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Design trend predictions for 2017

So it is time again for my annual design predictions for what we can expect next year, 2017! As per my last year’s post, this is not necessarily backed-up on any special research for an accurate prediction, but mainly what I personally expect to see or would love to see trending during 2017….or at least from  the BLEND design team!
 



Escape the grid

A lot of website design layouts are based on a grid structure, such as bootstrap, and the look & feel of the design is reflecting this in very obvious ways, most of the time. We have already started seeing and also implementing the visual escape from the grid structure, coming up with more unique looking layouts but still keeping everything based on the grid system, just in an invisible way.  This way you can get the best from both worlds… a unique and creative looking website that works fluidly and perfectly on a well-made structure.
 



More gifs please
Last year I predicted the increased usage of animated gifs, and especially of Cinemagraphs. I was half right as I still haven’t seen much of a usage on the latter. However, animated gif images now have become a very popular method of marketing materials as well as communication methods, like being used heavily in chat apps. Gifs are here to stay, and we would love to see even more! Web services such as GIPHY will help you distribute an animated gif, even in big sizes, across social media platforms. Our talented animators have been creating some really cool animations for our clients to use as animated gifs, and with an extremely good response from their target audiences. If businesses still haven’t embraced the power of animation for their campaigns, now is the time to start.




Rich colours
Remember all the buzz and hate on the re-design of Instagram? I’m probably one of the few who loved the new approach and the touch of retro colours. I feel that this is a rapidly increasing trend and we will see more. Here’s another example from Spotify.  The use of bright and rich colours with a touch of retro against some minimal and modern UI can work really well. Not over the top use but just the right touch and contrast to elevate your design with a fresher personality.

 


App-inspired design
With more and more mobile users against Desktop users every year I believe is a safe bet to expect that a lot of upcoming web designs will reflect or be inspired by the user interface and ergonomics of a mobile app. We keep seeing a lot of new designs to embrace where appropriate the methodology and user experience of an app, even on Desktop versions. Eventually I expect that the separation line between websites and apps will disappear and will all become the same, focusing on delivering well thought and engaging user experiences equally, irrespective of the platform.
 



Age-Responsive Design
This is not my own prediction but from a different similar blog post that I found extremely interesting and had to share. Design per the user’s age group. Not sure if this trend will indeed appear soon, but I also agree this could be the next step for adapted/targeted web and marketing design. The idea is that design or app will get adapted, maybe in subtle ways, on the user’s age group by delivering a different and more relevant experience from another age group. This approach could make user experience, site and data analytics, user testing’s, user understanding, etc. even more relevant and a lot more important to a project’s production cycle for creating experiences and delivering appropriate content purely focused on specific target audiences. This is something we have been implementing already at BLEND up to a certain level, but we can really see this as the next step forward.

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Loris Stavrinides
Loris Stavrinides

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