7 Design Tricks to Keep You Relevant in 2018


Tag Archives: web design

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.

10 Outdated UX Design Practices You Should Abandon

The website is the backbone of your brand’s image. You probably know that by now.

Users evaluate your brand in accordance with the experience they have on your website. And that is a fact. In The Digital Customer Experience Playbook Report of 2017, Forrester Research found that an improved User Experience (UX) design could boost a website’s conversion rates up to 400%.

The problem is that most business owners are not aware of that fact. They are stuck in the old ways and misconceptions about UX design. They choose poor design solutions that don’t work to the advantage of their users. If you aim towards developing a successful business, you have to improve its online reputation. Thus, you need to avoid outdated UX design practices that no longer work.

We’ll list 10 of those practices to avoid:

1. Overly Complicated Menus

Perfect design can be described with a single word: simplicity. Minimalism seems pretty easy to achieve, doesn’t it? In practice, it’s not that easy. It takes planning and a lot of work to reach the right balance between creativity, resourcefulness, and simplicity.

If you’re trying to fit in too many options in the navigation menu, you’re guilty of an outdated UX design practice. To make the experience simpler and more enjoyable for your users, you should aim towards a logical and simple menu design.

2. Sticky Navigation

The navigation menu is extremely important for flawless user experience. But if you opt for sticky navigation and large headers, you’ll make the visitor’s eyes hurt. If a huge navigation bar follows them as they scroll down the page, it may even cover parts of the content. That’s the last thing you want, so don’t let this design solution ruin the experience for your visitors.

3. Flashy Design

Finally, here’s the most common mistake in UX design: too complex and overly flashy design. We’ve all seen those pages with numerous overlapping elements. They take ages to load and they may be good-looking, but that’s just makeup.

You have to stick to simple design and leave some white space on the pages. The menu should be easy to navigate, and the calls to action should be clearly visible on all pages.

4. Sliding Introductions

No. Just, no! Yes, visual content is extremely important for a good user experience. When they are preventing the visitors to find the information they need as soon as possible, they are nothing more than a huge distraction.

Flash introduction and distracting carousel sliders delay the process of getting information. Do not force your visitors to “work” in order to get something they won’t immediately. They won’t bother doing that.

5. Distracting Backgrounds

If you use a full-size background image to highlight the content on your website, you’re all good. An appealing background photo can improve the overall user experience. If, however, the full background image is distracting and irrelevant, it’s not doing you any good.

If you decide to use a background image, make it very relevant and don’t allow it to affect the user experience. It mustn’t cover the navigation bar or any other important elements. It mustn’t take the focus away from the content.

6. Lack of Well-Formatted Content

Developing high-quality content for your website is not easy. Ruining your efforts with textual faults, on the other hand, is really easy; it takes just a slight lack of attention. There are few details that can ruin the quality of your content in the visitor’s eyes:

1. Lack of alignment

2. Too much Caps Lock

3. Too much bold

4. Lack of organization and subheadings

5. Unreadable font

“Business owners are usually aware of the need of high-quality content, and that’s why they usually hire professional writers to take care of that part,” shared Sue Lee, part of the web design team at EssaysOnTime. “However, many of them forget that the text has to be not only informative but eye-catching as well. We see tacky and flashy design all over the place. Such pages make it hard for the reader to distinguish the most important aspects of the text.”

So what’s the solution? Just keep the organization clean and simple. Emphasize the most important points and use headings to make the text more readable.  

7. Making Your Call-to-Actions Hard to Find

All pages at your website need a CTA (call to action). If you already have a CTA button, but it takes the visitors more than three seconds to notice, they will leave the website without making that action. If you skip the call to action, this will be a dead-end page. You’re not engaging the users to continue exploring your website or do something about the stuff they just read.       

Your goal is to generate conversions and keep the visitors at the website longer.

8. New Pages for Each List Point

How would you like to see this article on 12 separate pages? There would be one web page for the intro, ten individual pages for each point on the list, and another one for the conclusion. Oh wait; we’d add another one that leads you to suggested reads. You would see tons of ads on each of these pages, and they would take too long to load.

That’s not great user experience, is it? That’s why you should avoid dividing listicles into several pages.

9. Too Many Forms

Even if your website is great from all other aspects, complicated or buggy sign-up forms will still ruin the opportunity for conversions. Think about it: you browse through a great website, and then you decide to sign up for the email campaign. Suddenly, you see a huge form that asks for your full name, email, age, sexual orientation, preferences, and several other points that are not necessary for getting emails.

Okay; that was a slight exaggeration. However, it’s still possible for the sign up form to be overwhelming even if you don’t ask for too many details. Make it simpler. Ask for relevant information, but don’t go to great extents. Make sure the visitor can sign up within seconds.

10. “Amazing” Stock Photos

When you’re trying to find tips on creating SEO-friendly content for better user experience, you’re getting the same advice: break up your great content with great images. That’s important. However, it leads to a pitfall: we’re seeing many websites using the same uninteresting, irrelevant stock photos. It’s surprising to see how many webmasters think that’s okay.

Stock photos show that you’re not trying hard enough. Do your best to feature original photos and graphics at your website.  

Are You Ready to Make Improvements?

It’s time to abandon all outdated UX design practices! If you’re guilty of making any of the above-listed mistakes, the world is not over. There’s room for improvement, and you can take that as a positive thing. Remember: your website will perform much better and you’ll be boosting the conversions once you make changes. How exciting is that?          

About the author: Rachel Bartee is a content writer and a marketing consultant from Iowa. She is content-oriented and knows how to put words into action. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and blogging experience. Get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. 

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