La Maestra Elvira Anzola González, Coordinadora de Emprendimiento de la Universidad Anáhuac, nos resume cómo se clasifican las motivaciones que impulsan a la mayoría de las personas que se animan dentro del mundo del emprendimiento.
10 web design trends that will dominate your screen in 2020
The end of the year is coming up fast, and we’re already looking towards what next year will bring. For designers like myself, the end of the year is an inspiring time. What trends and design aesthetics will be popularized in 2020? What trends will likely be on their way out?
“The 10,000 foot-view of these trends makes it clear that ‘web’ design looks more like traditional ‘graphic’ or ‘print’ design than ever. The amount of flexibility that designers in being expressive and creatively nimble is astonishing compared to just five or ten years ago,” states Khoi Vinh, Senior Director of Product Design at Adobe XD.
Vinh couldn’t be more right. Having done this look ahead in design trends for several years now, I can completely agree that these trends show just how creative designers have become with making the web feel more like other types of media, such as graphic design and print design.
If you’re a designer, or a fan of great design, you’re in luck. I’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you, and pulled together the top web design trends that will likely grace your screens in 2020.
1. Text-only heroes
I mentioned in my article last year that experimentation with hero areas — the part of the website when you first load the site, aka the “above the fold” area — was likely to become more evident throughout 2019. This was definitely the case, and one of those experiments was text-only heroes.
While some hero areas have gotten more involved with different kinds of elements than just the standard text-on-image set up, this “text-only” trend is intriguing in that it’s removing the typical background image and just letting typography do the work.
Phase3’s website is a great example of stripping things back in the hero area, and focusing only on typography (although, the color-changing background, which you can see on their site, is a subtle nice touch). That typography also has some personality to it, instead of a standard or overused sans-serif font. You can also see this trend with The New York Times, who paired a custom font with animations for their text-only header for their Food Festival website.
2. Involved illustrations
While illustrations have been prevalent on websites for many years, there’s a growing trend of having custom, detailed, and well-executed illustrations grace websites recently, and I’m sure this is a trend that is just getting started.
Websites such as DottedSign (above) and Fixate (below) are great examples of this growing trend. Both websites use very well-thought-out and detailed illustrations, not only in their hero section of their site but throughout the entire website to tie it all together.
Pairing the illustrations with a bit of animation really helps grab attention and can be used as another way to communicate with your visitors. Animated illustrations are great as a supplementary tool to text, and are often better at illustrating and communicating when used as more subtle and secondary features instead of the main one.
3. Vintage-inspired colors and typography
In my article from last year, I touched on bringing back nostalgia in design as a throwback to previous time periods. This is often influenced by other media forms of the time, such as television and magazines, especially if a throwback to a pre-internet era.
In 2020, I anticipate this trend to take on a different form. Instead of going all-in on a retro or throwback look, I see websites taking nostalgic bits and pieces, and remixing them with modern style.
One of the most common bits of design inspiration that’s being used in websites today is using vintage colors and/or typography as a way to convey this feeling of nostalgia. Chrissy Teigen’s new website is a great example of using a vintage-influenced font with a vintage-inspired color scheme (earthy, but bright).
The popular typography trends website Typewolf also uses vintage typography and colors to influence their site design while still staying modern in aesthetic. Their font paired with the background color feels vintage, but not dated.
4. Black and white
Monochromatic is so 2019. 2020 will be the year of seeing more and more sites experiment with having no color at all, sticking to only black and white with very little in between. Consider it monochromatic gone minimalist.
Cahn Wilson’s site is a great example of a design aesthetic absent of color. Focused primarily on black and white with grayscale images, the website is clean, crisp, modern, and on-trend with other contemporary sites. Alexsandr Yaremenko’s site (below) also keeps with the black and white color scheme outside of his portfolio examples.
5. Dominating grids meet cards
Most websites are designed on an invisible grid system that helps keep items on the page organized and in-line. In 2020, however, I anticipate seeing these grids becoming more visually dominant and used as the primary design aesthetic, clearly inspired by the popular “card” design trend.
Frames for Future’s site is a great example of using the grid as a design aesthetic rather than just a design tool. Their site’s content is organized in large rectangles aligned in a grid format. Most of Evergib’s site (below) is also laid out in a grid, with different sized “cells” to give it dimension, visual interest, and to change up the cadence.
6. Outlined typography
If you can’t tell already, I really like typography and notice typographical trends in particular. One emerging trend is outlined typography, and we can expect to see this more and more in 2020.
“Being typographically distinctive has become an imperative on the web, which is amazing considering that it wasn’t that long ago when designers only had a handful of fonts to work with,” explains Vinh from Adobe. “We have more web fonts; we need more daring, more diverse web typography too.” There’s no doubt that this is evident not only in this trend, but others already mentioned here.
The Phase 3 site mentioned at the beginning of this article features this outlined typography. Redscout also uses a large outlined font as part of their web design aesthetic, combining animation to pull out the “fill” of the letters leaving just the outline behind when you scroll down the page.
7. Massive font sizes
Yes, another typography-based trend, but how can you overlook the ever-increasing font sizes on the web? A trend going into 2020 is larger-than-life typography that can be read from across the room.
Redscout and The New York Times Food Festival (both featured earlier in this article) are great examples of this trend. Baina (above) takes the font size of their name to very large heights, taking up nearly half of the viewport of their home page.
HalloBasis features very large typography that fills the viewport as a style of navigation to help visitors go to different parts of their site.
8. Geometric shapes and patterns
Last year, I mentioned that more fluid, organic shapes would be trending in 2019, so it’s no surprise that the opposite of that would also be trendy too. Geometric shapes, lines, and patterns are making a comeback for 2020.
Future London Academy’s website features animated geometric shapes in the hero area of their site, also in-line with the geometric shape and animation trends mentioned above. XXXI’s website (below) for their Intro to Coding uses geometric shapes in a similar way.
9. User-triggered animations
Typically when we think of animations, we see them happening on their own, independent from any action we may take on the page as site visitors. A growing trend in web design, however, is having animation triggered by some type of input or action from the visitor.
Vinh from Adobe certainly agrees. “Combining user interaction with tasteful animation and tasteful type is one of the most exciting things to happen to typography in a generation. Even as web design is increasingly able to match the expressively of print design, putting type in motion in response to user inputs adds a new dimension to how we think about written communication. More of this please!”
Romain Avalle’s site is a great example of this trend, as is Intro to Coding’s (previously mentioned). In the center of their website, the outlines of the initials move around based on where the cursor is. This type of interactive animation helps engage the viewer and slows them down to figure out the animation, making them apart of the website experience and not a passive consumer.
10. Trendy color schemes make their way to websites
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the color combinations and color schemes that are trendy in other parts of our lives, be it music, clothing, social media, etc. I expect in 2020 that some of these color combinations will make their way into website designs.
An example of a trendy color combination is the primary blue and pale pink/dusty blush scheme, made popular by Pinterest and Instagram. Collate Art’s (above) and Datalands’ sites (below) both feature this trendy color scheme in their site designs.
Other examples of trendy color schemes include jewel tones (greens, purples), earthy tones (tans, browns, greens, wood textures), and iridescent/pearl color schemes (pastels that meld together like a liquid, giving an almost metallic look).
Key trend takeaways
Some of the biggest trends we’ll likely see in 2020 involve animations, illustrations, and typography, mixed with new types of color schemes and interactions.
Typography, however, seems to be the big winner here, as I expect to see these several typography trends last way beyond 2020. Vinh at Adobe has this to say about typography in web design trends as we move into a new decade, “Designers—and brands—need to move past the great uniformity that has come to dominate web typography. There are still too many tech companies trying to take the edge off of their less seemly activities through roundish, sans-serif typefaces. And too many consumer brands using serif typography to identify themselves with this illusory notion of Brooklyn-esque hipster classicism.”
From large typography to outlined typography, vintage-inspired color schemes to trendy color schemes, and everything else mentioned here, 2020 looks to be a great year for designers and design fans, and I for one, can’t wait to see these design trends come to life as we enter the next decade.
Published December 20, 2019 — 14:40 UTC
How Lush became an ethical champion without bragging about it
You see it more and more — businesses labeling themselves as “ethical,” “eco-friendly,” “sustainable,” and “transparent,” but with very little to show for it.
It would be great if we lived in a world where all businesses practiced what they preached, and took on sustainable and fair business practices. But these moral high grounds have become a new playground for marketing teams, with little to no oversight into if they are following through on their promises.
It’s for this reason that Lush, the UK-based handmade cosmetics company, rejects these labels altogether. TNW recently spoke with Hilary Jones, Lush’s Ethical Director, about why Lush doesn’t call itself an “ethical” business, why word-of-mouth is better than advertising, and why being bold pays off.
Why Lush rejects “ethical” labels
As stated on Lush’s website, being ethical or trying “not to damage people or (the) planet with their trade practices” should be business-as-usual — not a marketing label or special mention.
“No company should be trading from an unethical position and society has a right to expect as the norm fairness and resource stewardship from the companies that supply them,” their mission reads.
This is a pretty radical stance from a for-profit company, especially one in the cosmetics industry, which, according to The Independent, generated over 142 billion units of plastic in 2018, most of which wound up in landfills and the ocean. Many beauty companies and brands use labels such as “organic,” “ethical,” and “eco” to distance themselves from this fact.
Yet rejecting labels has been, according to Jones, a core part of Lush’s ethos since the beginning: “It has never crossed our minds to call ourselves an ethical business, and when others started calling us that our instant response was to resist the tag.”
“Doing business in as careful and considerate way as possible is always our goal, but we are fully aware that in this imperfect world there is always more that needs to be done. So, we don’t regard being ‘ethical’ as a fixed peak that one can climb and stick your flag into — instead we see it as a lifelong journey of constant striving,” Jones told TNW.
What other companies can learn from Lush
This kind of transparent and no-frills mindset has influenced the company’s branding, from marketing to design, and has set a template for other companies looking to truly embody ethics to follow suit. For companies looking to similarly eschew the “ethical” label, here’s what they can learn from Lush:
1. Skip advertising
Lush specifically doesn’t advertise — a decision, Jones claims, which came from a lack of budget. But the company quickly learned they could grow by word-of-mouth “if we ensured we offered great products and first-class customer service that people wanted to tell their friends and family about.”
This practice, Jones adds, is in line with their overall mission of transparency: “And of course, if one is really honest about what advertising is, it is charging extra for your products so that you can use your customers’ money to attract new customers to yourself. We prefer not to have to do that and instead to price our products based on the real costs, like the ingredients and packaging.”
While Lush’s soap is hardly cheap — in the UK, customers pay as much as £9.00 for soap and £6.00 for toothpaste — their stores are often interactive experiences, often letting shoppers “detonate” bath bombs in a dynamically designed space. This explains the brand’s popularity on social media — the Lush’s Instagram has over 610K followers and the #lush hashtag has been used more than 7.2 million times.
2. Actions speak louder than words
Skipping the “ethical” label doesn’t mean being unethical, of course. Companies must prove ethicality in their actions. “That is all that matters,” says Jones. ”Not the claim, not the label, not awards – it is the everyday, constant actions of a business and its supply chain that speak loudest about a company.”
One practical example of what companies can do is cutting out or cutting back use of single-use plastics — Lush sells many of their products “naked,” which means without any packaging. They’ve created an entire line of self-preserving soaps, shower gel, body scrubs, and body oils, all of which are zero-waste.
3. Keep all parts of your business in harmony with your core beliefs
According to Statista, Lush employed more than 12,000 global people as of 2018. A fast-growing company of that size will inevitably face challenges in keeping their branding aligned across teams.
When asked about how much Lush’s pared-back and non-braggadocious design was influenced by their simple and transparent core beliefs, Jones says: “We are a very close-knit company, so everything we do influences the vibe and direction of the business as a whole.”
Despite having zero packaging on many of their products, Lush incorporates their no-frills core beliefs into the design of their signs — minimal, black and white text — and in-store experiences, which are run by their attentive and knowledgeable staff.
Jo Evans, Lush’s head of new concept/store design for research and development (R&D), told Design Week that Lush’s ethical actions and design are what attracts people into their stores: “Now it is cool to be plastic-free, but we were ahead of the game in that respect. We are always thinking of ways to take it further.”
For the few products that do use packaging, Lush encourages customers to return to the store to bring back the empty containers: “We recycle them, chip the material down and make it back into pots,” Evans says. “If someone brings more than five pots, they get a free face mask.”
The website is likewise kept simple, making it easy for customers to find the products they want without being distracted by other offers.
4. Be bold
Finally, it’s great for companies to speak up on issues they feel strongly about, such as environmentalism. But, as Jones told TNW, “they should also ensure that their internal practices don’t add to any of the issues they are raising. Companies should be bolder in doing this and take a proactive role in speaking up about the problems in the world, rather than only get on board after there has been mainstream acceptance of a cause.”
Lush’s success and pioneering reputation are largely due to them rejecting traditional marketing practice, which Lush believes is a company’s duty: “All the problems of the world can be seen in the supply chains of companies, businesses face these issues every single day of doing trade. They know what issues there are, so they should be sorting them out, but also bringing them to the attention of the public.”
“The partnership of companies and customers all having the drive and determination to change things could be so much more powerful if only there was open dialogue more often.”
Published September 10, 2019 — 12:12 UTC
Why creativity is the most important soft skill companies look for right now
AI and machine learning are taking over, automating more and more tasks. With this technology in place, machines are producing faster and more accurate results for businesses than ever before.
As the technology evolves we’ll no longer need to deal with soul-sucking spreadsheets, hours of searching for just the right cat photo or combing through and compiling heaps of user data.
And that’s just the beginning. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Venture capitalist and technology writer Kai Fu Lee shared his prediction that AI will replace 40 percent of today’s jobs in the next 15 years. Which, he believes, doesn’t have to be bad news:
“We will end up with the inevitable outcome that large numbers of routine jobs will be eliminated and large numbers of empathetic jobs will be created.”
And this makes sense. As our tech takes over more manual tasks, it also frees up our time to spend on tasks that require human imagination and understanding.
Linkedin recently undertook a study of hundreds of thousands of job postings to find out what companies are looking for most. According to their results, the number one soft skill companies want in 2019 is creativity.
A global study by Adobe found that businesses which invest in creativity experience:
- Increased employee productivity (78 percent)
- Have satisfied customers (80 percent) and produce a better customer experience (78 percent)
- Foster innovation (83 percent) and are financially successful (73 percent)
Could tech replace human creativity?
In an age when empathy and creativity are becoming the most important skills companies are looking for, we’ve even advanced to a point where tech can produce hit songs, works of art and write credible articles.
As our technology gets smarter, will we also start to see creative professions be replaced? Will the artists, designers, musicians, and writers of the world be safe?
At the helm of a company which is bringing tech to the creative world, we spoke with Paul Robson, President of Adobe EMEA. In his view, algorithms will never ever replace the human mind:
“The fusing of technology and the human process is helping us create better products. But nothing will take away that human ability to understand the emotive connection; the link between a brand and the feeling you get when you smell something that reminds you of your childhood, hear a song you listened to as a teenager, feel the condensation on the side of a coke bottle or see a glass of wine or cold beer at the end of a long day.”
Studies show that, as tech helps us optimize customer satisfaction, the ability to create an emotional connection with consumers will actually be a company’s main competitive differentiator.
This means the more time we have to spend on tasks that require human empathy, the faster we’ll bring our companies forward. According to Robson:
“A lot of creative professionals’ time is now spent on researching, filing, pulling together different assets, collating and looking at the data. By automating these processes, technology is really unlocking and liberating the human mind, allowing us to focus more on the creative process.”
A study by Pfeiffer Consulting found that the majority of creatives aren’t worried, in fact over half were interested in the new opportunities AI and machine learning could bring.
Personalization is key
Tech-driven innovations are actually speeding up the need for human creativity. AI, machine learning and big data are now enabling brands to dig deeper into their audiences’ preferences and behaviors, allowing them to provide content which is personalized for each individual, rather than each customer segment.
Today 70 percent of creatives and marketers believe personalizing content and designs across the customer journey is important, but just 28 percent think their organization is excelling at this.
If you think about Netflix, content is being consumed through recommendations. And that recommendation engine is constantly being refined based on what you’re watching, how long you watch it, how often you watch it and even what time of the day you watch certain types of shows. So it constantly refines the way you interact with it, with the outcome being that the experience is better every time.
In fact, after using historical customer data to select it’s hit original show House of Cards, the company produced different trailers for the show that would fit different consumer interests. Depending on whether the viewer had watched more Kevin Spacey films, films directed by David Fincher or shows that focused on a strong female lead, they were shown a different trailer.
Instead of spending time creating based on intuition, creatives at Netflix were able to leverage the data to focus their talents on producing trailers that highlighted the elements consumers actually wanted to see.
A global study by SoDA and Forrester found that 56 percent of business leaders and agencies agreed, “AI technology will significantly impact the way we plan for and design customer interactions.”
While this brings great opportunities, it also comes with the inevitable need for more content. Companies now need more personalized content at an accelerated rate. This has created an explosion in demand for creatives who know how to leverage data to create more personalized customer experiences.
Research has proven that almost 2 in 3 respondents (65 percent) think good design is more important now than it was five years ago. And almost half (45 percent) of consumers say that in the past year, they’ve paid more for a well-designed product or service.
And the competition is getting more fierce than ever.
“The bar you set for your customer experiences isn’t necessarily one bank vs another or airline vs airline. It’s the best digital experience you’ve had in the past. Organizations are realizing we need to go deeper and be more personal because consumer expectations are so much higher. Organizations that aren’t embracing that quickly are moving far behind those that are,” Robson explained.
Unlocking creativity across the organization
Creativity isn’t something that only a few are born with; everyone has their own creative spark. Yet organizations continue to box people into static job roles which designate who can and should use their creativity in the workplace. Robson believes you need to consider a different approach:
“We are believers that everyone has a story to tell which means we all possess creativity skillsets. As business leaders and organizations, we should we need to think of people as ‘pro-creators’ and co-creators. Unlocking the ability for everyone in your team to help create, whether that’s through technology or collaborative projects, can exponentially accelerate innovation.”
There are a number of ways you can start fostering creativity within your organization:
- Jam sessions
Collaboration is proven to improve creative thinking. Company-wide jam sessions bring together creatives with sales, IT and customer service professionals to work on a creative project together. What you often find is that this diverse mix of perspectives often results in the most out of the box and innovative ideas. Gmail and Adsense are two products born out of Google’s own version, 20 percent time. Collaborative cloud-based tech tools can aid this process giving everyone access to a shared workspace.
- Design thinking
Design thinking is a process that has helped teams globally channel their creativity to solve customers’ problems. It requires you to use empathy to come up with creative solutions and experimentation to test and refine those ideas into viable products and services.
Technology allows us to take design theories and test them in reality by automatically tracking and recording data and benchmarking success. Instead of one team at one time benefiting from these learnings, this allows us to integrate learnings into the company’s DNA.
- Integrate creativity into front line customer jobs
Every employee, especially those who interact most with your customers, should be encouraged to use their creativity. A more diverse creative workforce brings broader perspectives, better problem-solving, and new opportunities for innovation, ultimately leading to better customer experiences.By centralizing templates and brand assets we can decentralize the creative process across the organization, while still staying on brand.
According to Robson, the next step in the integration of tech and creativity will be making it more accessible and mobile.
“The creative spark of genius doesn’t happen when you’re sitting at a computer. It happens when you’re out and about using a stylus.”
Being able to design and create on any device will enable us to be creative whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.
Voice controlled menus are also helping to unlock the learning process. If you can reduce the amount of time it takes to learn how to use the technology, you can lower the learning curve.
In the age of AI, we’re now moving towards an era in which human creativity will become a company’s biggest asset and competitive advantage. Robson agreed:
“We have this mindset around art and science that it’s either one or the other. It’s not one or the other, it’s about how the two come together to create better outcomes. Being data-driven shouldn’t inhibit creativity, it should help us unlock and enhance it.”
Published July 1, 2019 — 07:28 UTC
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