Digital product design is evolving, with AI making a mark on how we create great product experiences.
Product leaders, designers and engineers have to keep up with fast-paced changes to stay ahead of the game.
As we enter 2024, here’s our predictions on key trends for the year ahead.
1. Bolder Visual Choices
After years dominated by minimalism, we anticipate a shift towards bolder visual aesthetics.
Expect brands to embrace brighter and more impactful hues. This departure from subdued tones signifies a bold leap into a palette rich with vibrant and attention-grabbing colours.
The integration of 3D and dynamic visual elements are poised to take centre stage. Notably, Apple’s OS17 has raised the bar with its support for animated icons.
“We expect to see bolder visual experiences, where rich interactivity is the new norm.”
— Victor Woode, Creative Director
2. Design Teams Embrace AI
AI will be more widely embraced by product design teams to enhance productivity.
Progressive designers are already benefiting from AI’s remarkable ability to generate wireframes, populate sample copy, and significantly expedite the design workflows.
Members of the Figma community have already built nearly 100 AI-powered plugins.
“This streamlined approach allows designers to spend more time focusing on the creative aspects of their work.”
— Fabio Luz, Senior UX Designer
3. Design for screenless interfaces.
The adoption of screenless interfaces is emerging as an exciting new part of UX design, reshaping the way that we interact with technology.
Voice-controlled assistants, gesture-based interactions, and augmented reality are becoming increasingly prevalent, challenging designers to craft interfaces that transcend the limitations of visual displays.
This paradigm shift requires a reimagining of user journeys, focusing on auditory and tactile cues to guide users through their digital experiences.
The rise of screenless interfaces not only underscores the importance of accessibility but also demands a heightened emphasis on conversational design and multisensory engagement.
“We really like the look of ai.pin by hu.ma.ne which is seeking to create joyful interactions between people and devices.”
— Ranzie Anthony, CEO
4. Inclusive design made easy
As technology continues to infiltrate every facet of daily life, there is a renewed focus on accessibility for everyone.
In the UK, a staggering 24% of the population grapples with some form of disability, while in the U.S., approximately 60 million people navigate their daily lives with similar challenges.
In response to this, a New York-based startup, Stark, has launched a product that offers a suite of integrated accessibility tools helping developers speed up their accessibility workflows.
Stark makes use of in-app integrations with industry-standard design tools such as Adobe and Figma. It empowers designers to create accessible interfaces for diverse audiences, ensuring that aesthetics and functionality are not compromised.
The overarching goal is not merely compliance with accessibility standards but a genuine commitment to improving the overall user experience.
“Designers are breaking down barriers and making digital spaces more welcoming and navigable for all”
— Scott Chown, Design Director
5. Product Design matures as a discipline
The coming year is poised to see a surge in demand for more versatile product designers.
Organisations are seeking a more holistic approach to UX design, led by professionals who can navigate various facets, from growth hacking and behavioural psychology through to strong visual and interaction design.
This evolution reflects a convergence of business acumen, strategic thinking, and design expertise.
It’s part of the reason at Athlon, our team consists of designers, strategists, behavioural marketers and technologists who bring a diverse range of experiences to each project.