2013 Trends You Can Trust Part 2

Hello again. In 2013 Trends You Can Trust Part 1 we defined three industry trends. In part two we are going to look at design trends.

This past year, I have see 3 design trends emerge.

1. Skeuomorphic Design

Skeuomorphic design is emulating objects in the physical world for use in the digital realm. It has been made popular by the great people at Apple. Creating a false reality, helps non-technical users make a connection with digital interfaces that would otherwise be unfamiliar to them. This design trend is growing within the world of apps. Some designers believe this is the best way to convert physical tasks into useable digital interfaces. An example can be found below.

The above DJ app from is a perfect example of skeuomorphic design because:

  • It is emulating a real life dj table
  • Helps a user become instantly familiar with the app (if they have used a dj equipment before)

For further reading on the pros and cons of skeuomorphic design read our past blog post, Skeuomorphi-what?.

2. Authentically Digital Design

Authentically digital design is the antithesis of skeuomorphic design. It is design that engulfs the true digital nature of the technology. Instead of taking into account what the physical form an object has (like an address book) the designer ditches the design of the useless chrome and delivers the digital version. This design style has taken root in windows 8. If you would like details on the difference between the two design styles I suggest this great article that compares the two distinct design styles by Peter Petrovski.

Nearly everyone has seen the updated windows 8 start screen. This is a perfect example of Authentically Digital Design because:

  • The icons have been stripped of all excess design elements
  • The typography provides hierarchy to the content
  • The content is leading out of the viewport, which leads the user to interactive motions
  • The useless chrome is gone
  • Heavily based on a grid

Here is another example of authentically digital design because:

  • There are no gradients or extra design “fluff”
  • Simple use of colors
  • Heavily based on typography

3. Minimalist Design

Minimalist design at its core is focused design on the basic essentials and needs. In the case of digital design in 2013, this will play a major role in helping designers allow the content to be king on the desired platforms. You might be saying “isn’t authentically digital design a specific genre of minimalist design”? While this could be considered true, a minimalist design can have embellishments on the clean elements. Authentically digital design is the idea of solid, simplicity. Removing drop shadows, gradients, etc. within the design, while minimalism can still have those design characteristics.

AA. is an example of minimalist design because:

  • There is a subtle text shadow on the text which gives a minor illusion of depth.
  • Clean minimal design
  • Strong use of negative space

Symbolset is a clean design that exemplifies the minimalist design style with it’s:

  • clean interface
  • outstanding use of negative space
  • clever use of typography

Read on in part 3 of 2013 Trends You Can Trust to see my predictions for 2013.


Written by James

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