The Future of Web and Mobile Design: Mitch Maltese

With CES in the books and clients looking forward to what’s on the horizon with 2014 and beyond, I decided to sit down and interview some of Accella’s leading minds to se what they see coming up in 2014 and beyond.

Today I sat and talked with Art Director, Mitch Maltese.

Sam: Hi there, Mitch. Thanks for sitting down with me today. To start off, I want to ask – what do you think 2014 will see in terms of design?

Mitch: To put it simply, an exploration and refinement of flat design. I think it’s going to become much more mainstream now that Apple used it for iOS 7. A focus on typography will be key along with more simplified color palettes and refinements of visual elements.

Additionally, we’ll an expansion of the pool of interfaces that will need design work. Web and mobile is expanding to wearable tech, in home appliances and devices, automobiles, and beyond.

S: Going off of that, do you think flat design will be a “pack leader” in terms of how the web and mobile apps will look?

M: Well, flat design has been building and leading for sometime now. I think we’ll stay in the adaptation phase for part of 2014, seeing a lot of businesses implement redesigns of their websites and applications. Responsive layouts will continue to improve as well as the content they contain – designers and content creators are becoming more adept at blending the needs of both mobile and desktop users.

It’s also worthwhile to note that print and web have long had a collaborative relationship. Electronic media has borrowed many concepts from print like the mast head, the fold theory, and the columned layouts. The value of those three items in the web environment will be challenged as responsive takes over.

S: As a designer, what do you think the biggest change to your job will be?

M: Flat design forces you to focus on the most important elements of the design. With other design styles, the content didn’t get as much attention because you had to spend all your time on the wrapper – you know, making the background of the webpage look like an airplane cockpit, or designing around a big image carousel. With flat design, we’re focusing on essential content. For me and every other designer, we’re able to spend more time on choosing a nice font, size, leading, kerning, getting the colors right. We’re focusing on access and usability more than the decoration.

S: What advice would you share to current and prospective clients?

M: For pre-design questions, nothing’s really changed- you still need to determine what your goals, are, who your audience is, and what delivery platforms you want to use. If anything could be added, it’d be more of a focus on what is the most essential content to include for your website or app. The big emphasis has been and will continue to be accessibility and usability for all users.

Our look ahead to 2014 and beyond will continue next week with discussions with:

  • Shannon Garrahy talking about web development, Drupal & WordPress
  • Jacob Haskins discussing mobile development
  • Jeff Sharp with new ways of quality assurance for web & mobile
  • John Rainey talking all about what he saw at CES
  • Jason King with his executive level look at what’s happening in 2014
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Sam Allen

Sam Allen

Samuel is something of a marketing Swiss Army knife. He enjoys helping clients build their web presence and visual identity through design, SEO, and good ol' fashioned content. A photographer by trade, he's had work published in the New York Times and the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

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