The road to brand recognition is paved with good design. In an era of internet users who are constantly bombarded and distracted by marketing messages, it is design that will help brands cut through our noisy world.
Design is embedded in how companies communicate with customers. According to a survey by Tyton Media, 48 percent of people name website design as the biggest indicator of a company's credibility. They’re more likely to trust, remember, and connect with the brand in question, whereas a poorly designed website could alienate potential customers immediately by creating a negative user experience.
Design is also an underrated indicator of business success. Look at pioneer brands such as Google and Apple, and you'll see that design is a strategic differentiator that drives growth by giving consumers an experience they remember. It lays the groundwork for all of your communication with customers and potential customers. It tells the consumer who you are and what you care about. Good design isn't just impressive, it’s resonant – it helps people connect and relate.
For brands competing on a world stage, design delivers a customer-centric experience that can carve out a competitive edge. That's why it pays to keep improving and evolving your approach to design, no matter what business you're in. Here are five design trend predictions we'll see in 2019, what has caused them, and how your team can mobilize around them to make a greater impact next year.
1. More touchpoints
The business value of design continues to increase. At the same time, according to Kitewheel, the number of touchpoints that customers share with brands as businesses harness new media is increasing. Small and large businesses alike can capitalize on this trend by ensuring that any point of contact between a brand and customers is strategically designed. Blogs, case studies, infographics, and every little scrap of everyday design content will benefit from engaging visuals and clear, consistent messaging.
2. Design crossing boundaries
The increased demand for good design will take the challenge out of the hands of designers and spread into other departments. Sales, HR, product and even finance teams will be expected to know and utilize on-brand design in their work to truly immerse customers. Leaders can aid this transition by making design processes and tools as approachable and accessible as possible in their organizations. As design continues to grow in importance, it shouldn’t exist in an ivory tower.
3. A taste for depth
In 2018, we saw a rise in preference for 3D design, and this trend is set to continue with even more ferocity in 2019. Images with realistically rendered shadows create an interesting visual interplay between foreground, middle ground, and background. Drop shadows and layered effects create further visual drama, making the experience more immersive for consumers.
To take advantage of this trend, brands should consider experimenting with effects that create depth, such as isometric techniques that bring rendered objects to life, for either a realistic or a surreal effect.
4. Playing with color
Color is key in the digital arena. With so much visual stimuli to choose from, designs that stand out immediately with bold, surprising, or pleasing color will bring much-needed attention to the products they reference. One particular color trend taking off in 2019 will be gradients – blends of color that make everyday graphics a bit more textured.
Dedicate some of your design time and budget to playing around with these color effects. There’s no limit to where and how you can display gradients – from highlighting a newsletter headline to contrasting a simple typeface with a psychedelic background.
5. Authentic styles
Consumers are more and more drawn to scruffier, handmade techniques that display a sense of care and authenticity. Apple jumped onto this trend by releasing its Pencil – a digital pen that looks and acts like a good old-fashioned pencil.
As you plan your designs for 2019, try hand-drawn illustrations to lend a personal touch to digitally produced graphics. Favoring effects that take consumers back to a simpler time may convince them to hand over their loyalty and affection.
The marketing game has changed. Companies’ main task is no longer just moving prospects through funnels, but rather creating continuous engagement that builds relationships over time. As brands continue to define their 2019 strategies, mediocre design will no longer cut it. Every customer touchpoint must be absorbing and delightful in order to stay relevant and top of mind.