2018 Product Trend: Dimensional Layers

Posted by Sara, on January 11, 2018

Dimensional layers add dynamic elements to the traditionally flat look we’ve seen in the past. This trend will become more prevalent as we move toward merging a digital interface with our physical world.

What We've Seen

Wrapping flat graphics around photographs can turn once static UI into dynamic
elements, pleasing to the eye. 

Emerging technology’s emphasis and need for great digital UX, and in making more aspects of the user experience pop online as more and more consumers research before purchase, we’ve begun elevating once simple graphics through layering. 

You’ll see it in Seattle’s Space Needle Site and AIGA 100 Years of Design websites, and many other digital locations, and we anticipate this trend to only be evolved and enhanced in 2018. 

Simplistic, modern design for digital, not unlike the primitive design trends we expect to see across 2018’s physical product lines. 


Look for the flat design trend to move beyond just a beautiful aesthetic into one that leverages flat layers to improve function in another dimension (z-order), and provide features that enhance the user experience and adaptation to future interfaces (VR, AR).

Tips to Tap Into the Trend

  • Look for opportunities to build upon digital product design with intentional layering that adds meaning and depth to the design.
  • Avoid adding layers to add layers — purposeful pairings can quickly become cluttered design. Walk that fine line.
  • Consider ways to leverage flat technique to improve product features and functionality.
  • Could an additional layer add a critical navigation element, or give space for a meaningful call-to-action button?

Explore More of 2018's Top Product Trends2018 product consumer trends report