It’s 2022, the world is slowly emerging from two years of on-and-off lockdowns and restrictions. Yet, you’ve not only become accustomed, but are rather inclined to the ease of spending your days working from home at your laptop, dressed in a button-down shirt and sweatpants. Perhaps, this may be because the world through a screen almost seems like a kinder, happier, compassionate, and empathetic place.
As a result of the past two years’ lack of social interaction, we have become an emotionally stunted society. We almost exclusively seek emotional support and validation through the digital world, whether it be from brands, friends, or acquaintances on social media. Thus, the demand for empathetic design was birthed.
Personal touches of emotion are essential and demanded by consumers. Prompted by a collective of socio-cultural movements in the past few years, this shift in design is allowing graphic designers to reflect brands in a softer and kinder way. This has been put into practice with the use of softer colors schemes, serif fonts, and delicate illustrations and elements.
While there is a certain emphasis on creating designs that make you feel soft and warm inside, it’s more than that. Today, the norm means normalizing inclusivity and accessibility as a given. Digital designers are presumed to check website readability for those who are colorblind, structured to all devices, and accessible in regions with poor infrastructure.
Characterized by the post-digital age, it is more relevant than ever for designs to reflect feelings of comfort, empathy, and the emotional support that we have found online.