Do we need new things to look at on our screens? Visual design, the demi-god of the arts, will beseech you with how an interface looks and feels. Friendly, soft, cool, bold — all these attributes can be conveyed through interface design. Visual design will bedazzle you with color, shape, texture.
It has been suggested that we are crawling along a cultural glacier. What comes after “flat design”? Should we wring hands in the fear that we have reached the pinnacle of aesthetic realization? Are we all chasing after the shiny, the new, the different for no apparent reason at all?
Reject this thought. Design must be about more than looks alone, or it is nothing but an exercise in satisfying the creator. Design, above all, must communicate. In an moment where there is much anxiety over the next style of interface design, we must drive forward with relentless exploration.
We should identify where communication breaks down in our current interfaces. When exploring style, we should ask “what if?” If we have two numbers and must choose one of them, can we choose a number in between? A decimal? A negative number? Hybrids, juxtapositions, and micro-innovations can all point is toward an answer. We should overshoot in the hopes of landing somewhere in the middle.
Fix the thinking, get to work, and the product will follow. We are humans, and we must explore. Process wins.