Monks on bridge Snapseed


2019 Design Trend: Designs focused on human well-being

We headed to Myanmar’s famous U Bein Bridge in the late afternoon to catch the sunset. Many tourists and locals were there for the same reason, as was this monk taking a sunset-selfie with her friend.

I think of this scene now, and it reminds me of how technology discussions sometimes take on a moral tone. Is the smart phone “robbing” us of time and well-being?  Is the internet “ruining” our social skills? Are robots “stealing” our jobs?  

Today I read about design trends for 2019, and I am encouraged to know that we are heading toward more human-centric, warm, organic vision.

Here is one article I enjoyed from Fast Company

Some quotes that got my attention from the article:

“In 2019, I believe design needs to be the answer to that escape. We need to take a hard look in the mirror and hold ourselves accountable to the unintended consequences of rapid innovation. Do we need 1 million new apps a year? Do we need to design for constant engagement? Do we need to live in the corners of Dark UX? We do not. We need to be more intentional and design experiences that support cognitive sustainability for individuals, groups, and society. It’s time now for designers to take on this ethical responsibility. The biggest design trend will be a return to mindfulness and focus.” —Albert Shum, corporate VP of design, Microsoft 

“The often-simplistic love affair of the tech world with clean, simple, and emotionally subdued design is coming to a slow, yet clear end. Such formulaic serene Sameness is no longer a valid risk-averse strategy as more and more companies understand that brand building requires a distinguished aesthetic with an emotional point of view. The shift to more emotional, expressive design is even felt at the leadership of the tech world: be it Google hardware designers coalescing around a decidedly warmer, more human approach to personal electronics or the growth of Lyft, while adopting a playful visual language.” —Gadi Amit, founder, NewDealDesign

Designing with the aim of helping people to achieve their goals, to have healthier, more social, more fulfilling lives, is a great direction for designers of all disciplines. We look forward to seeing what 2019 will bring!


Yumi Zaic