3-D illustration

Designers are not satisfied with Slack’s innovative illustration style; instead, they want to add realism, organic shapes that are meant to blur the lines between digital and physical, and ultimately add depth. Brands like Stripe or Pitch help designers by adding new forms of illustration like 3D. This only increases the contrast between digital products and people, even when connected by imaginary spaces where people can manipulate digital elements such as graphics and symbols. This trend was unsustainable because of the high cost, but now, as Pinch Studio explains, the technology is at a point where you can design in 3D without very powerful equipment, opening the doors for many more designers. As 2020 progresses, 3D web models will become more common and attract many users.

Because of these changes, I expect more designers and developers to use 3D technology for graphic design and interaction. User interaction is intensified by drawing all of our senses into the experience.

Machine learning in the browser

Last year the topic of machine learning got debated quite a lot and should step into the front-end development world. Libraries like Brain.js and TensorFlow.js have made running auto-learn in the browser a reality, so that a model can be built or a pre-trained model can be run right in the browser. Manual learning is easily accessible and works on all devices. It’s highly interactive, with access to microphone, camera, GPS, mouse input, and more. This input data can be executed via an automatic learning model to improve applications and add new functions. The aijs.rocks website offers a range of creative but also fun applications such as deep drum that perform machine learning in the browser to generate continuous drum patterns. Executing machine learning on the client side offers other advantages in addition to the extremely interactive nature of the browser.

Algorithmic design

Designing is becoming more and more automated now which means traditional web designs are getting old. As a result, algorithms can help us avoid the drudgery so that we can spend more time being creative. These tools have the potential to extend the design process through automation so that the designer’s creativity can flourish. This combined approach has the advantage that designers no longer have to follow the guidelines and save valuable time so that they can focus on the creative aspects, and that systems can be designed that traditional tools cannot do. Rune Madsen, who wrote the digital book Programming Design Systems, points out that not everything has to be created with tools like Figma, InDesign or Photoshop. We can design workflows that can combine traditional and custom tools for your project so you can work much faster and get better results.

Websites that respond to the user’s situation

We may soon have a site that is correctly responding to the device, user input, or environment, whether that is to improve usability or accessibility. Developer Mandy Michael has met a number of new sensor bees that we can use to create useful, new and very interesting experiences for the web using features such as device orientation and speech recognition. The ambient light sensor, supported behind a flag in Google Chrome, is increasingly being implemented. These ambient light sensors can be found in all types of devices such as televisions, laptops, or cell phones. They are used to measure the amount of ambient light in the room. This can reduce the brightness of the screen in low-light environments to reduce eye strain. APIs can be used to create more compelling stories on the web depending on the current light level of the room the user is in. You can also improve the legibility of the text in poor lighting conditions.


Protecting a user’s privacy is important to building trust in an increasingly volatile and unreliable web. While big tech companies have been abusing this for a while, GDPR is a solution that has got off to a good start. Much remains to be done, however.

Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the global network, has created a framework that supports governments and companies alike in respecting and protecting privacy and data on the Internet. Another framework worth seeing is privacy by design. There are many promising tools that we can use to learn more about our projects, such as: B. Commento or Fathom Analytics. Of course, there are also privacy-oriented tools such as Firefox, Keybase, etc.

Speculative design

Digital design designer and conference director Collison Simon believes the web no longer feels like an open space for daring interaction and visual creativity. It goes beyond the comfort zone to speculative design and issues that influence future thinking. Speculative design represents resourceful research and an opportunity to create new narratives and signals. Simon admits that there are concerns in this area as many designers face potentially gentrifying speculative design and that it is being misunderstood, packaged, and marketed as design thinking. He also believes it will provide a new space for digital practitioners to openly collaborate with artists, architects, etc. This creates prototypes of new experiences that create very useful conversations that everyone is interested in, but not those affected by the new technologies. In this way we can put these ideas into ethical practice, and if done with great care, this work could change the world for the better.


As the web matures, both developers and designers need to become more responsible. Trends aren’t just about immersive 3D experiences or the latest frameworks. This article examined some interesting trends in machine learning, automation and design, and methods like speculative design. Hopefully some of these trends will play out this year so that we can build the websites we really want.