UI Design Trends 2012
Trend 1: Monocolor Icon Sets
After years of gradient and bubble gum color exploitation, we will see more reduced and monochrome interfaces in 2012. Apple’s Finder sidebar started this trend in late 2011, Google followed shortly after. Windows 8 even tries to get rid of antiquated metaphors like the Rolodex address book to embrace digital natives, who may have never seen a Rolodex in real life before.
I’m not 100% sure if I like this trend. This style may provide a much more coherent and aesthetic appearance, but icons are definitely harder to recognize due to the loss of this visual hook.
Trend 2: Inline Tagging
Tagging has become a big thing for web interfaces in the last years. This year, the Berlin-based social networks Amen and EyeEm are establishing a new standard for highlighting and linking text in a sentence: Big bright colored background bars with rounded corners. The color indicates which kind of information is displayed, and of course they are easily clickable or tappable.
Trend 3: Scrolling
Scrolling has been evil for so many years: all the important informaton had to go above the fold. In the last years it has not only been accepted but also has become one of the most important user interactions besides clicking and mouseover. Facebook and Twitter use the current scroll state to load more posts when you reach the end of the page, Facebook’s Timeline feature shows an entire life on one single page. But you can also do fun stuff with your mouse wheel: Volkswagen’s new Beetle campaign alters and animates the page as you scroll.
What do you think? Do you agree? Which are your design trends in 2012?