Four UI Design Trends In 2012

Posted on October 23, 2012 by

Web designers should always be on the lookout for fresh design trends. It’s a bit fascinating to see how certain design ideas get implemented in many different ways. This article will explore recent trends in user interface design and you should see if any of them matches your requirements and preferences. User interfaces in web design are really subject to the whims of web designers and you could find yourself creating something outdated if you aren’t in the loop. Another good way is to read blog posts on clichés you need to avoid.

In general, you should view trends in neutral stance, because they aren’t necessarily good or bad. They were mostly representation of what designers used to think was nice at the moment; of course, after a while, a trend looked and felt so overused that they left a bad taste in our mouth. It is highly recommended that web designers look around constantly and see what’s currently being used by the web design community. It would be easier for them to do their jobs if they are familiar with current constructs, even if you’re doing something really unique.

iOS-inspired interface
It’s clear that iOS platform owns a unique aesthetic. Developers behind the mobile OS have carved out a very specific visual style, which can be distinguished easily. Most of us can identify iOS interface when they see one and with the upcoming Mountain Lion, Apple plans to integrate the same visual idea to desktops and laptops. The Metro UI used by Windows Phone devices was also praised as highly intuitive and visually interesting, so perhaps it will become the next trend in web design industry after Windows 8 is released for desktops and laptops.

Retro Interfaces
A common approach in web design is to make web interfaces feel like physical, real world interfaces. There are several sub-niches in this area and anything that looks retro is one of the most drooled over by web designers. Unfortunately, some of the user interface end up looking clunky and rushed, with some aspects being more of a hindrance than something that can effectively extend the user experience. That being said, many retro interfaces are still flat out exciting to use.

Notification Boxes
In web design, it is fascinating to see how basic shapes suddenly take off and become very popular. A few years ago ribbon shapes dominated the web and today we see the proliferation of elements that resemble notification boxes. In essence, they are just boxes with a triangle that pops out. The triangle is useful to tie the buttons and other elements to the content.

White-dominated minimalist UI
The minimalist movement is completely alive in the web design industry, with many professionals taking the route towards colorless interface and opting instead for an entirely white or light gray color scheme. From many examples we see online, forms and button elements are prime candidates for the implementation for this trend. Shadows, single pixel outlines and subtle gradients are also modified to fit this trend. Although the result still feels fairly formal, it becomes an airy, very light experience.

UI kits increase in popularity and designers are tossing a bunch of UI elements into these kits as free download. The idea has definitely caught on and UI kits continue to be a favorite for many freebie finders. They generally deliver random scattering ideas, but still roughly represent latest trends in the industry. Web designers should regularly check latest UI kits to get themselves updated.

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