How to Predict Web Design Trends

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Flat design took designers by storm — evolving from a few simple projects to becoming a significant part of web, and especially application, design.Here are a few ways to predict web design trends (with a few trendy web design examples) … and maybe even start one yourself.

Look at Various Portfolios
Young designers are often at the forefront of new design. Peruse portfolios on sites such as dribble (try the Debuts list) and behance to see what others are working on. Look at website collections that are getting attention from Awwwards or The Best Designs.

Examine Other Fields
Look to other creative fields for inspiration. Art, fashion and architecture are all areas where web designers can draw inspiration and start trends.Fashion can be a great indicator or trendy color choices. Images from fashion week can help you see what colors will be the next big thing. Pantone’s annual color of the year selection is also a valuable tool when it comes to predicting color trends.
Art can be helpful as well.

Think about how these mediums merge. Not all that long ago, video was a thing for television or YouTube. Now video is a trendy element as part of website backgrounds. And more animation is popping up on a variety of websites, frequently meshing with or taking the place of parallax scrolling.
The key is that most “real” design trends are sustainable. Look at flat design, for example, which has been a dominant design force for more than a year now. Major companies, including Apple, adopted it. And it started with one designer.

This trend included three components that make it sustainable:
• Usefulness
• Meshes with past design trends
• History

Think about these three factors in terms of any successful design project.Good design is useful. Plain and simple. No user will interact with a design or user interface that does not work in an intuitive way. Users must know what and where to click or tap and understand distinctions between elements.
Current trends often work with some elements carried over from past trends. This evolution of design makes it more practical for designers to work. It is also a product of hesitation. Consider taking a new or relatively unseen idea to a client; they accept part of it, but not the entire concept.

Keep an Eye on Social Media
Designers networking over social media can help predict what’s next. (As can traditional forms of in-person networking.)What are your peers saying? Don’t dismiss any ideas because any of them could be what everyone is talking about six months from now.

Get Scientific
Conduct an informal trend analysis. This process is the act of collecting information to spot patterns in information.Once a week, note things that you have noticed in websites you’ve visited. Look at things like color, typography styles, effects, UI elements, user interface actions and anything else that impacts the look and use of projects you are working on.Over time, you will start to see certain commonalities emerge. This can be an easy and great predictor of trends.

Consider Technology and Usability
When thinking about trends, don’t overlook things you do everyday. Consider the types of devices you use and how you use them to interact with websites.Not that long ago every button needed to be clicked, for example, now many are tap-friendly. Consider the games you play online and on mobile devices? How are they powered? What actions make them work? Popular games can be a solid predictor of what actions people are comfortable with on devices.

Watch Design Blogs
Keep an eye on design blogs, such as Designmodo, to stay-up-to-date on what is happening in the world of web design. Things are changing almost daily and just reading about what’s going on can help you be ready to spot the next trend.Start by reading tutorials about new techniques. Once a significant group of designers learns a certain technique, it is sure to start showing up in finished projects.
Look at the examples provided with articles and tutorials. (Designmodo provides a link with each image.) Visit the sites showcased. Are you starting to see common elements? Those are likely the things that will trend next.

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