Around this time of year, we’re always asked one question — over and over, without fail:
“So, got any plans for the holidays?”
So let’s address this one off the top. Yes, we do have plans. And while our plans vary each year, they almost always involve solemnly swearing not to overeat… and then definitely overeating.
The next-most-frequent question we’re asked around this time of year is, “which trends in your industry are going to be big in (upcoming year)?” Over the years, we’ve found that the best way to prepare for this question is to write a blog post about it. So, here are what we consider to be among the top trends in content strategy, copywriting, and UX design to keep an eye on in 2024.
1. That 90s Design…
As everyone knows, design trends tend to be cyclical — and while That 90s Show may have suffered a quick exit from Netflix, look for this bygone decade to be next in line for a resurgence.
Overall, the 90s aesthetic was about authenticity and gritty expressions of realism. You can see this in popular 90s-era styles like collaging — a rough, cut-and-paste aesthetic that involves layering and combining different kinds of imagery, textures and type.
2. Claymorphism will officially go mainstream.
This simplistic 3D design style began floating onto the scene a few years ago in select app interfaces, and its popularity has been growing steadily across the web ever since. This article in Smashing Magazine does a great job of both defining claymorphism and comparing it to the numerous other ‘morphisms’ from which it evolved.
More importantly, could 2024 be the year that trends like Claymorphism finally banish the Memphis design aesthetic once and for all — thereby making our Creative Director Cliff Persaud’s year, no matter what else happens? Only time will tell.
3. AI hype will continue to run amok.
The seemingly unstoppable hype that’s been swirling around AI tools like Chat GPT over the past couple of years shows no signs of subsiding. If anything, it’s only getting louder — despite the fact that it continues to have few applications where its effectiveness is really worth all the hype.
While its capabilities in tools like Grammarly and platforms like Vimeo are expanding, AI still has a long way to go when it comes to writing like actual humans — let alone being able to write with a truly authentic voice. If you’d like to know specifically how AI falls short, this article explains it better than anything else we’ve seen. Sadly, however, realistic assessments won’t be enough to slow down the AI hype train in 2024. (We’ve also previously weighed in on how we think AI will affect creatives.)
4. Storytelling will keep gaining believers.
Let’s face it: over-reliance on keyword-based SEO doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Neither does its shrill, annoying cousin — pay-per-click (PPC). However, we’re also seeing storytelling play a major role in content across the web, as more and more organizations are recognizing its value. It’s a trend that we believe will continue in 2024, and as longtime storytelling proponents we couldn’t be happier about this.
5. Look for interactive video content in all kinds of new places.
Interactive video is a form of digital video that allows viewers to directly engage with its content. This is usually done by clicking the frame (or touching it on a mobile device), although in some cases viewers can interact with it via typed commands.
Interactive video first gained global attention in the mid-2000s with Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ (remember it?) Other mind-blowing creative marketing efforts soon followed. Since then, its popularity has steadily grown, especially as technological innovation makes it cheaper and easier than ever to produce.
As video content continues to become more of a best practice than a trend, look for more nonprofits, educational institutions, and healthcare providers to explore interactive video in 2024. Its potential to help these organizations share more personalized service delivery, education, and marketing content is definitely there.
6. More robust CMS editing tools. Less reliance on developers.
Designing, building, and supporting Drupal and WordPress websites as we do, we’ve noticed that a growing number of clients are looking for more control over their design layouts. For example, they may not always want to contact a developer for something as straightforward as creating a new landing page.
We’re not the only ones who’ve noticed this, judging by the number of robust content editing tools that are now available. These not only give the editor more tools to create unique landing pages by reorganizing components, but they’re also more visual and intuitive than your standard editors.
Gutenberg blocks are becoming ever more popular — and have become more refined since its WordPress 5.0 release back in 2018. On the Drupal front, tools like Drupal’s Layout Paragraphs, Frontend Editing, and Layout Builder are bringing robust drag-and-drop editing to content creators.
(And if you’re thinking this is technically a development trend and not a design trend, well, check out our post on 2024 development trends.)
Wide lapels will be all the rage.
The thing about these new-year-trend-predicting posts is that there’s always the potential for some new, exciting innovation to come out of left field and take everyone by surprise. In that spirit, we also predict that interest rates will drop to, say, 3%. Fennel will be crowned as the new supreme superfood. And the Orlando Magic will win the NBA finals in a four-game sweep.
And we will definitely overeat during the holidays. It’s one prediction that has a 100% chance of being right.