February 03, 2020 · 3 min read
Our 2020 design predictions (2/2)
We’re well into 2020, which means looking at what’s ‘popping’ in the design world and because it’s our 20th anniversary too, we’ll be giving our thoughts on each trend with insight from the Cite team. After already chatting to the digital marketing team in part 1, it’s time to talk about all things design.
Designing for accessibility
Over the past few years, there has been a big focus on designing for accessibility. It’s vitally important to create digital solutions for everyone. You may think that designing with strict guidelines in mind could hinder creativity. It won’t (and shouldn’t). If anything, we believe it actually encourages thought for ways in which you can make your designs more useful.
Whilst researching for this blog, we stumbled across a quote from Jamie Knight, who says “as designers, we disable people when we don’t get it right” and he couldn’t be more right. Designing isn’t just about making things look pretty, it’s a responsibility as well – something we learnt right from the start.
Senior Designer, Tom, explains:
“We try and ensure we have accessibility in mind from the moment we start to design. In fact, it’s probably more true to say we look at accessibility before that, when our PMs and developers are scoping the project. Accessibility considerations can manifest in many ways but early on in a project we focus on choosing colour pairings that are a great match aesthetically and also give plenty of contrast for readability. We choose typefaces that are legible and ensure we never use them below a certain size.”
We’re no stranger to accessibility, working with the NHS. Our team also regularly attends events like State of the Browser and Create to get valuable insight on new technology. Something we’ve found at events is that motion design is becoming bigger.
Mixing it up with motion
And on that note, let’s discuss. When used right, motion design can make your content so dynamic and interesting. A brand doing this to perfection is Apple, take a look for yourself. Browsers nowadays are pretty quick and nifty, so we’ve reached a point where motion design can be embraced. Done incorrectly, however, can become intrusive or irritating.
A nice example is on the Instagram website.
Dedicated UX Writers
Storytelling in design has become the norm in 2020. We’ve seen that happen over the last two decades of Cite. As designers, we understand that content and design cannot be separate. Both complement each other and contribute to a seamless user experience.
A User Experience Writer isn’t the same as a Content Marketer or Copywriter. It’s a job role that you’ll hear of more and more this year and into the future. Often content is left until after the product is designed, a UX Writer ensures this does not happen and you maintain a consistent content strategy across the board.
“The content and social strategy should be tied together with the design and build of a website. If content isn’t considered in the design process, it can become a mess. UX Writers or specialist content marketers prevent this from happening. It shouldn’t be overlooked.” says Digital Marketing Executive, Charlie.
Say it with voice
You probably saw it coming. Yes, it’s voice. It was always going to be here. We’ve spoken about voice before in our 2020 digital predictions and every year we keep an eye on where the trend is heading. It’s starting to play a bigger role in design as well. There’s quite a few ways you can optimise your website for voice search. Shopify discusses it well here.
We asked one of our Project Managers, Stephen, for his thoughts on how voice will become more integrated in not just design, but in the whole digital world.
“The evolution of voice technology has ramped up significantly over the last few years. Voice assistant devices in the home are now commonplace and the topic of voice search is often discussed at industry events we attend. As digital marketers and designers, we need to be considering this technology in our projects moving forward, so that our websites and campaigns are optimised for what could be the future of online search.”