In 10 years we have seen a vast amount of change in the digital design industry, from smartphones to designing tools, new trends are emerging everywhere. We thought now would be a great time to look back at how digital design trends have changed over the last decade.
What is Digital Design
First of all let’s explain what digital design is. Digital design is all graphics and imagery produced using a digital method.
What Digital Design Trends Have We Seen?
Technology has come a long way since the humble days of 2009. The ever improving technology cycle of the last ten years has led to constantly changing design trends. So what are the biggest design trends that have come from this era?
The smartphone craze started in the late 2000’s and has increased in importance and popularity since. Although smartphones started around 2007 they only really became a matter of daily life from 2010. Digital design has adapted quickly to support smartphones as they became more integrated within our daily lives.
How Have Digital Design Trends Been Impacted by Smartphones
Visual design, screen size optimisation and changes to web design have all been impacted by the introduction of smartphones. Smartphones are used in the daily lives of so many people that designs need to be optimised towards the different screen sizes and abilities of these devices.
E-Readers and Tablets
Just like with smartphones, e-readers and tablets have brought their own design trends. The introduction of smarter tech at different screen sizes mean that designers need to implement versatility in their designs.
E-Readers and Tablets Impact
Larger text and optimised visuals have meant that designers spend longer on producing designs to adapt to the different screen sizes. In terms of e-readers, designers now design book covers to be easily readable and understandable from a range of screen sizes, rather than hardcopies in books. The integration with apps and ‘flat designs’ are a trend all by themselves.
This new addition to the digital design world is making a massive impact. With this new level of realism and control, design needs to be completely adaptable to different situations. The increase in availability and popularity of hardware and software means almost anyone can access it, creating an even bigger impact across the world.
VR and AR’s Impact
Digital design is all about graphics and imagery for the use on digital and computer based platforms. VR and AR brings this digital platform to life, meaning that users are actually engaging with the digital world rather than just viewing it. It’s making an impact by changing the way individuals use and act around design. A prime example is how a company like Ikea have allowed customers to see how furniture would look inside of their home using AR.
WebGL is set to change the way we use the internet. It is an exciting new technology that enhances the experience of using websites. WebGL uses Java-scripting for rendering interactive 2D and 3D websites. Graphics and other components are full react-able and it works on almost any modern day browser, including mobiles. WebGL is fully integrated with other web standards, allowing GPU-accelerated usage of physics and image processing and effects as part of the web page canvas.
Might be of interest – How We Moved From 3D to 2D Design
Digital Design Tools Changing Trends
The increase in tools and software in the design world has exploded with new ideas and abilities. These tools make ideas reality, with many tools being easy to use and to develop. But what tools have set the most amount of trends?
There are now hundreds of options for design software, from Microsoft paint through to Photoshop. Each software option has its own positives and negatives, but undoubtedly one of the biggest and most influential in the last 10 years is Photoshop. With the ability to edit photos, create new designs and completely develop a new brand, Photoshop has created so many trends for the digital design industry.
How Has Software Changed Designs
Software has made design more accessible to the every day person through the addition of simplification and cost effectiveness. Through the increase in usage more designs are being produced, meaning specialism and individuality is much more appreciated. Users can use these tools to make their own brands mirror their favourite brands more easily.
Interactive Brands and Websites Designs
Interactive branding and website design has become more popular with the introduction of new technology. With internet web browsers and computers becoming more powerful, designers have more freedom to make designs and branding interactive. A perfect example of this is the use of SVG images in websites. Logos and other branding imagery is able to create itself through animation on a web page. Here is a great example of how this can look.
How Has This Impacted Design Trends?
With this new tech running through the industry designers have more freedom to make their designs look amazing. Websites have developed significantly in the last 10 years. At the start of the decade, they were simple designs and mostly overfilled with information. Now, they’re more simplified and UX (User Experience) focused, working with colours and simple imagery that defines branding on a website.
Wrapping up Digital Design Trends
So that’s what we think are the biggest trends since 2010. We’ve seen how phones and apps have changed how we as designers make and adapt our designs. Computer aided design tools have enabled many of us to now class ourselves as designers. The introduction of websites and advancing technology is improving the options we have when designing for the web. We’ve also looked at the future of design in the form of VR and AR.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article. If you think we’ve missed something please let us know. Drop a message in the contact form below, or reach out to us using the information found on our contact page.