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Design trends 2018

December 07/Alina Bogdan/UI/UX

Eye-catching design is a must have tool for attracting customers and converting them to a prospects. Our designer’s team follows the latest trends in visual product development in order to give a new vision of user’s product. On this article I’d like to put the record straight and point out top design trends in 2018. Every new trend has its lifecycle and no matter what industry or sphere it covers. Approximate duration of new trend prolongs from 2 to 25 years and this number has direct influence on users’ decisions. Here I will figure out microtrends and its characteristics.

  1. Semi-flat design

Thanks to influence of Material Design, flat design become more and more popular. By adding some Material Design characteristics: the use of transition animations and depth effects such as lighting and shadows, flat design gains a subtle depth which cues analogies between the design and the physical world, easing their comprehension. Flat objects has more volume, shadows appear as visual signals that indicate the depth of the object and its place in the object’s hierarchy.

  1. Fluent Design

Next trend was implemented by Microsoft company this year in 11th of May. Microsoft is focusing on light, depth, motion, material, and scale for its Fluent Design, with animations that make the design feel like it's moving during interactions in Windows. In 2018 Fluent Design is going to show more changes. The main principles of Fluent Design are: Light, Depth, Motion, Material, Scale. As technology continues to evolve across dimensions, it is going to cover graphics of AR and VR softwares.

  1. 3D Content

Design of AR/VR solutions cannot be done with regular graphics footage. That’s why 3D content solutions in design are the best fit for such kind of software as the second reality that does not exist.

  1. UX Animations

This year animation holds the top popularity and next year it is going to continue its influence as rolling design trend. Animation is able to increase level of interactions between users and interface. Designer should pay maximum attention on transitions between elements from one page to another without losing main context idea for users.

  1. Prototyping tools

When deciding how to build your next prototype, the vast landscape of modern prototyping tools can be overwhelming. It’s easy to stick with the tools that you know for expedience sake, but a lot of great new tools are available and worth exploring. We are looking forward to meeting updates from inVision Studio in January 2018, new features are going to be outstanding.

Prototyping/wireframing tools are the best communication method between interaction designers, project manager, and website developers. It’s a key step of the web or mobile app development process. While in principle, the design of prototypes must be a product of interaction designers, and the user-centered concept shall run through the whole product design progress. The professional perspective and rich user experience of interaction designer will directly influence the usability of the product.

  1. Unique graphics and illustrations

We don’t use stock photos and create brand new illustrations using author's photos. More than 60% of users including me as well, think that photos are a major thing in attracting customers and users in general. So, website with eye-catching graphics is a must have tool.

Another interesting thing in graphics is a composition created with combination of photos and digital pattern.


Another growing trend is related to the paper images. Depth and texture are an integral part of the composition. It seems like with the combination of paper layers are made one picture full of colors and shades.

The rips, splashes, scratches and other types of destruction in illustrations are considered to be modern design trend in 2018.

Illusory effects

Holography, hallucination, distorted reality ...

The game with colors remains to be popular among designers

  1. Video

Stories and movies are easier to remember then pictures or text. That’s why there are a lot of video stories and video memories to make users feel involved into a different world of feelings and other life. Videos help to show outstanding story about product and figure out its main idea.

In 2018 video industry will cover 360 view videos more than usual that we already get used to. There are a lot of apps and other software which help create virtual reality videos without additional help of professional studios.

  1. Complex grids

Grid was built for full-page layouts. It allows you to easily rearrange content order for different media queries. Grid isn’t yet ready for use in the wild, but that just gives you some time to familiarize yourself with the spec. Which is great, because it’s going to be a big. I like using grids in mockups as it makes all elements create harmony.  

Asymmetry allows for more flexibility in design. It is a set of elements that are not mirror images,but a balancing act.This creates a stronger sense of energy and dynamic than a stable symmetrical layout. But this allows for more flexibility and a huge range of options.

  1. Color

Bright colors, three-dimensional composition, metal elements in combination with typography brings to another brighter reality.


Gradients also came back in a big way, blending and blurring those exuberant hues into spectra reminiscent of a noonday sky or a splashy sunset. There’s a sort of synthesized naturalism to this reemergence of bright hues and bold gradients, and I personally look forward to seeing more of it in 2018.

  1. Typography

Typography is becoming a leading tendency in 2018. Because of its uniqueness it is easily combined with other methods and trends.

Visual hierarchy
Typography hierarchy is really important in all design fields. Size and weight of the font can easily indicate which words or letters are the most important, so keep in mind this aspect when you create your text. You also have to remember that you can achieve a great visual hierarchy through the position and color of the text.

Unconventional order of letters and words. Chaotic printing order.

Negative space in the printing graphics

Form of interaction between typography and composition elements.

  1. Version control in design

Abstract. Version control is highly popular among designers in GitHub, Unity, Shopify and other similar tech companies. The main thing which attracts people is possibility to export ready made Sketch files, create design branches, save prototypes, discuss changes etc. Available for Mac only + Sketch

  1. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

In 2018 AI will continue its growth and development. Customer services will be to much better and quicklier. Apps will use location data, humans’ customs and interests in order to suggest appropriate matches.

Machine Intelligence research at Google is focused on building the next generation of intelligence and language understanding for all Google products. They are working on projects that utilize the latest techniques in Machine Intelligence (including Deep Learning approaches like Google Brain) and Natural Language Processing. Googlers also stay connected to their research roots as active contributors to the wider research community by partnering with universities and publishing papers.

  1. PWA (Progressive web applications)

Progressive Web Apps are installable and live on the user's home screen, without the need for an app store. They offer an immersive full screen experience with help from a web app manifest file and can even re-engage users with web push notifications.

The Web App Manifest allows you to control how your app appears and how it's launched. You can specify home screen icons, the page to load when the app is launched, screen orientation, and even whether or not to show the browser chrome.

  1. React

React makes it painless to create interactive UIs. Design simple views for each state in your application, and React will efficiently update and render just the right components when your data changes.

Here is a list of ui components on React JS (ui kits):

  1. Material-UI  - is one of the first set of ui for React;
  2. React-Desktop is used in cross platform apps for Mac OS and Windows 10;
  3. Blueprint is used in creating complex web interfaces for desktop apps;
  4. Grommet - is the main UX platform for enterprise apps;
  5. React-md - is and easily customized library for Material Design;
  6. Semantic-UI-React, Ant-design, React-Bootstrap  and other