Entries by admin

10 Free Device Mockup Templates for Web Designers

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/1ate80qwnAY/

A great mockup for a website, app or other design helps to drive sales – just as eCommerce stores have models wearing available pieces of clothing. It’s easier for customers to visualize the look and feel of the product when it’s placed in a real-world image. That’s why mockups are so important when it comes to web design. You’ll see these mockups on developer’s websites and when you search for apps on the Google and Apple stores.

Although sometimes you’ll want to pay for mockups, you can typically find high-quality free options that look just as professional as the premium ones. That’s why we’ve put together a list of free mockup templates for web designers.

Some of these include tablets, phones and other devices on their own, while others show those devices in the midst of various scenes. For instance, it’s not uncommon to see website mockups with a computer in a coffee shop or on a phone in someone’s hand.

If you’re looking for free web design mockups, this is the place to be.

Your Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets


DOWNLOAD NOW

Free Vintage Macbook Photorealistic Mockups

Free Vintage Macbook Photorealistic Mockups

This is an excellent free mockup for creating a simple, elegant presentation for your website. You’ll receive multiple views of the Macbook on the same table, allowing you to get creative with your mockup.

Floating iPhone X Mockup

Floating iPhone X Mockup

The floating iPhone takes a different route than what you typically see from phone mockups. This would work great in a website header or on a landing page trying to sell an app or mobile website.

Responsive Web Design Showcase Mockup

Responsive Web Design Showcase Mockup

All web designers need to show how they can develop websites for multiple devices. One of the best ways to sell your site is to have a showcase of all devices supported. This way, customers get a taste of what the theme, template, or final web design looks like on phones, tablets and computers.

Apple Watch Mockups

Apple Watch Mockups

Web designers also create interfaces for wearable devices, so it’s nice to have an Apple Watch mockup in your arsenal. This one is a free PSD file with different views on multiple wrists. This way, people can visualize what the watch will look like when they actually wear it.

Morning Device Mockups

Morning Device Mockups

Today, many people work from home. That’s why it’s essential to have some mockups with computers and phones sitting on kitchen counters, coffee tables and beds.

iPad on White Table Mockup Bundle

iPad on White Table Mockup Bundle

This mockup features a white iPad with bright colors and even a little clipboard to include some other graphics to go with your brand.

Free Galaxy S7 Mockup

Free Galaxy S7 Mockup

Don’t forget Android devices! It’s all too common to limit most of your mockups to iPhones and Macs because of how sleek they look. However, lots of people have Androids and Windows computers, meaning you want to make those people feel included as well.

iPhone 6 & iPad Air 2 Photo MockUps

iPhone 6 & iPad Air 2 Photo MockUps

Some mockups bring the technology you have worked with into the real world. And that makes sense, since some folks plan on using their phones while camping or at coffee shops. Allow your users or clients the opportunity to envision themselves using your web design in their natural habitats.

Simple Gadgets

Simple Gadgets

Here’s another mockup with multiple responsive designs. It’s simple and sleek, using white and grey colors to mimic something you might see on the Apple website.

iMac on Wooden Desk

iMac on Wooden Desk

One of the most popular ways to show a visual of your website design is to go with the standard iMac on a desk. The tricky part about using a mockup on a desk is ensuring that it looks like real life. Sometimes you see desks that are way too pristine or they don’t have anything on them at all. I like this one since it’s a wooden desk and you can see several other devices like speakers, phones, and even some books and decorations. This is more realistic and similar to what someone would have at their own home office.


The best Boxing Day laptop deals in 2018

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/hN3a3pzqM_E/the-best-boxing-day-laptop-deals-in-2018

The Boxing Day sales are here – hurrah! So if Santa didn't deliver that shiny new laptop you asked for, never fear, we have you covered with all the best Boxing Day laptop deals right here. 

We've seen a few good ones, with many retailers turning the Boxing Day sales into special events to try and finish off the year with a bang. So if you missed all the Black Friday action, there's still a chance to grab yourself a great bargain on a quality laptop.

The best laptop bags in 2018

And the best part is we've done all the hard work for you, posting all the best Boxing Day laptop deals on this page. So hit the bookmark button and check back throughout the day…

Where can you find the best Boxing Day laptop deals?

Well, right here, of course! We're sharing all the best Boxing Day laptops deals as and when they come in. But if you prefer to browse through the sales at your own leisure, here are some of the retailers we expect to get stuck in to the Boxing day deal action:

AmazonVeryCurrysAo.comJohn LewisArgosZavvi
The best Boxing Day laptop deals – US
The best Boxing Day laptop deals – UK

Read more:

The best laptop for graphic designThe best iPad accessories in 2018The 6 best laptops for photo editing in 2018

10 Free Handwriting Fonts for Design Projects

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/xXeY1G0urNM/

Sometimes, those plain serif and sans-serif fonts aren’t doing it for you. These fonts are great to use for the bulk of your website because they’re very simple and readable. But when you’re designing a logo or want to add a personal touch to select areas of a website, fonts that look like handwriting might be a better choice. Here are ten free handwritten fonts to get you started!

Black Chancery

Black Chancery

This calligraphic font would look great on any site that needs an extra bit of elegance. The vaguely medieval feel will work well with history and literature websites, or sites that simply want to look a bit more graceful and royal. It’s also a very legible font, so you can use it pretty much anywhere. Pick up Black Chancery Italic while you’re at it!

Signatura

Signatura

Need to emulate someone’s signature? Signatura is just the thing! It easily creates a beautiful and legible signature that looks like it was scanned right off the paper. Use it to sign the website creator’s name, or just as a sophisticated script font.

Great Vibes

Great Vibes

Great vibes is simply gorgeous. If you run a business that wants to radiate dignity and sophistication, try out this font. The calligraphy is unsuitable for blocks of text, but try it out with short sentences or a few words and you’ll love the result.

Tahu!

Tahu!

Tahu is a bold, eye-grabbing font, easily readable but not lacking at all in that individual handwritten style. Tahu italic’s look and thick lines would make for a great header, or as the central text in a banner or poster.

Amatic

Amatic

 

This thin, narrow font is very versatile. It comes in regular and bold style and is made with entirely uppercase lettering. If you need a neat, hand drawn font that makes a statement, Amatic might be right for you.

Architext

Architext

Architext was created to emulate the lettering you’d find on hand-drawn architectural sketches. Neat, pristine and thin, this font really looks like someone transcribed their own handwriting. The little flairs on the lettering make it beautiful. Try Architext if you’re after familiar and informal, but stylish.

Windsong

Windsong

Perfectly elegant, Windsong is a great choice if you’re looking for something delicate and tasteful. This beautiful script lettering comes with support for nearly all symbols and letters, so it’ll work with non-English languages, too.

TrashHand

TrashHand

TrashHand’s bold strokes and slight serifs make it look really unique. The neat handwriting would look great on any website, professional or personal, if used in the right spots. Try it out; you’ll definitely love it!

Jo Wrote a Lovesong

Jo Wrote a Lovesong

Need a horror font, or something exceptionally scribbly? Jo Wrote a Lovesong sacrifices legibility for a unique style. It definitely isn’t a font to over-use. But carefully placed and used correctly, it can make a big impact on a site’s tone.

FFF Tusj

FFF Tusj

FFF Tusj is a sketchy font, perfect if you need something that looks like it was made with a pencil. The font takes an interesting spin on Georgia, and it’s surprisingly easy to read. The small imperfections and variance on the shading of each letter just adds to the effect. Try it if you want something rougher.

Personal Handwritten Fonts

Stylistic fonts generally shouldn’t be used for the bulk of a website’s text, as they can be difficult to read when used for more than a few words. But for logos, headers, and little snippets of text, these fonts can really spruce up a webpage! Whether you’re going for elegant, down-to-earth, or artistic, one of these script and stylistic fonts should be able to help you.


Quiz: Could You Become a Design Consultant in 2019?

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2018/12/quiz-could-you-become-a-design-consultant-in-2019/

According to a recent QuickBooks survey, the #1 reason freelancers go into business for themselves is because it lends them the freedom to shape their own career path.

Whether you’ve done freelance web design work for a few months or a few years, there may come a time when you feel bored, unchallenged, or limited by it. When that happens, do you keep charging along because it’s what you originally set out to do? Or do you work on turning your career path into something that better aligns with your goals and job preferences?

One possible career pivot I want to present to you today is web consulting. Be sure to scroll down and take the quiz to see if this is a smart move for you!

Designer vs. Consultant: What’s the Difference?

A web designer or developer is someone who actually gets their hands dirty. They’re the ones who use coding and design skills to build a website from the ground up. Projects usually only last a couple months, unless maintenance services are offered afterwards.

A web consultant is an advisor for those in need of or who already have a website. They can provide a one-time assessment to clients or work as a dedicated advisor and guide.

Consultants specialize in the total landscape—from user persona research to optimization of a website and related marketing activities post-launch. As such, a web consultancy enables you to offer as little or as much as you’d like, unlike web design services which are a bit more rigid in nature.

In fact, selling consulting as an add-on to your web design plans could prove quite lucrative in and of itself. Not only would you become a total end-to-end provider of website services, but this would help you retain clients over longer periods of time.

Plus, as website builder tools grow more and more popular, you may find that many of the clients you would’ve easily sold design services to a year ago now confidently believe they can build a website on their own. And they have a point. Builders have greatly simplified the work that goes into creating professional-looking websites.

What these builders haven’t been able to do, though, is teach everyone how to choose the right color palette for accessibility or the right typeface for mobile users. Nor do page builders explain the importance of things like security and speed in the grand scheme of SEO. They may remove the need for someone to do hands-on work on a website (at least in your clients’ eyes), but they haven’t taught these DIY users the why of it all.

Take the Quiz: Are You a Designer or a Consultant?

I don’t mean to make this a completely black-or-white question. I believe that you can still build websites for a living while also providing occasional consulting to clients. Or vice versa. In fact, performing a mix of duties might be the perfect way to spice up your workday while bringing some much-needed stability to your income.

Use the following quiz to shed some light on whether or not website consulting is a viable path for you:

If you’re an implementer through-and-through, consulting isn’t a good choice for you.

 

If you’re not happy with the job anymore, it’s time to look at another career path, like consulting.

 



Consultants are inherently great at project management. If you don’t have the skills or interest, don’t go down that path.

 

Small business owners would appreciate the guidance, but won’t be able to afford your services. Enterprise-level companies will want the total package from you, so unless you have an agency, it may be best to hold off on approaching them.

 

If you’re not a people-person, consulting will be a very bad fit.

 

Consultants aren’t just people-persons. They’re also know-it-alls (but in the good sense).

 

Consultants are voracious learners. They have to be if they want to provide guidance that’s well-informed and valuable.

 

Unless you plan on providing one-off consulting services to clients, planning to consult, design, and develop by yourself just isn’t sustainable.

Is Web Consulting for You?

Not everyone is cut out for web consulting. And that’s fine. There are other ways to provide high-priced and recurring services to clients. Like selling website support or maintenance services.

But if you’re unhappy with what you’re doing now, don’t let your discontent affect the quality of your work. Find a way to fix it by pursuing a career path that makes the most sense for you.

 

Featured image via DepositPhotos.

Add Realistic Chalk and Sketch Lettering Effects with Sketch’it – only $5!

Source

p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
.alignleft {float:left;}
p.showcase {clear:both;}
body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

Interactive Animated Landscape

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/Lcj4RCDYNOY/

Today we are going to explore a playful animated landscape with a psychedelic look. The idea is to show how an experimentation on art and design with a generative process can lead to interesting interactive visuals which can be used in a variety of mediums like web, print, illustration, VJing, installations, games and many others. We made 3 variants of the landscape to show you how small changes in parameters can change a lot in visuals.

The demos are made with three.js and the animations and colors are controlled in a custom GLSL shader. For the letter animations we are using TweenMax.

landscape_featured

The cool thing about doing this with WebGL is that it’s widely supported and with GLSL shaders we can animate thousands, even millions of vertices at 60 FPS on the major desktop and mobile web browsers.

If you’re not familiar with three.js and GLSL shaders, you can start by creating a scene and reading this introduction to Shaders.

Let’s go through the main build up of the demo.

Breaking down the demo
1. Creating terrain with a plane

Let’s make a basic three.js scene, place a plane with a nice amount of vertices, rotate it 90 degrees is the x-axis, and lift the camera a little bit:

interactive_landscape1_plane

Create custom vertex and fragment shaders and bind them to a ShaderMaterial. The objective is to displace vertices up in the vertex shader with a perlin noise and multiply it with a height value:

// pseudo-code for noise implementation

vec3 coord = vec3(uv, 1.0)*10.0;
float noise = 1 + pnoise( vec3( coord.x, coord.y + time, coord.z ));

float height = h * noise;

// we apply height to z because the plane is rotated on x-axis
vec4 pos = vec4( position.x, position.y, height, 1.0 );

// output the final position
gl_Position = projectionMatrix * modelViewMatrix * pos;

interactive_landscape2_terrain

2. Create a road with some math

Now we’ll use a little bit of math. We’ll implement the formula below, where x is the vertex x-coordinate, h is the maximum height of terrain, c is the center of road and w is the width of road:

interactive_lanscape_formula

Playing with those variables, we can get different results, as we can see in the graphs:

interactive_lanscape_graph_h

interactive_lanscape_graph_c

interactive_lanscape_graph_w

Now, applied in vertex-shader code, multiplied by the previously calculated noise it looks as follows:

// pseudo-code for formula implementation
float height = h * pow( abs( cos( uv.x + c ) ), w ) * noise;

// we apply height to z because the plane is rotated on x-axis
vec4 pos = vec4( position.x, position.y, height, 1.0 );

// output the final position
gl_Position = projectionMatrix * modelViewMatrix * pos;

interactive_landscape1_road

To make a curved road, we use uv.y as angle and take the sin of it to oscillate the center along the y-axis (the plane is rotated on the x-axis, remember?).

interactive_landscape3_road_curve


3. Adding color layers

Let’s colorize the terrain with a nice trick. First, create a color pallete image like this one:

interactive_landscape_pallete1

And then we’ll use it as a lookup texture in the fragment shader, getting the color value from the height calculated in the vertex shader as texture uv.y coordinate:

// pseudo-code for getting the color
vec2 coord = vec2( 0.0, normalize( height ) );
vec4 color = texture2D( palleteTexture, coord );

gl_FragColor = color

interactive_landscape4_colors_layers

4. Having fun adding interactivity

Now we’ve done the heaviest part, it’s easy to use mouse, touch or whatever input you want, to control the formula’s variables and get interesting forms of interactivity:

// JS pseudo-code in the render loop for uniforms manipulation with mouse
terrain.material.uniforms.c.value = (mouseX / window.innerWidth – 0.5) * 0.1;
terrain.material.uniforms.w.value = (mouseY / window.innerHeight – 0.5) * 4;
5. Final touches

Let’s adjust the camera position, add a nice color pallete, fog, a sky background, and we are done!

interactive_landscape1_final

We hope you enjoy this walk-through and find the experiment inspirational!

References and Credits

three.js
WebGL noise by Stefan Gustavson
sky + sun shader by @blurspline
Desmos
Coolors
TweenMax

Interactive Animated Landscape was written by André Mattos and published on Codrops.

6 Reasons to Use Infographics in Web Design

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/oN4qGobt1R4/6-reasons-to-use-infographics-in-web-design

Infographics are quickly finding their place in the world of web design for several very good reasons. If you are looking to build a website, whether it is personal or commercial, this is one element of web design you really should consider that’s important on a number of levels. Here are six of the reasons […]

The post 6 Reasons to Use Infographics in Web Design appeared first on designrfix.com.

Collective #478

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tympanus/~3/tFkCIPjrVP8/

C478_WOTW

Inspirational Website of the Week: Rezo Zero

A sophisticated design with great typography and smooth effects. Our pick this week.

Get inspired

C478_cssmas

#merryCSSmas

Tommy Hodgins covers some of the most requested CSS styling features in a month-long series in this Twitter thread.

Check it out

C455_Divi

Our Sponsor
Real Time Design in WordPress

Divi is powered by the Divi Builder, an insanely fast and incredibly intuitive front end editor like nothing you have seen before. It will change the way you build websites forever.

Check it out

C478_select

Styling a Select Like It’s 2019

Scott Jehl shows how a reasonable set of styles can create a consistent select across new browsers, while also looking fine in older ones.

Read it

C478_easing

Reversing an Easing Curve

Michelle Barker walks through the math of reversing any easing function.

Check it out

C478_screenreader

I Used The Web For A Day Using A Screen Reader

Chris Ashton experiences first-hand difficulties that visually impaired users face and describes what we can do as web developers to help.

Read it

C478_servworker

Handling broken images with the service worker

Ire Aderinokun shows how to implement a service worker for handling broken images.

Read it

C478_components

Web components still need to be accessible

Eric Bailey reminds us that using modern development techniques are not a guarantee for accessibility.

Read it

C478_glimmer

Glimmer

A mesmerizing Christmas Experiment by Nicolas Riciotti.

Check it out

C478_pyramid

JavaScript Getter-Setter Pyramid

André Staltz provides a tour through the different layers of JavaScript abstractions.

Read it

C478_sketch

Magic Sketchpad

Every time you start drawing a doodle, a machine learning algorithm tries to finish it and match the category you’ve selected. Made by Monica Dinculescu.

Check it out

C478_flame

Flame in the wind

Blake Bowen coded this captivating flame demo.

Check it out

C478_spotify

Spotify Wrapped 2018 – Technical Case Study

A look under the hood at the technology and techniques used to power Spotify Wrapped 2018.

Read it

C478_ouch

Ouch!

Super stylish illustrations for your next project. PNGs are free for a link.

Check it out

C478_multiline

Animated Multiline Link Underlines with CSS

Danny Guo shares how to create an animated underline style for a breaking link.

Read it

C478_lock

I’m Awake! Stay Awake with the WakeLock API

Learn all about the Wake Lock API in this post by Pete LePage.

Read it

C478_textadventure

Writing A Multiplayer Text Adventure Engine In Node.js

A tutorial by Fernando Doglio on how to build a multiplayer text adventure engine.

Read it

C478_Taming

Taming Data with JavaScript

An article by Brian Greig where he shares some insight on how to properly deal with data processing in the browser.

Read it

C478_d3

Why you should use D3

Mike Bostock lays down two reasons why you might want to use a library like D3 (or Vega).

Read it

C478_game

XmasTree Game

A fun game where you decorate a Christmas tree.

Check it out

C478_flutter

How to do this in Flutter?

A cheat sheet for React Native developers for finding Flutter alternatives to familiar concepts.

Check it out

C478_emptycss

Checking if an input is empty with CSS

An article by Zell Liew where he explores how to check if an input is empty using CSS.

Read it

C478_spotifyeffect

Spotify Wrapped Animation using GSAP

A recreation of the effect seen on the Spotify “Your 2018 Wrapped” page. By Peter Barr.

Check it out

C478_2018

From Our Blog
Inspirational Websites from 2018

An inspirational collection of our favorite website designs from 2018.

Check it out

Collective #478 was written by Pedro Botelho and published on Codrops.

An Introduction to Variable Fonts for Web Designers

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/b2eFRgKqWeY/

Typography on the web has come a long way. We’ve gone from the days of just a few basic system-based fonts to now having nearly endless possibilities. But all of that choice leads to some challenges for designers.

Performance, for example, can be negatively impacted for every font we load on a page. Even the use of a single font family with multiple styles (bold, italic, etc.) requires multiple calls to the server. This can really start to add up in an industry when every millisecond matters.

Therein lies the great promise of variable fonts. Suddenly, there’s no need to load in half a dozen font files in order to retrieve the styles you want. Instead, everything you need for a font family is included in just a single file. It’s a great boost to efficiency and easy to implement.

Curious about this new addition to our typography toolbox? Here’s what you need to know:

More Flexibility

While potential performance gains may be the most obvious feature of variable fonts, there’s more to love. Another of the key selling-points is that they offer a greater level of flexibility than traditional fonts.

For instance, variable fonts allow designers to leverage CSS transitions. This could be used to create some ultra-smooth animation as a font changes from one style to another. Elements such as links and navigation can be made that much more interesting and unique. While it may sound like a small detail, this provides us with yet another way to improve user experience.

Under that same umbrella, it is also possible to create custom font styles when using a variable font. Because of how these fonts are built, you don’t have to settle for premade styles such as light or extra-bold. Instead, you can opt for virtually anything in-between, or adjust available font axes to tailor the type to your needs.

What’s really amazing is that a tool such as Font Playground makes these adjustments super easy. They offer a visual UI for tweaking things to your heart’s content. You won’t have to be an expert to get the results you want. And, it will even provide you with the necessary CSS code.

The overarching point is that typography becomes less rigid and more open to designer interpretation. Sure, you can use the standard styles if you like. But you also have the option of putting your own personal touch on a project, as well.

Customizing variable fonts with Font Playground.

Still in Its Infancy

As with just about all new technology, variable fonts have a few asterisks beside their name. However, these limitations are more a product of how early they are in their existence, rather than a fatal flaw.

Limited Selection

The number of variable fonts seems to be growing daily. Still, the available amount looks tiny compared to traditional fonts.

At this point, Google Fonts isn’t offering any variable fonts in their standard library. Although, the Amstelvar, Cabin and Nunito fonts are available via their Early Access program.

But there are a growing number of alternative resources. Places such as V-Fonts and Font Playground have enough selections to fit most project needs. And, a number of independent developers have begun publishing their own families.

Adjusting Variable fonts at V-Fonts.

Limited Support

Browser support for variable fonts cover newer versions of most modern browsers. You won’t find support for legacy products such as Internet Explorer or even less-recent versions of Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari.

This may or may not be a deal breaker, depending on your intended audience. Of course, the more time that passes, the less worrisome legacy support becomes. And, the selection of available fonts will only continue to grow.

Browser support for variable fonts.

A Boon to Web Typography

Variable fonts look to bring web typography to a higher level. Rather than being forced into using only the available styles, designers will have the power to do more. Add this to simplified font management and increased performance and you have something that can benefit virtually any project.

It’s not hard to imagine a future where variable fonts become the standard. And the more we see variable fonts in action, the more difficult it is to see how more traditional offerings can stay relevant.


UI Trends That Will Shape 2019

Original Source: https://inspiredm.com/ui-trends-that-will-shape-2019/

Allow me to ask you something that might sound a little bit like science-fiction. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe planet Earth has been moving a little bit faster of late – but we’re yet to notice? Seems like it was only yesterday that we reviewed what we expected as we moved into 2018. Yet strangely, it’s almost 2019 already!

Come to think of it, however, 2018 has been one heck of a year for UI design. Things are now much simpler compared to previous years- thanks to the exponential growth design tools have experienced in recent times. You don’t even have to be a coding guru anymore to create a professional-looking site with great UI in just a matter of minutes.

And that barely covers the base. Changes in user preferences have also extensively impacted how we’ve been designing interfaces in 2018.

To put it into perspective, 94% of internet users stopped trusting sites with poor design- so there’s simply no room for compromises anymore.

Then since scrolling is now widely accepted, sites are no longer prioritizing on placing the best stuff at the top. You can spread them proportionately within the interface. But then again, we’ve learned to be extremely careful about that considering 40% of the visitors will leave if the overall layout turns out to be shabby.

And that’s not all they hate. Users have also grown tired of content sliders- only 1% will click on them. Interestingly, mitigating that by eliminating content would also be a wrong move since 86% of site visitors want to see critical product and service info as soon as the land on the homepage.

Fascinating, right?

So, let’s be honest- UI design has never been this exciting. Users are morphing, device tech is developing astronomically, internet speed is now at Formula 1 level, and we’re backed by a wide range of design tools on the web. Combine all that with the modern UI designer skillsets, and you’ll certainly agree that 2019 is bound to be even more impactful.

So, what trends are we looking forward to?

Mobile First

Mobile optimization is a buzzword that is seemingly not retiring any time soon. The trend has been around for a couple of years now, to say the least. And you’d be right to predict that we’ll see increased adoption of mobile-based UI designs in 2019.

You might also assume that apart from the corresponding tech, there’s nothing new that might be forthcoming in this space- at least for the next 12 months or so. Fair enough, but get this…

You see, for quite some time now, we’ve been using the same old approach- designing for PC first, before shifting to mobile. Retrospectively, desktop UI was the principal focus because the bulk of the traffic came from PC users.

Then something interesting occurred in late 2016- mobile traffic ultimately surpassed PC traffic. By the end of that year, mobile phones had hit 50.31% of the market share, while tablets added up to 4.9%.

mobile market share

However, that notwithstanding, we still prioritized on the desktop interface because it so happened that PC users maintained the lead in the cumulative amount of time spent online. In North America, for instance, mobile phone surfing was still lagging behind in 2017, accounting for 33% of the surfing time.

surfing time

Well, come to think of it, we all knew that it was only time before mobile ultimately caught up with PCs in this too. And by 2018, tables had completely turned, with mobile taking up 52.2% of all global web pages.

traffic share

What does this mean for UI?

For starters, we expect a shift in UI design approach. Developers will start changing their priorities by focusing on mobile UI first before designing for PC. Mobile users will take precedence over PC users.

Use of Shadows and Depth

There’s no denying that flat UI designs have their benefits. But let’s face it. They’ve now become too monotonous and, admittedly, quite boring.

Unfortunately, using 3D designs was challenging because of the resultant cumbersome graphics. Loading a webpage with a 3D interface, for instance, typically took longer than one with a flat design.

Well, until web browsers started improving substantially. And designers, on the other hand, developed an exceptional technique of taking advantage of shadows to introduce the illusion of depth.

shadows and depth

In 2019, therefore, we expect to see progressive use of shadow variations to achieve different 3D interface outlooks.

For example- designers seeking to draw attention to specific elements can create false shadows with varying degrees of softness and intensity. The end result is an element that might appear to hover over the rest in 3D.

Another popular technique is placing shadows in patterns to create various levels of textures, and subsequently bring the interface elements to life.

Then guess what? Recent advancements in UI design tools have further extended the dynamics that come with these design approaches. You can now easily combine shadows with grids and parallax layouts to systematically extend the corresponding depth, and consequently achieve more realistic 3D illusions.

In other words, advanced use of shadows will continue to achieve more refined depth on 2D display. And in so doing, eliminate the need for special 3D screens.

Minimalism

In the year 2000, the average human attention span, at least according to a study by Microsoft, was 12 seconds. Then guess what? By 2015, it had surprisingly dropped to 8 seconds- amusingly shorter than a standard goldfish.

Well, just when we thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, the internet made people more impatient- 47% of your site visitors now expect your pages to load in less than 2 seconds. They simply can’t stand waiting for longer. As a matter of fact, 40% of them will leave if it takes longer than 3 seconds.

Surprisingly enough, many web designers haven’t been taking this seriously. The current average page loading speed is 8.66 seconds– despite Google’s recommendation of fewer than 3 seconds for 2018.

page loading times

And that’s not all. It turns out the situation is considerably poorer for mobile sites since they take an average of 22 seconds to load. Yet, regrettably, 53% of mobile page visitors do not hang around for more than three seconds.

But, how does this relate to UI?

While page loading speeds are usually determined by several factors, the overall design of the user interface is particularly extremely critical. That’s where the chain reaction begins.

So, what does this mean for 2019?

Well, Google’s speed update in July 2018 was the beginning of the end of complex, graphics-heavy UIs that substantially compromise loading speeds. We are now increasingly shifting towards well-streamlined lean minimalistic UIs that load much faster.

In essence, minimalism entails achieving an ideal balance between simplicity, convenience, and functionality. This manages to not only improve overall speeds and search engine ranking but also decrease the corresponding traffic bounce rate.

Overlapping Effects

The modern era of graphical design introduced overlapping effects to combine multiple layers, create a sense of space, and most importantly, make interfaces more captivating.

But hold on. What is an overlapping effect in the first place?

Generally, this involves placing elements like images, text, and colors to stylishly overlap each other. I bet you’ve already come across overlapping graphics on several websites by now.

overlapping effects

Well, admittedly, the design trend has been picking up considerably well over the past couple of years. But, with modern devices now coming with much better color gradient reproduction, it’s expected that 2019 will trigger extensive adoption of overlapping effects on both PC and mobile UIs.

Samsung Mobile, for example, switched from LCD displays to the much-advanced OLED technology when they released the Galaxy S7 two years ago. Then Apple joined the bandwagon with the iPhone X, which now has a greater display contrast than its LCD predecessors. The company even has plans of maintaining this on all iPhone models scheduled for 2019.

And who stands to benefit the most?

As expected, the graphical design world is exceedingly taking advantage of this to create overlaps with sharper, crispier gradients that look more natural. We love how OLED displays have substantially mitigated the biggest problem with overlapping elements- users getting distracted by the underlying secondary elements due to poor contrast.

This trend will also trigger the development of transparency in UI designs. We’ll see increased use of “glass-like” textures on UIs as designers capitalize on transparency to bring out both primary and secondary graphics simultaneously, without necessarily interfering with the intended emphasis.

Frameless Designs

And still on modern devices, you’ve certainly noticed the most outstanding thing about their overall exterior design nowadays. No, I’m not talking about how they are now overusing glass on pretty much every surface.

Ok, I admit it might have something to do with that. For some strange reason, everyone now seemingly hates display frames. Major smartphone and TV screen makers are gradually decreasing the space between the display outline and their corresponding device edges. Then to complete the look, they choose to combine that with rounded device edges.

Samsung has even gone ahead to eliminate edge frames altogether by extending some of their smartphone screens past the edges. Apple, on the other hand, has decided to cover the entire iPhone face with the display screen, leaving room for only the earpiece.

frameless edge

Come to think of it, I guess it has everything to do with the infinity illusion- the need to make the screen seem like a part of the natural environment. And, to be honest, it’s working quite well for users, who are reportedly finding the displays to be more immersive.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this trend has spilled over to the app industry. The UIs are progressively shifting from framed outlines to smooth lines combined with rounded edges. Consequently, this has helped interfaces to seamlessly integrate with the device screens, and subsequently create a full-screen frameless outlook.

As device manufacturers continue this trend into 2019, we expect UIs to progressively drop the old generation sharp edges for smooth, rounded, frameless designs.

Micro-Animations

They are subtle and might seem insignificant at times. But, the simple truth is this- micro-animations in UIs have proven to be extremely powerful at engaging and helping users as they navigate.

Have you seen those buttons that change color when you scroll over or click on them? You’ve definitely also come across menu layouts that pop to display additional options as soon as the pointer lands on them. Well, they are all examples of micro-animations that create small visual effects to enrich user experience.

micro-animations

Since moving elements are particularly effectual at capturing attention, many designers are already leveraging them to drive users towards various conversion points. This trend is so prevalent by now that I’d be willing to bet a fortune that you can’t find more than five sites that haven’t yet implemented some form of micro-animations.

Then get this. All the dominant web browsers currently support micro-animations satisfyingly well on both PC and mobile. So I’d say that the trend is here to stay as we approach 2019- expect UIs to come with systematically structured visual hierarchies.

Conclusion

All in all, we’ve only covered some of the most notable trends. We’re bound to see more exciting stuff coming up as time goes by, and we can’t wait for 2019 to set the ball rolling.

That said, what exactly do you think might turn out to be the most impactful UI design trend? And what other notable trends would you add to this list?

header image courtesy of Walid Beno

The post UI Trends That Will Shape 2019 appeared first on Inspired Magazine.