Wise words from Neilsen Norman Group: you don’t always need to follow the latest design trends–but there’s an easy way to tell when you should.
In a new video, Neilsen Norman Group‘s UX specialist Katie Sherwin points to three questions any team should ask itself before following a new trend. First, what’s your budget? Do you have the resources and capacity to regularly redesign your product, be it a website or app? If you don’t, paying attention to those trends probably isn’t the best use of your money. “Trends go out of style, so what looks good right now, in eight years might not look so good,” she says. Remember what the web looked like eight years ago.
Second, does following this trend benefit your brand? Sherwin points out that some brands need to show the world that they’re innovative to support their identity as a company. Following design trends is less important if you’re in an industry like banking, where people expect reliability over trendiness.
Lastly, does the trend you’re interested in support peoples’ behavior? For instance, Sherwin points to the trend of bigger buttons–which is something that helps users because they make it easier to click on–versus the trend of low contrast text, which just makes things harder to read.
If you can answer those three questions, Sherwin believes you should have a good idea whether trying out the latest design trend is a smart idea.