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2019 in Design

DESIGN THINKING

Published:

Down here in the deep southern hemisphere of Melbourne, we’re finally heading towards Spring. Which means we’re leaping out of hibernation and reflecting on the year in design so far.

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Whether it’s content, UI, UX, CX, illustration, product design or straight up web design, we're looking at how the state of design and interaction is shaping up in 2019.


Where’s our collective creative mojo coming from and what are the key design trends for 2019?  I chatted to some of my fabulous peers recently to get their take on the key design ideas for this year.


Have a read and get inspired for the project that’s going to see your year out or the big one you’re planning for 2020. 

What have you been working hard on lately?


Where’s our collective mojo coming from and are there any patterns we can gather together yet?

AUTHOR

Renae Turner

Co-founder @ Pixel Together

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Thursday, 20th September, 2019


'I'm seeing (and loving) a lot of mid-century inspired design; sophisticated serifs, dusty palettes, even a lot of photography looks like it's from the 50's'

Jayne Halsey

Senior UX/UI Designer


'I've only just returned to work after leaving in 2014 to start a little family, and obviously everything has changed. Firstly, I've had to learn about 7 new programs. Literally none of the software I used in 2014 is part of my day to day anymore. Apart from all the tech advances, the biggest change for me this year is the client relationship. It's a far more transparent and collaborative relationship now. On top of frequently workshopping together, they're now in my Slack channels, they're in my Basecamp assignments, they're using my InVision prototypes on their own devices and leaving feedback directly on my designs. Thankfully I'm working with amazing clients, so it's great. Maybe this has been commonplace for a while, but after a nearly 5 year break it's a hugely refreshing contrast from my old workplace environment. 


As far as web trends go, I'm seeing (and loving) a lot of mid-century inspired design; sophisticated serifs, dusty palettes, even a lot of photography looks like it's from the 50's. 

It's not all elegant and subtle though. I'm loving all the vibrancy—super bold palettes, contrasting colours, pattern clashes and animations etc. And there's so much amazing typography. It's huge, it's obnoxious, it's bright. It's so playful and brave, and looks incredible! I'm loving the handwritten vibe too, in both typography and illustration. It's so raw and rough, but the simplicity has a huge impact. Oh and all those cute little micro-interactions! I am so here for it!'


Avinash Barik

Product Lead, Pixel Together


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'Gradient designs were a hit a decade ago and flat designs have been a trend for the past couple of years, however, one very noticeable trend in 2019 has been the use of flat cartoon characters and illustrations with subtle gradients. Upon visiting landing pages for any new startup or bigger companies one can notice these surrealistic illustrations, especially in the hero area. They definitely show off what the business does and also add a lot of character for visitors to identify with. Another interesting trend I’ve noticed is the use of simple gradients and bright colours with minimalistic design. Minimalistic designs hardly used gradients before and were all about using solid colours. In 2019 however, subtle gradients are widely used while keeping the design minimalistic.'


'I get excited and wowed by the fact that an Insta story (for example) from a friend can be just as powerful as a highly produced video from a major brand'

Kylie Robertson

Creative Strategy & Innovation, AFL


'For me it’s all about content. New formats. New platforms. And new modes of storytelling. Whether it’s engagement techniques to entice viewers from Insta to IGTV – tech is providing some amazing opportunities for peeps to get creative with the way they tell stories. Content producers are becoming far more creative in how they leverage (or more importantly…subvert) the vernacular of social distribution platforms. I get excited and wowed by the fact that an Insta story (for example) from a friend can be just as powerful as a highly produced video from a major brand. Whilst I HIGHLY value more traditional storytelling formats, I’m also excited by how social platforms are disrupting both creation and consumption patterns'

Simon Christou

Design Director

'As far as digital design in 2019, one thing I have noticed is more of a focus on 'human centred design'. It essentially focuses on design for social and/or economic benefit, but that's really the purpose of most design. I do like how it consolidates UI and UX together, because they are not mutually exclusive, but really, it's all the same thing just with different words emphasised. Design is about solving problems, artfully. It just so happens that now most of the 'problems' that need to be solved are 'how do I get someone to understand everything about my company in the space of 5 seconds within the frame of a smart-phone?' Easy... 'human centred design'.'

Andy Webb

Designer


'Overall I think so far 2019 has been the year of refinement. Tools, methods and ideas that have been experimented with over the last couple of years have really been pushed to create not only some impressive visual experiences, but some very clever user experiences to match. 
Finding that nice balance of art and functional design has always been a fine line to walk — but with more and more animation tools becoming accessible (or maybe everyone’s just getting really good at everything!), we seem to be seeing a lot more experimental, yet refined movement and interaction pop up. Whether this be a well thought out micro-interaction, variable width typography, user movable elements or even some animation through generative/evolutionary code, our digital landscape is becoming more than just an addition to a brands market presence, but a place where their core expressions can be fully realised.'

We are noticing more and more adaptive illustrations, as the focus on the user experience increases, easily adjustable illustrations accommodate for changing colour palettes and formats. 

Combining mixed media elements is another creative treatment that is coming through, such as photographs with illustrations to draw attention to images, or working them in with their surroundings. 

We also see designs moving away from flat vectors. The use of textures and abstract elements are coming through to create more organic, playful illustrations with a touch of fantasy.

Georgia Camden 

Illustrator

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AUTHOR

Published: 

Wednesday 20th September 2019

Co-founder @ Pixel Together

Renae Turner

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