2006-2007 Website Design Trends Bring Back Humanity

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A weird looking flower that says 'I am human'

I have to say that I absolutely love where design is going. Maybe it’s because my own style doesn’t feel so out of place anymore, or maybe it’s because I’m actually a part of the cultural shift in design trends in some way or another. Either way here’s what I think characterizes current website design trends, and really design trends in general as of right now.

Colors are bold and loud or rich and immersive

STEP Inside Design’s 2006 design trends brief, puts the emphasis on bright orange and hot pink or chocolate brown and baby blue. These colors either draw you in like a great fantasy movie or slap you in the face like a comic book fight scene. And it’s definitely okay to use more than two colors.

Flowery and iconic illustration

Folks are using illustration everywhere. Cute little icons that succinctly communicate a point make stuff easier to use and understand. We’re seeing lots of elaborate patterns that adorn photographs, backgrounds, logos, and headers. We’re talking organic, hippy, ornamental stuff. This kind of illustration makes the Internet more human.

Modern + industrial + organic style

We’re moving out of the post modern style in my opinion. Things feel a little little less aggressive now. This means less and less of the bare metal kind of feel. But authentic materials are still definitely being used, they’re just different than before. Now we have soft plastics and glass effects. It’s almost like we’ve taken post-modern, made it really legible and functional, a little more sophisticated, and then slapped some humanity on top to take of the edge.

My take on why it’s happening

This is self-expression at its finest—as if to say “we are tired of being reduced to emails and phone calls, corporate gray, and boxes.” The Internet and technology in general has been so dehumanizing, impersonal, and anonymous. My take is that people are looking for something real and naturally combining it with great technology.