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Digital design trends doing the rounds

Thu, 17/11/2016 - 11:22

Every year there is a new design trend. And every year the design world explodes with opinions from both fans and critics. But, truth be told, every design trend is worth a try.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what the creative world has digitally painted the world with.

Card (tile) layout design

This design trend is used mostly for the design of responsive websites, allowing the content to easily adjust to the device and screen dimensions without losing any design credibility. Card layout is mainly used for content heavy websites, specifically news sites, and social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook.

The structure and design of card layout websites allows the user to immediately identify with the content on the site and feeds them the information in bite size chunks that is easily digestible. It’s a visually attractive and informative way of displaying content, and for one of our most recent sites, Hartlief, we were able to use this to the sites’ advantage. The layout definitely added value to the user experience, as well as showcasing of the products and services Hartlief has to offer.

Parallax Scrolling layout design

All we ever heard about and saw in 2015 (and still to date), is the rage of parallax scrolling websites. We have seen some really amazing execution styles of this design trend with a few added values.

Parallax scrolling websites allow you to create visually creative stories, attract users to visit and stay longer on the page, and allow the user to quickly and swiftly engage in the sites’ purpose. However, there is a slight downside to this design trend. These can have slow site loading times, cause extremely long scrolling for users and can occasionally affect SEO (but all you need is an extremely smart SEO team to work their magic).

They are sleek. They are clean. And when executed correctly, they look great and logically work well to create a sense of narrative progression as the user scrolls.

Flat layout design

If you prefer minimalism in web design, one which illustrates a pleasing aesthetic that is inspired by sleek edges, bright colours and ‘flatness’, then flat layout design is definitely your cup of tea.

This design caters for sites that are content driven and need minimalist design elements to uplift and speak volumes. Use of strong typography treatment, images and content hierarchy will make this minimalism website stand out.

Material layout design

As always, Google is pushing the boundaries and making sure that they think outside the box. When flat layout design was the trend, Google ensured they were going to introduce the design world to something different, something with ‘depth’. Hence, their visual language ‘material design’ was developed in 2014. Making use of skeuomorphic effects including padding, depth, grid layouts, responsive animation and transitions. This design trend creates a sense of realism, breathes life into digital design and allows users to experience sites with a different mindset. And, of course, assists in navigating them to follow a certain user journey.

Some good examples of this design are Android and Angular.

Illustration layout design

Bored of the old stock photo library? What designer isn’t. In 2016 we have seen more visually striking and imaginative design come to life in the form of illustrated layout design. This design trend, when well executed, can uplift a brand and give 2D, and even 3D, life to the user experience. Designers are liberated and are able to create mind-blowing website elements and backgrounds, that can be static or interactive with the help of HTML5 and CSS, allowing the brand to better engage with their target audience.

A good example of illustration layout design is Yipori.

AR and VR

Everyone has dreamed of escaping their reality and venturing into the unknown, a world where they can experience limitlessness – where anything and everything is possible. A world where we, as designers and developers, can create new experiences and define a new interactive language.

Augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital content with the end user's environment in real time. It’s done by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Virtual Reality (VR) is computer technology, like the Oculus Rift, which creates an artificial environment, stimulating the human senses including vision, hearing, touch, and even smell. The end user’s computer in essence opens a new artificial world with endless possibilities.

Although AR and VR have been around for a while, it was only a mere 2 years ago, with the hard work of Palmer Freeman Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, has made this a reality. And this journey is only beginning.

According to 7 Web Visionaries the digital space is only on the brink of the new and exciting things to come, and we cannot wait to see what digital design trends are next.

As we sit on the edge of our seats, experimenting and waiting for the next big trend, let’s remember that every trend is still being tried and tested, tweaked and perfected. If these 6 trends are anything to go by, can you imagine what the near future has in-store for us?