This post was written by
Chloe Canella

IntuiFace and the User Experience Trends of 2017 - Trend #7: Retro & Brutalism

IntuiFace and the User Experience Trends of 2017 - Trend #7:  Retro & Brutalism
This is the seventh article in our series about the top user experience trends of 2017 and how to implement them in IntuiFace.

User Experience Trend # 7 – Retro & Brutalism

Retro & Brutalism: What are they?

Retro design is back. You’ve probably already seen the return of Polaroid-style pictures and vinyl record players for some time now. Well this trend is making its move into design for websites and apps. A 1970's style for sure but also an 80's graphic style with neon colors and metal textures, palm tree backgrounds and anything that reminds us of of-so-cool Miami Vice. (If not already clear, this is to be distinguished from a "vintage" look which can harken back a century or more.)

You can even generate an 80s text effect and background with this Retro Wave Generator

The extremists in this design trend are the Brutalists: they yearn for a Web without any concessions to design ,  just like the simple text-and-link websites of the early 90s. You can see examples of this drastic design trend here:

Retro & Brutalism: When to use them?

This may be one of the hardest trends to adopt as it demands an all-or-none approach. And because it sends a message, it's likely there are few cases where you can actually pull off going retro or brutalist. That said, some websites have managed to do so like the Washington Post or Craigslist.

  • Consider a brutalist design if you don’t want your experience to be judged for the aesthetics, bringing all focus to your content or message.
  • Retro design should be used if you'd like to add a sense of nostalgia or humor. Bringing the user back to (or enabling them to discover) this bygone era.

If you want to take the brutalist or retro route, you’re going to have to accept that your design might be called “ugly” by some. (Ok maybe by the majority, let’s be honest.)

Think big, bold blocks of colors, gradients, large amounts of “white space” (though it doesn’t have to be white) and you’re on the right track.

‍Common brutalist colors

Retro & Brutalism: How to use them in IntuiFace?

With the brutalist trend, forget (almost) everything you’ve learned about design. In fact, do the complete opposite. Think of the most default, generic styles you can have for a website like blue underlined links, Times New Roman types of fonts, white or black backgrounds.

For the retro trend, you can have a bit more fun. This kind of design actually goes well with games like quizzes, giving them an air of fun.


Chloe Canella
Chloe Canella

I'm IntuiLab's Customer Success Manager, here to help you succeed and create awesomeness with IntuiFace. 

Guest Blogging
Interested in writing for our blog? Click the button below:
Write for us!
All Articles ➜

What's Intuiface?

The world's premier platform for creating, deploying, measuring, and managing interactive digital experiences without writing one line of code.