The Blank Slate: Where is Design Going?

The Blank Slate: Where is Design Going?

Some of us started years ago as print designers, and either by choice or by force we converted from print to digital design and web technologies. And from the web we’re now converting to mobile devices. It’s where the industry has lead us. It’s ever growing and ever changing, and your ability as a designer to adapt to that change directly effects your success. Where we are now, as an industry, and where we are going in the coming years is likely two very different places.

What will be the next evolution in design? The next great platform for communication? The next step in user experience? I often wonder about these things, and I ask myself what will I be designing 5 to 10 years from now. Will I still use a computer in its current form or will it be something entirely different? This leads to the bigger question…

Where is the Design Industry Heading?

What do WeGraphics readers think? I want to know what kind of changes you’ve had to adapt to in your career and where you think we’re going in the future (short term and long term). Use the comment fields below to express your thoughts with the community on this topic.

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.


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  1. I think design is going to get so involved in the future as commercialism takes over the world!!!! haha.

  2. *consumerism sorry!

  3. I think the future will belong to mobile design, for years. People wants to quickly navigate, buy online, interact everywhere, and what’s better than a smartphone to do this?

  4. Well I think mobile and desktop will live on. However for the tablets, I think it’s just a fab right now….

    • Hi Igor,

      I see a GREAT potential in the tablets (I’m speaking of the iPad of course, I don’t see other competitive tablets in the market at the moment). When they were launched I was sure they were a failure, but after 1 year I think the opposite. Designers like us will always need a desktop, or a super laptop, but people who doesn’t use tool like Photoshop can certainly replace desktop and laptop with tablets.

  5. I believe design will become easier due to technology. I think that within 5 years, tech companies (Mac+Adobe?) will produce the first design program developed for touch-screen only use. It will be used on a touch whiteboard and we’ll use our fingers to do everything, meaning we can multi-touch & multi-task. This will allow us to design faster, better, and experiment more because it’s become faster & easier to ‘go out on a limb’ with an idea and start from scratch if it didn’t work out, without committing hours to it.

    Tech is becoming more user-friendly and that will open up design to the general public, and we may have to compete. User interfaces are getting so good these days, soon enough anyone who downloads a ‘design app’ for their “iBoard” can design for themselves instead of hiring. This means a lot of terrible designs will be pushed out by the public/DIY entrepreneurs/beginners, but nonetheless, it will create pressure on current designers to continue to innovate and redefine the industry as it matures.

    But even if everyone has the tools to design… you still need the ‘eye.’

    That will never change.

  6. Will Johnson

    The pendulum swings, and fads will live and die, I can see a demand for the handmade and added meaning. Photoshop will be used for comps and then the real project begins. Using adobe to make haphazard collages then slapping on your folded paper texture cannot be the future. As a compromise more advanced tablets and interactive media will likely dominate, art you can see and move, listen to and touch on a screen that simulates texture to give people a stronger connection. I pray for the return for the analog but realistically we will just find better ways to sample, bringing a new forms of reality to all users at the push of a button!

  7. Chris

    Well, I know I am a few years late answering your question, but I think it would interesting for others to see what has changed from 2011 to now (2013).

    Tablets are now popular and competition is getting tight. So furthering user interface design on mobile webpages is a must in order to stay on top of the market. But from now on I believe that simplicity and speed is key. Who’s webpage can load faster? How much content do you have to read or navigate through to get the answer your looking for? Those are the questions we need to ask ourselves now.

    As far as technology, Mobile devices will dominate for awhile. In the next 10 to 20 years though, technology will evolve into using your wall or tabletop as computers. The further we develop OLED technology and cheaper it becomes, the more use of blank surfaces we can mobilize. Even brain wave technology could be utilized in our lifetime. Imagine, you can Google search something by merely thinking it.

    Until then, we need to focus on user interface and speed.

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