When it comes to design trends, it can be difficult to know where a “trend” starts and where it ends. With so many aspects to design – from interior design to digital design to fashion design and more – there is a huge overlap between the trends that cross all of these genres of design and that’s what makes design so interesting and so universal.
It seems that each design discipline takes inspiration from another, and one of the biggest trends we are seeing right now is the crossover between digital design and interior design. It’s unclear which discipline is having the biggest influence over the other, but one thing is for sure – we are definitely seeing trends emerging across the two design disciplines that showcase the influence they are having on each other.
What is digital design?
Digital design is a type of visual communication that presents information or a product or service through a digital interface. Put simply, it’s graphic design made specifically to be used on computers.
It is not, however, simply a case of taking something that has been graphically designed and making it available online. It is design that has been specifically crafted for digital viewing. Today, that typically means designing for online platforms such as websites and apps. It also means that digital design has to consider the various devices that design might be consumed on, including mobile phones, tablets and desktop devices.
When considering the difference between traditional graphic design and digital design, put simply, graphic design is for print products and digital design is for digital content.
Of course, this is an oversimplification – in reality, there is a huge overlap between graphic and digital design and many digital designs rely on skills from the graphic designer’s playbook, such as brand implementation and typographical layout.
What is interior design?
As the name suggests, and according to Ara University in New Zealand, “interior design is the art and science of enhancing interior spaces to achieve functional, healthy and aesthetically pleasing environments for the people using these spaces.”
Whilst it is widely believed that the main role of an interior designer to select the colours, fabrics, and furniture that will bring an interior space to life, there is much more to interior design than those three design elements.
Interior design is about research, planning, coordinating, and managing interior design projects and designers will often have to work with architects and construction professionals to achieve the desired outcome for the project.
Interior design is a creative profession, however, those wishing to pursue a career in interior design must also have a technical background to understand how items will work within specific spaces, sometimes working with architects to envisage a space before it has even been constructed.
Today, there is a lot of digital design work involved in interior design, and a lot of specialist software is required in order to bring an interior designer’s ideas to life for a customer including computer aided design and 3D modelling.
How is digital design influencing interior design?
Whilst the overall design of something – the end product – is the thing that we see, the process for how designers get to that end product is also something that digital and interior design has in common.
If we think back a decade or even 20 years, website designs were cluttered and full of bright colours, different fonts and an assortment of images. Jump forward to 2022, and we now see that the best websites tend to be clean, uncluttered and easy to navigate.
In much the same way, interior design trends are leaning towards an uncluttered look, with clean lines and colours that make the transition from one room to another – much like the transition from one webpage to another – a seamless one.
One of the first things that a digital designer will do with a new website is look to “clean house” and remove all the unnecessary noise from the site that detracts from the main goal of the website – to convert the user into a paying customer. The first steps of creating an uncluttered interior design are much the same – remove the unwanted furnishings that add “noise” to the design and create a clean, refreshed space from which to work.
For interior designers, inspiration is all around them. Whenever they go online and browse a website, they are literally being bombarded with design ideas – both good and bad – that can help to shape the way they design the interior of a home or commercial space.
As the amount of time we spend online continues to increase, digital designers are having wo work harder to ensure that the websites and apps they are creating stand out in a crowded space.
Online users are hard to please. If a site loads too slowly, they immediately leave and find a site that loads quickly. If they can’t find the information they are looking for immediately on a page, they will bounce back and find a site that meets their needs.
That’s why websites are becoming less cluttered and instead, focussing on making it easy for visitors to find the information they want and then take the next desired action, whether that’s clicking to read more information, or adding something to their shopping cart.
There are some industries that are doing it well. Websites like Betway Casino tend to stick to intuitive designs, often with a bright font colour on a dark background. Vibrancy and design come through the range of online slots and table games that can easily and regularly be updated by the casino platform. Games like Starburst, Cleopatra, and Thunderstruck II demonstrate that flexibility – each has its own unique theme and colours, and the platform’s colour scheme helps this to stand out.
TV streaming platforms are another great example of this approach. Think of leading streaming sites in Australia including Netflix and Stan and the things they have in common – clean lines, dark colours, bold branding and easy navigation. All of this is made possible through digital design and whilst interior designers may not go down the route of black walls and red features like Netflix, the principles are the same, no matter the colours a designer uses.
Great design, whether that’s digital or interior, comes from an understanding of the need to deliver an outstanding customer experience. All designers are looking for someone to see something for the first time and say “wow”. Whether that’s walking into a room for the first time or landing on a webpage, you want customers to be wowed by the experience and that’s why there is so much crossover between design disciplines and why they will continue to influence each other moving forward.