Anybody can predict the trends of the present year, or even the next. AIGA, however, has polished up the ol’ crystal ball to come up with its “Designer of 2015 Trends” as identified by designers.
1. ‘Wide and Deep: Meta-disciplinary study and practice.’ A fancy way of saying that we’re going to have to know about and study more than design if we want to hack it in the global marketplace. A greater familiarity with the social sciences and the humanities is strongly encouraged.
2. ‘Expanded scope: Scale and complexity of design problems.’ Designers need to anticipate the problems inherent in communicating with people of various social and economic backgrounds, as well as over various platforms, before they actually become problems.
3. ‘Targeted messages: A narrow definition of audiences.’ Producing design for a broad audience is a thing of the past. The future lies in tailoring your message for niche audiences, even when those niche audiences are distributed throughout the globe. Sensitivity to cultural taboos and mores, as well as an understanding of how your message will be understood by different cultures, are paramount.
4. ‘Break through: An attention economy.’ Successful design will continue to mean design that’s able to compete with an increasing number of other messages with which your audience is being bombarded.
5. ‘Sharing Experiences: A co-creation model.’ An age where everybody is in the business of producing content, whether it’s on a personal blog, Twitter or Facebook, means designers should see their audience as “co-creators.”
6. ‘Responsible outcomes: Focusing on sustainability.’ Innovative design in a world of limited resources is what is meant here. ‘Responsible outcomes embody ethical issues, social need, global imperatives and the unique contribution of design thinking.’ (We’re not sure what this last point means, but it sounds mighty noble.)