Do you remember what a website looked like 20+ years ago? Do you remember the design elements that were considered cutting edge?
While the industry has come a long way, more change is on the horizon. A sound understanding of the tools and trends leading the next revolution will allow you to move to the forefront.
Tools and Design: The Future is Now
Have you ever heard the saying “you need the right tool for the job?”
This definitely holds true in regards to design. Without the right tools, you’ll struggle to work efficiently and effectively.
Here are some of the many tools, broken down by category, that will lead the next wave of graphic and web design innovation:
– 1. Workplace
With fewer people than ever working from a traditional workspace, it’s critical to find ways to communicate and collaborate.
There’s no shortage of tools for this, especially with those such as Graphy leading the way.
– 2. Leadership
Design leaders lead, even in difficult times and times of change. Without face-to-face communication, it’s essential to rely on leadership tools design to bring teams closer together.
Both Lumapps and Splunk are leaders in this space. This is because these tools give creative owners and managers the opportunity to collect key data and use it to their advantage, like designing better experiences and products.
– 3. Education
As a designer, it’s imperative to stay on top of your game. One of the best ways of doing so is through continuing education.
You don’t have to leave home or the office to get the education you’re seeking. Thankfully, there are thousands of online courses for designers of all skill levels, which allow you to learn without ever leaving your home.
Taking this a step further, there are companies devoted to helping businesses adapt to the “new normal” of remote work. Check out the tools from these providers:
3. Parker Dewey
5. Distribute Consulting
These are far from the only categories that deserve your attention, but it’s a good place to start. As you do your research, you’ll come to find that, as a designer and creative marketer, there’s a tool for almost every challenge you face.
Design Trends for 2021 and Beyond
The design industry is always on the move. What works (and commands eyeballs) today may not work tomorrow, and what works tomorrow could be obsolete within a few months.
For 2021, there are three design trends that deserve your immediate attention:
– 1. Design that Fulfills the User’s Needs
No two website visitors are identical. Sure, they may be looking for the same product, service, or information, but their personal wants and needs are likely to be unique.
“User experience is at the very heart of progressive web design and development”, says Rocco Bombardieri, Multimedia Designer at The Influence Agency. “Designing with the user in mind not only provides a personalized experience, but it also drives sales revenue and repeats business.”
Web designers are spending more time on a design that fulfills the immediate needs of the user.
For example, designing using personas to empathize with the potential users of the site and informing the creation of user experience maps.
You’re beginning to see personalization and customization creep into all forms of design, marketing, and sales. This trend is picking up speed and there’s no end in sight.
– 2. No Code Movement
Above, we talked a bit about design trends from the past. In the early days of website design, it was all about coding. If you didn’t know how to code, you couldn’t launch your site to the world. But this has all changed thanks to the no code movement.
This means many things to the design industry, such as:
Anyone with a computer and internet access can design and launch a website (sometimes, within minutes).
To best provide service, designers must become familiar with the many no code services (new ones are popping up regularly).
The no code movement isn’t a fad. It’s trending and expected to do so well into the future.
– 3. Website Accessibility
It’s about time, right? Website accessibility has been a hot button issue for years, and things are finally trending in the right direction.
While some companies and organizations have focused on website accessibility in the past, most have considered it a waste of resources.
Fortunately, with a growing number of websites moving in this direction, 2021 is set to change this.
For instance, publicly funded and governmental institutions are 100% on board with the idea that websites should be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.
Everyone should have access to every website. Designers must keep accessibility in mind in the future.
Final Thoughts on Design Tools and Trends
With 75% of a website’s credibility coming from design, it’s important to take advantage of all the tools that are available to you. Just the same, staying current with emerging trends is vital to your success.
Now that you better understand the latest and greatest in the design industry, it’s time to put this information into action.
What are your thoughts on how these tools and trends will change the future of design?