Design trends 2018

Design In 2018

Credit: We would like to personally thank everyone involved within the industry and community for contributing towards the development of an amazing environment filled with talent and skill. All images within this project have references to all original content and authors.

We hope our guide can help everyone reading it.

Innovating technology

Custom illustrations

High bounce rates and low engagement rates have offered an opportunity to use illustrations as a medium for, not only, grabbing a users attention, but also as a form of communication.

Examples are shown below.

It's all about the details

Highly detailed illustrations are appealing when executed properly. Especially for their ability to be aesthetically beautiful and captivating for a high majority of viewers. The time taken is easily translated through the image.

Minimal and colorful studio shots

Another brilliant form of captivating and engaging users, studio shots are capable of drawing a users attention to very specific details.

Negative space still widely used

Negative space, or more commonly known as white space, has continued to prove itself as a versatile and capable art-form. The likelihood of seeing this trend continue for a number of years is almost certain.

Color transitions and gradients

Utilized and praised for their visual prowess. Gradients and broad ranges of color have proven themselves through the associated aesthetic appeal. Given the growing demand for design that stands out, wide color ranges and gradients will continue their trend in 2018.

Detailed user interfaces

With an expanding need to communicate in less time. Highly detailed / sophisticated UI has been seen as a capable form of communicating and engaging users.

This has been especially prevalent as technological and graphical capabilities expand.

Responsive logos

More devices = A greater need to create responsive elements. Responsive logos in some of the major brands from around the world a merely a small representation of this need.

Animations in websites

A multitude of factors must be taken into consideration when designing a website. For example: Internet speed, technological capabilities, type of user etc... From this, we can begin to see why animations and interactive UI has become a strong contender for a major design trend in 2018. Especially as demand for beautiful aesthetics increases and code becomes even more advanced than it already is. 

Responsive UI

50:50 is the new standard rule for websites. An average of 50% of users, if not more, will access a website from their mobile device. A clear, concise, and capable website is now required to be completely responsive, no matter the device or ​​​​​​​resolution.

Design languages

Brands are everywhere, and now more than ever they are becoming incredibly complex. 

Building brand-unique design languages have proven to be a sure-fire way of ensuring that a companies brand can stand out, 100% of the time. Google's Material Design is an excellent example.

Aesthetics to grab attention

Design is everywhere, and so much of it looks the same. 

By experimenting with visual mediums, organizations have found that by not following the crowd, that is exactly what they need to attract a crowd.

Tell stories

Connecting a user with a brand is becoming absolutely crucial in building a successful long-term relationship. One proven method of doing just this is to tell stories. Whether this through a visual medium like an illustration or even an interface, is completely up to the individual.

Load times matter now more than ever

An estimated 47% of users browsing the internet to expect a website to load within 2 seconds or less. How's that for hurting your bottom line?

People's patience for a cumbersome and clumsy mobile site or app is waning. They expect to move through a brand’s mobile experience at lightning speed.

The user will expect a flawless experience

Upon reading this guide, a consistent topic will appear throughout. And it's this: Design needs to be user first.

No matter the platform, a users experience must be tailored down to the finest of details. Else you might just face losing a potential customer. Especially when you can almost always find higher standards somewhere else.

Usability is key 

It's really quite simple - if a user isn't getting what they want. They won't want to use your product. 

Design with data-oriented decisions

Customer data are the metrics that relate to customer interaction. It can be the number of jobs, the number of enquiries, the income received, etc...

Simply put: if we don't know anything about the user, there can be no basis as to our reasoning surrounding why a design is the way it is.

Print will still be widely used

Regardless of the steadily accelerating increase of users within the digital landscape. Print and other forms of communication have their place, and right now it's quite a big one.

Rylan Ziesing

Founder and Director, Rhino Design.