I think I’ve mentioned it before but I am a huge fan of the Nike brand. I just love how they experiment all the time with their products and material. And at the same time it’s great to see designers going down this path as well.
Every beginning of a new year we make our resolutions, we set plans and as if everything starts from the ground up, we talk about trends for the new year. I am one of those but I believe that most of the time the new trends are nothing more than an evolution of something that started before, even crazy changes like in 2013 with the big switch from skeuomorphism to flat design.
For 2015 I have been reading a lot of articles about this topic, if you check out on Pinterest there are some infographics and a bunch of boards about it, some have really nice insights, but nothing that someone following the web wouldn't assume. Here's an example:
I agree with some of the points the author listed, but mobile first approach has been around us for over 2 years. Also I believe parallax is overused and hijacking the scroll is not very user friendly. Besides that Clean and Simple Layout is not a trend but a goal for every design project.
In my opinion I think what we will start seeing more the more and more use of animation to give context and affordance to the most important parts of the UI. Technology and powerful hardware will make this possible more than ever, and we already see some good examples, like the beautiful work of that Jongmin Kim put together giving life to to Google's Material Design Principles
That said here is a list of things I think will be on top of our minds in 2015
- Motion Design beyond After Effects: We have been seeing more and more beuatiful animations and motion design work being shared on Dribbble and other design sites. I think it's time for us to see the same level of quality in motion on the Web. We know that it can be achieved, thank you Jongmin!
- Prototyping: In 2014 we saw a bunch of new tools being created to help us to prototype our work, tools like Frame, Pixate, Form, Invision and so many others. I think any designers that wants to have quality work must learn how to prototype and test their designs on the device, not on the laptop/computer screen.
- Material Design: Google has done a great job putting creating a very comprehensive set of guidelines and a beautiful new visual language.
- Dead of blank screens while loading new content: with motion design and technical capabilities, we finally might start seeing some native looking animations and transitions on the web.
As you could see, I didn't mentioned anything related with visual design per se, I think the visual language will always depend on the branding of the product or service we are designing for. Most of the topics I mentioned are related to creating engaging experiences with refined and beautiful behaviors. I hope these things become true in 2015, otherwise there will always be 2016.