Design Humor

Terrible UX Trends for 2017

Pay attention, these are going to take over the UX universe.

Christian Beck
Feb 7, 2017 · 6 min read

🔥 Hot New UX Techniques

Greyer Grays

Instagram blew away the design world by redoing their app in black and white. It was as if we had never seen those two colors paired together in our entire lives.

Instagram 3.0

This year it’s all about grays getting greyer. A recent scientific survey we just published shows some compelling statistics:

Got a lot of DM’s wondering why the hell we asked this pointless question.

Look at that. Designers everywhere prefer grey over gray. If you are still using gray this year, then start looking for another job. You’re unhireable.

Scrollbars in virtual reality

Remember when you had to turn your head to see that giant shark behind you? Not any more. Just focus your eyes on that scrollbar and blink to scroll left/right. Bob your head to do a parallax scroll. Just don’t scroll-jack someone’s VR headset: This could cause permanent injury.

Origami Prototyping

Paper prototyping is a thing you learned in school and still talk about like it’s useful at parties. But nowadays those enthralling stories about how you stood outside a Starbucks and paid people to “test” your paper prototype for a bocce ball streaming app are met with eye-rolls 🙄

This is where origami prototyping comes in. If you want to really test your prototype without using a screen you’ll need to become an expert in origami shapes that mimic the soft drop shadows you plan to use. If you think you’re going to use texture in your skeuomorphic design, what better way than folding textured parchment paper?

The new Pokémon Go app coming out in 2017

Hot new job titles

Everyone loves job titles. When we’re not busy having job titles, we spend time talking about them. Or writing articles about them. Here’s a sneak peak at some new job titles that are sure to shatter Glassdoor with inflated salary ranges that you can quote during your next interview!

Principal Design System Architect

In the past, designers used to focus on screens, or user flows. Sometimes they would mock things up in “high fidelity” and hand them off to dev to help them build software. But this is basic shit now. You can design a bot to do all this boring work for you.

Leaked prototype of Adobe’s new Design Bot CC™

In 2017, the best designers will use design systems. These are pages and pages of controls, colors, and fancy gridlines that show how something should be designed but not ACTUALLY designed.

Principle Designer

It gets misspelled so often it is now a real title. Yes, this means that as a true “Principal Designer” you won’t get to correct people. However, you’re now charged with ethics and morals of your design team. You know…principles. You won’t critique design. Instead you will simply pose hypothetical questions challenging other designers to think about how your work “fits into company values.” You will also say things like, “We have a deeper mission here, you guys. It goes beyond pixels and RGB values. We are making a difference in the world.”

Sketch Runner

Behind every great Principle Designer is a great Sketch Runner. This person is learning the ropes on how to be a great designer by printing out designs on paper, and then literally running them down the hall to development to be coded. There is no functional reason for this role but it’s a necessary addition for any design team that wants to have interns but doesn’t have any actual work to give them. Sketch Runners, while often unpaid, will earn plenty of sweat equity in the long run.


Associate Eye Trackers

The field of eye tracking is so damn important you can’t just start “dabbling” in eye tracking any more. You also won’t become Amy Adams in Arrival right out of the gate.

In time, young eye tracker. In time.

You will start by simply tracking people’s hand gestures. Are users flipping you off? Are they slamming their keyboards in disgust? These are just a few things Associate Eye Trackers will learn to pick up on as they set out on the long path to become Senior Eye Trackers.

Drone Choreographer

Man these things are so hot, we probably need to write an article about what they CAN’T DO…the first thing I’d have to cross off the list is, “serve as the backdrop behind a flying Lady Gaga.” I thought for sure they couldn’t do that. Boy was I wrong!

Fun fact: Drones are not fooled by poker faces. God Bless America!

Think of anything you want to design this year and then imagine it with drones. Here are a couple of freebies for those that still don’t see the tremendous value these drones provide:

  • A Facebook drone to follow you around and live stream your life. Like.
  • A Twitter drone that literally follows other people around. In new versions, this drone can question people’s political views then berate them so you don’t have to do it in person (because you probably wouldn’t).
  • Uber Drone. It doesn’t pick you up but it can pick up other little things. Like the car keys you left sitting across the room.

That’s all I got. The rest is up to your imagination.

Design Mega Trends

Mega trends are really trendy. They are trends of trends. But this year the mega trends are going to get even more mega. By the end of the year we’re gonna need another adjective to describe them.

Without further ado, here are the new JUMBO trends for 2017. Use these or else face unending scrutiny on Dribbble.

Askew-morphic Design

Forget parallel lines. And any sense of order. Designs in 2017 will have no right angles whatsoever. If they do, people will tweet about how unimaginative and “unoriginal” you are. You will be measured more by the number of different angles you use and less by the numbers of color.

Flat VR design

Remember those terrible gradients and shading techniques that tried to make virtual reality look real? Yuck. Gross. Ew. Now everything is flat.

Virtual Reality will be more like a South Park show than Kubo and the Two Strings. You will finally start to see designs that help people escape this awful 3-D reality we are forced to live in everyday.

Before and after a VR Redesign I’m doing with our Principle Designer.

Brutal Design

This is a lot like Brutalist design but even uglier. It’s like Tilda Swinton playing Sylvester Stallone in a biopic. How will you pull this off?

Color will be used sporadically. No fills or strokes. Just splatters of random color tossed like one of those trendy “color runs” all these damn millennials keep doing to trick themselves into thinking they’re living healthy lifestyles.

At the end of the run, you inhale carcinogenic (but colorful!) chemicals

Real-Life Conversational UI

It’s you talking in person to another human.

A mockup for a new project I’m working on for eHarmony (using a Bootstrap theme in Sketch).

Alright, that’s all you need to know for 2017! It’s already February so I hope for your sake you are already aware of most of these trends. And remember if you want to make any mean comments, pump brakes mean girl.

My favorite designer response from 2016

When I’m not writing, I’m working on Sketch design tools like UX Power Tools to make you a better, more efficient designer. All the best Sketch designers are using it, and I think you might like it, too. Check it out on Marvel!

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UX Power Tools

A publication for designers, written by designers.

Christian Beck

Written by

By day, executive designer at Innovatemap where I help tech companies design marketable products. By night, co-founder of UX Power Tools.

UX Power Tools

A publication for designers, written by designers.