To me, part of the job of a designer is being open and empathetic to your users - not trends.
If the users you are designing for are young and your app is social, you should try to understand snapchat and related trends. If not, ignore it.
My advice would be to focus on who you're designing for. Limit the scope of who you are serving and concentrate on them. It's not your job to react to a design from your own perspective. Understand and empathize with the target audience and try to react as they would. You could argue more experience (older) makes designers better at this.
I totally agree. I think this is one of the greatest challenges in this domain
Exactly, its something you can't really ignore anyway. I wouldn't call it trend but rather change and change is inevitable ... things needs to get better. You just have to adjust
If you claim not to "get" Snapchat, then the answer is yes.
I'm not sure what there is to "get" about Snapchat. I'm not a huge fan of it, but I certainly understand the concept behind it.
I think (and I hope) we are entering in a new stage in design. Or at least I believe new ways of designing products are going to emerge.
In the 90s, software was for nerds. Nerds were willing to invest energy in learning how to use software, were willing to read documentation and fail a couple of times in order to complete a task.
After the dot com bubble, software designers tried to reach a larger audience, so software was made easy to use. The entry point needed to be easy, so users wouldn't get scared. Every action needed to be intuitive, so users would stick.
Today, there's apps for almost everything. Communication with friends was a problem solved by Messenger and Whatsapp. Those products have excellent user experiences.
Snapchat is a game. Games are not supposed to be easy to use, you need to learn how to use them. That's what makes them fun. And the more you use them, the more fun you have.
I'm happy as designers we are not only solving problems anymore. Actually, we don't need to be the ones that solve the problem in a most efficient way. We can choose to design to make users feel.
Old guy here. Been doing this for the last 15 years. While a bunch of you up-and-coming whipper-snappers are struggling with "imposter syndrome", us crusty old dudes can't sleep at night because our knee hurts and we feel like we're losing touch... With that said, here's my comment I posted on Omri's blog:
"@Jeff Haha, remember MySpace? Business leaders and designers were actually starting to question if "Ugly Design" was a thing, and if maybe we should start adopting it. But then Facebook. THANK GOD. Can't wait to see what Snapchat's Facebook moment will be...
What honestly worries me though, is losing touch with value. When Twitter came out, I ate it up— I LOVED IT. Many of my older friends were clueless, they simply could not understand what the draw was. I found myself evangelizing it to them, but to no avail. Now, just like Omri, I feel exactly like those older clueless friends when someone tries to get me to use Snapchat. I'm absolutely clueless about Snapchat. Why would anyone use this service when you could simply text, or go on twitter?
I can force myself to learn new design patterns and new design trends, but how the hell do I force myself to value something, or how do I force myself to understand someone else's perceived value of some new thing? That scare's me shitless, because as a product designer, if you can't figure out what's valuable to someone, then you gotta pack your bags and head home. Yes I know, doing your homework and user research is key and will help, but it can go only so far. There's a point at which you feel like you're on the outside, and that feeling terrifies me."
Snapchat's value might only be apparent to the youngest app users but that doesn't mean you can't find value in products that appeal to other age groups. Look at spotify, waze, etc - their value is much broader. I don't think you should pack your bags when you don't get the latest things the kids are doing. The world is a much larger place.
Young people don't have much reference for determining what makes a certain activity valuable, as long as they see other people doing it they'll jump on board. The older you get though, the more you tune out what essentially amounts to noise, hence you not "getting" snapchat. You've probably decided on a subconscious level that there are more important things to do.
The struggle is real though. Being expected to have your finger on the pulse of the tech world but thinking its just a waste of time is a tough position for a designer these days.
I don't know where to start, but I was surprised that you used the term "stubborn minimalistic-design-douchebag".
I'd like to say that design is not about chasing trends. There is no such things like old design or new design, but just good design and bad design. Why do you think only one style existing in one era? What do you think about this image? Surely this image is older than the current minimalist design movement, but minimalist graphic design has existed since at least 80 years ago.
Don't forget, UI/UX design is like a fleeting time compared to the whole history of graphic design.
Design shouldn't be about mindlessly chasing trends, for sure, but design also has to work with people's expectations and requirements. So there's always a need to bridge the classic principles of design with the contexts and requirements of the present day.