Episode 029

029: Should you follow design trends?

Design trends are visual elements or design systems that sweep over the web and start appearing on many different websites. As with most things, there is a time and a place to follow trends and when you’re just starting out in the industry you can feel pressure to make your designs look like the ‘professionals’. In this episode we discuss the impact trends have on our design styles and the level of attention we give to them.

"If you’re putting out good work and it’s the best solution for the project; then whether it meets the latest design trend criteria or not isn’t relevant."


Key takeaways

It’s important to be aware of design trends and their affect on our industry, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow them.

Take notes from design trends and what other designers are doing and use them as a jumping off point for your own ideas.

Following design trends can sometimes get in the way of the problem that needs to be solved. The visuals can’t be your main focus when you’re designing; the structure is more important. You should never follow a trend at the expense of answering the brief.

If you are going to use a design trend element in your design, make sure you know the reason why you’re using it. It should help you solve the problem or get the message across, not be visual noise.

Show timestamps

0:50 – Intro & catch up

5:30 – Our definition of a design trend and a chat about current trends

8:15 – How important are design trends really?

9:40 – Design trends vs common design principles

11:20 – The temptation to follow trends when you’re new in the industry

13:00 – When the trend gets in the way of the design

14:50 – Trends we’ve tried

17:00 – Trends influence our design style more than we think

20:15 – Updating websites to fit with trends

22:50 – What trends are worth giving attention to right now?

28:30 – Our listener’s thoughts on design trends

38:20 – Last words of wisdom

Show links

Getting started guide free resource

Screen printing guide

Charli’s upcoming apparel design workshop

Design Life 019: How to find inspiration

Design Life 028: Our design process

Design Life 023: Being your own worst critic

Daily UI challenge

Basecamp website

Instagram logo redesign video

Show credits

Our site: designlife.fm

Our Twitter: @DesignLifeFM


Design Life on iTunes

Our theme tune was created by the talented Camiel van Schoonhoven