7 Design Tricks to Keep You Relevant in 2018


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7 Design Tricks to Keep You Relevant in 2018

If I am to handpick a carrier in which people don’t really have the easiest time regarding their day-to-day line of work, I’ll shoot — graphic designers.

You may not be aware, maybe you don’t trust me, or you are not convinced, but let me dive into it in more detail.

Well, just take a look at how rapidly major design trends have shifted over the past years.

Some of the huge changes were inspired by the research done in the user experience field, while others came as a necessity, a way to adapt to the new technologies. If you are tired of staying tuned to trends and want a reasonable and relevant shortcut to help you stay in vogue trough 2018, I completely understand you.

That is the exact reason why I’ve put together this sweet list of 7 design tricks to help you stay competitive on the market.

Animation

It seems that animation in web design is here to stay. If you want to stay relevant you have to encompass it throughout your design. On the web, you can see animation everywhere, from moving images to tiny hover effects.

They are used for two reasons: to enhance the user experience and to highlight the important elements of a website, which is quite neat when you want to shift the user’s attention to where you want it to be.

Why is animation perhaps the most important element in design today? Because we live in the age of flat and minimal design. Users, in fact, need cues to tell them what is important. Animations help build appealing changing aesthetics but also add to the usability of a website.

Typography Trends

Typography is also a field that is always under a dose of commotion. Trends change every year and knowing the psychology of fonts is no longer enough to cut it.

If you take a deep dive into typography trends, you will soon discover that there are multiple trends that coexist simultaneously. In order to know which one to use, you have to be familiar with all of them and get familiar with the client’s brand pattern.

If you want to bring something authentic to the market, you will have to find the font that resonates with you and start your design process from there. Use it as an inspiration to create something new and distinguishable.

At the moment, the most popular typefaces are warm Serif fonts, 90s-inspired typography, just like the one used for new Formula 1 logo, and colorful, photographic typography, since it makes fonts into a canvas that designers can have fun playing with.

Crowdsourcing

The next thing that will definitely keep you relevant in 2018 is crowdsourcing. There is a chance that you will sometimes face the demands that you don’t possess the skill or tools to face. Thanks to crowdsourcing, you can get the specific tasks done and still meet the project deadline in time.

Today, this practice is made easy for the designers. With access to websites that specialize in design crowdsourcing, you will not only be able to outsource some of your tasks but also offer the services you specialize in the highest bidder.

This will not only keep you in the game but also provide you with opportunities to improve as a designer, meet the colleagues from around the world and receive some constructive criticism on your work.

Intensifying Colors

When you take a look at the designer’s toolkit, the color is perhaps the tool that packs the most power in terms of creating an impactful user experience and driving more conversions. How come? The psychology of color is a scientifically proven thesis, and we know that it not only sets the desired mood but can also be used to draw the users’ attention and affect their actions as well.

Designers across the globe are already intensifying colors to make their designs more visually interesting. If you want to stay relevant, you have to consider adopting this practice as well. How is it done? If you are using a palette with neutral and muted tones, you can throw in an intensified color.

For instance, a base of greys palette can be brought to life by splashing cerise over it. Rule of thumb – learn the psychology of color and intensify the colors according to the emotions you want your design to evoke.

Flat Design Moves On

Flat Design is a really broad category. It became popular back in 2002 when it was reintroduced to the Windows Media Center app. But as all other things in design, flat design moved on. To stay relevant and know when to use it, you have to make sure to stay tuned to the latest news in the flat design niche.

Today, most of the designers have abandoned Flat Design and started using Flat 2.0, which is not completely flat. All of a sudden, using animations, highlights, shadows and layers is allowed. Don’t forget the oversized imagery and buttons, as they make a better impression on the users.

Asymmetric Design

Broken and asymmetrical layouts have become the signature of many graphic designers. Especially the ones who are devoted to web design. Why has it become popular? The answer is rather simple. Asymmetric design gives that distinctive and unique vibe that brands are after.

If you want to stay relevant in 2018, you have to abandon a grid-based designer’s mindset and switch it for a broken layout one. Your designs will start to look more unconventional and provide unique experiences to viewers.

Designing for Mobile

With almost half of the Earth’s population consuming online content over smartphones and tablets, designing for mobile has become a priority. If you want to be relevant in 2018, you have to start designing for mobile. Or at least know how to, so you don’t get caught unawares when a client asks you to do it.

To master mobile game design, you should always keep an eye on what Google is doing in the material design landscape.

In 2018, Material Design 2 has come with brand new features and best practices. Although it applies to mobile app developers, web designers can learn a lot from it and apply it to the web experiences they are going to create.

These 7 design tricks will keep you in the saddle until the end of 2018. Bear in mind that none of these are set in stone and that might change even before 2018 ends. This is why you should regularly read design blogs.

About the author: Dusan Vukadinovic is a design enthusiast with a good knowledge of design trends and history. He has a strong web design background and currently works as a brand evangelist for DesignContest.

7 Misconceptions About User Experience Design

Web design has gone a long way since 1991 and Tim Berners-Lee’s first web page in the world. Although that is enough time for people to get used to its features, many still don’t know how to properly create an online presence. Namely, when building a website, it is important to know its purpose and just being online is not an option anymore.

User experience or UX design is very popular because it’s all about easing the use and access to the content. It is important to create a website that will provide necessary information to the user and be attractive. Accomplishing goals, business or personal, is one of the main features your design should follow. Misconceptions about it create confusion and wrong conclusions. The following seven are the most common ones that still live around. So let’s debunk them.

1. UX is about usability

It’s important for a website to be usable, but that is not all you should concentrate on. Web design is more demanding than that. As a business, you have to think about your goals and target audience. This means that you have to know what your audience wants through comprehensive studies.

Your website will become your brand. Also, it has to be functional and accommodate users’ needs. With these two aspects covered, your website will be functional and financially successful. This is, in the end, the purpose of using the UX design.

2. It’s about new technology

People tend to misunderstand the new technology. When something new appears, we all believe that we should use it. However, technology doesn’t work that way. It’s all about the results you want and how it can help you get them.

Observe the technology as means to achieve results by improving the user experience. Nevertheless, if new technology doesn’t do that for your website then it’s a waste of resources and can chase away your audience. So always think about the best option to improve UX design and not using something just because is fresh on the scene.

3. It’s a one-time thing

User experience is not something you can start and finish. It’s an ongoing process and requires undivided dedication. Your audience will change over time, as well as the market and terms of conduct. To be ahead of the competition you have to anticipate your target audience, improve your website and constantly observe the trends.

4. UX is a form of web design

Firstly, UX design is not a solution but the process. This means that UX doesn’t fix problems with your website. Actually, UX design is present from the beginning and is integrated into every part of your site. It presents your brand and thus implements the values your business promotes.

UX goes beyond the web design. It’s more of a principle which helps you communicate with your target audience. If you observe your business more closely, you will see that it’s the part of your everyday operations and customer relations.

5. You understand your audience

Every business thinks that it understands its audience. This is a common mistake directly attributed to the marketing process. It starts with the firm belief that you have a great product so everyone else will think that, too. Many companies operate holding to this belief and create their marketing around it.

However, it’s much more complicated. Assumptions will create the experience for the company, not its users if this kind of approach is maintained. That’s why in-depth research and analysis are necessary before developing UX design. The only way to really understand your users and find the target audience is if you do a research first, and then create the UX based on it. Creating the UX just because you believe that your product will be popular is not only wrong but can also backfire and cause financial loss.

6. Audience is rational

Your audience is not entirely rational. Presuming otherwise will only cause problems and business failures. Your users are people, and you must observe them that way. That means that they’re more than statistics and are prone to subjective thinking.

UX design has to anticipate that behavior and not suppose that people will choose your product just because it’s rationally practical. Responsive web design is one of the things that can help you with this since people use different devices and operating systems to access websites today. Respect their right to have a choice and start building from there.

7. User experience is optional

There is nothing optional about user experience. All businesses have it and use it on daily basis. Even when you believe you don’t have one, you actually do. The main difference is that you have a choice to have a quality UX or the one which will work against you.

Your website will be for the most of your customers the first thing they see about you or their primary source of information. The way you behave towards them on your website and in other forms, like direct communication or providing service in person, shouldn’t be different. It’s all part of the user experience, and it needs to be consistent.

Always observe user experience as part of the web design project since it’s the key to any successful business. Find an appropriate approach with your target audience and implement it through all aspects of your business. In addition, remember, all businesses have user experience but the difference is that functional ones are designed with care and attention based on the research of the audience.

 

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