The product design industry is set for bigger and better things in 2019. As the New Year quickly approaches, there are already predictions and forecasts for what the world of product design will look like next year. In 2018, augmented reality, minimalistic less-is-more styles, and print branding were staple trends.
We don’t doubt that these will continue into next year, but what else will take centre stage in 2019, especially as the design industry is predicted to expand and grow by $162 million by 2022? Sustainable product innovation is becoming more crucial, and functionality will come to the forefront as a major focal point.
As always, technology will be a big part of product design and next year it looks as though the industry will highlight further that a piece of technology is about more than its aesthetics. The functionality of devices is of equal if not greater importance. This welcome trend will continue, with several new smartphones and internet of things smart technology competing for market share.
Putting the spotlight on functionality instead of only the features and design is likely to be a big talking point. Especially now the internet of things is controlling more and more – like household utilities, transport, and even beauty products. It illustrates that functionality is a core component for 2019 and with more technology being introduced to the home, work, as well as leisure.
UX design will continue to be refined in 2019. In 2018 we saw more and more technology becoming interconnected through the internet of things, with brands like Hoover and home management systems like Hive pushing for interconnected appliances and connectivity innovations we can expect this trend to further continue into 2019.
As well as interconnectivity through the internet of things, via smart speakers and smart home devices. We would like to see more products and devices designed without planned obsolescence in mind. Recently Apple has found that more people are keeping hold of their devices and repairing them as opposed to buying new ones. As the price of newer products continues to rise we can expect the more thrifty repair culture to flourish, however, manufacturers will be looking to capitalise in on this with their own repair schemes.
In a bid to do more to preserve the environment, the product design industry needs to take on more responsibility. Although quality means less waste, it doesn’t mean that the materials won’t end up being disposed of at some point down the line. Although waste is synonymous with packaging design such as coffee cups, straws, and single-use plastic containers, the challenge of sustainability for brands and the planet alike will (rightly so) get more and more attention.
Technology is becoming another disposable item, to throw away, similar to that of fast fashion. There’s no doubt that sourcing and using materials that don’t harm the environment, either when they are no longer usable or the cost to the planet to produce them, will become an even higher priority of product design in the new year and beyond. Hopefully, this particular trend will prevail.
As the year comes to a close, there will no doubt be further developments and more trends to come.