If there’s one thing that is constant in the design world, it's the development of design software. Each day, new apps and tools are developed and launched to the public. The extensive influence of online design today evolves and welcomes new programs to its previously small list of resources. The demand for fast and easy-to-use tools has prompted the rollout of a vast number of web-based and mobile-friendly design tools.
Today, we’ll take a look at some of the design trends and tools that are expected to become big this year.
Design Trends for 2017
Let's start off with design trends, since they act like a framework that lead you to the design tools you need.
Layouts that allow content to stand out.
More and more design tools are focusing on how to use design elements to help the context shine without restricting the speed of how the viewers take in the message. These past few years, the market has evolved on how they see the importance of design for businesses. Design has shifted from being an add-on on the last stages of optimization to an actual competitive edge. One of the key elements of this development is the shift back to the importance of content. Since the beginning, the design's primary role is to present content in an efficient and user-friendly manner.
Better collaboration and rapport among designers.
The same goes for designers and developers. The relationship of the design team is a crucial element in creating unique output, particularly for enterprise-related projects. This year, the collaboration between designers and developers will be more important and evident.
The focus on designer collaboration has come to light mainly from the extensive creation of web-based and mobile apps each day. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter require large design teams to take care of the different areas of their platform.
The teams are also responsible for finding more efficient ways for everyone to stay on the same page. As such, solid teamwork and constant communication are needed. A myriad of tools have been introduced to facilitate this new level of partnership: from sharing templates and dashboards to real-time edit on shared files.
Advanced design-to-development workflow.
As both the design and prototype tools online gain a sense of sophistication and a level of maturity, the conventional hand-off deliverable has changed significantly. We can expect static files to be delivered through dynamic visualizations that vary from animated files to fully-functional websites. These advanced proactive deliverables reduce the feedback loop while simultaneously enhancing the overall layout. The new workflow also assists in establishing more efficient interaction with clients.
Powerful and straightforward statements.
As the design industry comes to the agreement that the focus must always be on content, a growing number of sites present compelling and relevant copy set in a font (or font combination) that is just as intense and daring as the statement itself. Intense and daring don't necessarily mean big and bold typefaces. Instead, it's the characteristic or aura the font gives off to further solidify the content. It's also noticeable how a lot of content today are free of inflated or phony claims.
Elaborate layouts based on the fundamentals of graphic design.
The evolution of web design in visual terms is rooted in the development of graphic design. For the past couple of years, web design layouts have been restricted by the limitations of CSS. Thankfully, new design tools (several are expected to be launched in the first quarter of the year!) will open the door for considerably more powerful web designs.
Increased focus on animation.
Animation has long been a key player in the digital world, and it will be stronger than ever this year. In fact, as designers and developers get more tools and resources to help them create engaging animations, the output will be more refined and more relevant.
These days, designers look to their brand’s voice to build animations that will strengthen the overall tone used for the brand content. The process helps to ensure that the output carries out related brand functions for clients, rather than just inspiring dizziness and headache.
A slew of brighter colors.
As concepts like minimalism became a forefront in the past couple of years, designers are now finding ways to impress more powerful personality into their work that will still stand out even if all the visual elements are stripped away. Based on recent trends, one of the most effective solutions to this situation is the use of bright and bold colors.
Digital Tools for 2017
Adobe Spark creates professional-looking social posts, web stories, and animated videos in a snap. It replaces two of Adobe's previously creative social apps: Adobe Slate and Adobe Voice. Spark features a web app with three key functions: Post, Page, and Video. Each service includes a companion mobile app. Spark is created for all types of artists, but most especially for non-designers, small businesses, students, bloggers and online marketers who want to convey their message in style.
Sketch is designed for today's pool of graphic designers and artists. Its website features a versatile workflow that supports Multiple Pages and Artboards. Thanks to its state-of-the-art Vector Boolean operations, creating complex shapes and characters becomes less stressful. The design tool also consists of notable features such as Symbols and Shared Styles that make elements recycle fast and straightforward.
Figma is the first interface design tool that offers real-time collaboration. It keeps every member of the design team on the same page, which makes the whole process easier and faster to do. Its multiplayer UI lets everyone work on a project at the same time. The tool is also designed to illustrate icons and create responsive layouts through a user-friendly interface. Professional graphic designers can benefit a lot from this tool.
Vectr is a design software designed to create vector graphics with ease. It's one of the simplest yet most powerful cross-platform design tools today. Users can easily work using the web-based version of the software or directly download it to their desktop. The system will automatically save and sync files in real-time and across all platforms.
Frontify is a software specifically created to improve brand style designs, workflows, and visual collaboration. It lets users create their web-based style guide in no time. Frontify Style Guide and Frontify Workspace are two of the program's primary functions. Both are intended to make the design process as pain-free as possible. The Style Guide is mainly for personal use while the Workspace is for the team's design collaboration.
Zeplin is one of the top collaboration tools used by designers and developers. With its user-friendly and concise features, it helps to ensure designs are carried out flawlessly by both parties. Its Guideline page is regarded as one of its best features thanks to its ample color and font collections. Zeplin also focuses on keeping style guides current at all times. A design team can take advantage of the program's cloud system so everyone can easily access every change or edit made on the design.
ProtoPie is a design tool that creates complex interactions and animations quickly and with barely any effort. It also helps designers develop sensor-assisted prototypes without the need to write code. The software features six superior functions apart from its basic operations like Sketch import. Each function comprises of three sections: Trigger, Object, and Response. Collectively, these sections create better interaction. It also features a high-tech timeline interface for easy and real-time editing.
Wire Flow is designed by designers for designers. It's a streamlined tool for building wireframes on Android. It features a Material-inspired UI and rapid touch controls. It enables users to create linear screen flows within seconds and share them with others with a single tap. The program also features a curated collection of minimalist shapes and icons perfect for quick, professional mockups. Wire Flow is 100% free.
Marvel is an app designed to create simple designs, build prototypes, and improve teamwork. The app's straightforward editor enables a team to connect their models together within minutes. Gestures and transitions are then added to recreate the look and feel of an actual website or application. The program is set up to handle prototype creations for Apple and Android products. Marvel also features real-time feedback that will appear onscreen or via annotations.
Stencil is an app primarily created for new designers. It's likewise for people who want user-friendly design tools to create simple social media posts. The focus of the app is primarily on designs that fit social media requirements thus its functions are all concentrated around the subject. Its main feature is the quote integration that helps in creating engaging SM quotes.
The design world today is packed with exciting new developments and creations. Interactive design continues to evolve, and different ways of maximizing the use of web and mobile apps bring in new challenges that will further lead to new design discoveries and masterpieces.
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