of movement in 2013.)

    • Responsive Web Design 2.0 — I believe RWD was just the beginning of designing smarter for a growing number of devices and varying device capabilities. As we drop support for the next segment of legacy browsers, the intersection of modern browsers and mobile device capabilities will facilitate the next step in the evolution of smarter responsive designs.

    • Minimal vs. Flat — Flat took the world by storm, but the frenzy appears to be settling. Luckily, I think the move towards minimalism was the right one. I suspect in 2014 we’ll see a resurgence of non-flat design, but still minimal (with, as mentioned above, more movement).

    • Performance — This is a big one. Even though bandwidth for some may be increasing, there’s still a massive population of low/unreliable bandwidth users on an ever increasing number of mobile devices. I suspect performance will become more and more important for designers, and gain popularity as a topic of discussion.

    For me personally, my focus this year starts with a drive to recapture the utilitarian nature of the web and digital technology. I’m tired of those excruciatingly thin font weights, scroll hijacking parallax seizures, and confusing layouts trying too hard to buck conventions.

    1 point
    • Tom WoodTom Wood, almost 4 years ago

      Excellent post (and nice markdown).

      Particularly agree with RWD 2.0 and Performance. It seems 2014 could be a year where we see a struggle between what we want to implement and what we should implement.

      As the prevalence of 4G increases, I think we'll see more companies adopting web apps as the way to go. And then we'll see people moaning about how their 3G can't cope, followed by a power struggle culminating in 2014 being the year that 3G becomes obsolete.

      1 point
      • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

        Thanks Thomas.

        I know for me personally, 4G and Wi-Fi have already made 3G feel quite sluggish.

        I don’t have much experience designing for countries with nascent web infrastructures, but there will likely remain a significant population (perhaps not in US and EU) that will only have access to low/unreliable bandwidth for some time. (I’m not an expert on this.)

        That said, I think for us as designers and developers, it’ll likely boil down to leveraging high bandwidth, but maintaining offline and low/unreliable bandwidth support as essential requirements. Perhaps that will be the hallmark of RWD 2.0.

        0 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, almost 4 years ago

    Transitional Interfaces: https://medium.com/design-ux/926eb80d64e3http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMe0WnkF1Lc&feature=c4-overview&list=UURx1y52pfeMwbuer9Vh2u-A

    1 point
  • Philip KarpiakPhilip Karpiak, almost 4 years ago

    I view it as if most of our industry have been over-training for an endurance event in 2012 (skeuomorphism), finding out we trained way too hard and can do with less, but take that overboard and go on some fad minimal training regimen (flat).

    Now it’s time to tweak the dials and find a balance. You could have always used gradients, and I’ve always applied them to my elements despite this craze. Because texture does a lot better to make a button look like a button – especially with the types of people I design for – than just relying on colour and shape alone.

    1 point
  • Tom WoodTom Wood, almost 4 years ago

    That tl;dr make me laugh.

    For sure we'll see a resurgence of detail. The whole minimalist/flat thing was so in our faces and so overkilled that I feel the tide will draw back and we'll see some detail re-introduced .

    I agree that minimalist is good in the way it forces us to re-evaluate or design and focus on the UX not that outer-glow I'm in love with, however I do expect some sort of backlash.

    But more and more I think the "do what suits" approach is becoming the go-to method.

    1 point
    • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

      That tl;dr make me laugh.

      :D

      For sure we'll see a resurgence of detail. The whole minimalist/flat thing was so in our faces and so overkilled that I feel the tide will draw back and we'll see some detail re-introduced.

      So, I guess my question is: How? How can we reintroduce some detail and keep a design fresh?

      0 points
      • Tom WoodTom Wood, almost 4 years ago

        I think it depends on the industry. I work in marketing (eww) and do a sideline in branding (yaaay), and for the marketing stuff I've never stopped using gradients or drop shadows. I'm still driving the way towards a more minimalist approach to all the designs.

        For branding projects I think very very gentle gradients are in, and so it seems is 3D depth. Maybe it's just me, but I'm seeing a resurgence of logos and brands using 3D depth and angled text, etc.

        0 points
  • Garth BraithwaiteGarth Braithwaite, almost 4 years ago

    Which will be the dominant UI style? The one that can brutally attack it's opponent without fear, yet isn't clouded by anger.

    Realism is a heavy hitter with some real strength, but Minimalism is lean and has some great speed. Minimalism has had a good run, but I'm going to have to say that I think it's supreme reign will be coming to a close. It's become a bit too confident, and Realism will eventually take advantage of that. That's my call.

    0 points
  • Mariusz CieslaMariusz Ciesla, almost 4 years ago

    Here's to hoping that the main design trend will be "solving problems" and we'll see less of flat vs skeuomorphic debate. Seriously – apart from a bunch of haters in the design community nobody cares, as long as what you're designing serves the purpose and fits the expectations of the user.

    0 points
    • Marc Edwards, almost 4 years ago

      Here's to hoping that the main design trend will be "solving problems" and we'll see less of flat vs skeuomorphic debate.

      I agree, but it is worth noting that software design is part problem solving, part technical, and part creative. Even designers who see themselves as predominately problem solvers still need to style their work in some way.

      This discussion may not have value outside the design community, which is why it is being asked inside the design community.

      ...nobody cares, as long as what you're designing serves the purpose and fits the expectations of the user.

      I think people do care about things that work well and look nice. There’s plenty of value in aesthetics and thoughtful style choices.

      0 points
  • Nick NobleNick Noble, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Post F-word (wow, it's really become that dirty), I've noticed a lot more things that are layered and transparent, like glass, even pre iOS7. Recently a lot of work has gone into making dynamic blurring happen on the web, and I think that we may see a resurgence of some form of the mid-decade Apple style floor reflection, albeit in a dynamic rather than precomposed execution (not that trends always revolve around Apple, but in this specific case it's the best example for what I'm getting at).

    A lot more will have to do with elements reacting to one another rather than simply having extremely cohesive styling. Animation has already started to play a much larger role to show changes in states and layouts, but I think that elements will also start to animate between changes in their surrounding environment, including sibling, parent, and child state changes.

    0 points
  • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, almost 4 years ago

    I like the idea of designing things as minimally as possible and adding things like gradients to make certain elements stand out. I've been experimenting with this in designing/building an app over the past year (as well as personal side projects).

    To answer your last question, you can use whatever you want, whenever you want. I'm actually tired of seeing bland, empty sites. Some people do it well, but most bores me. The whole reason I got into web design/development was to learn how to build the awesome sites I can across every week.

    0 points
  • Rick WaaldersRick Waalders, almost 4 years ago

    I hope 2014 will be the year where designers will feel the need to be different again. The year where designers will experiment more and don't follow a trend or style that's common. I also think experimenting more will be a requirement if you want to 'stand out from the crowd'.

    0 points
  • Chris GillisChris Gillis, almost 4 years ago

    Swiss-style design will continue to dominant web application as well as mobile app user interfaces. Strong use of color, typography and icons will continue to dominate as web & mobile applications become more and more utilitarian and less about fluff.

    0 points