Have You Tried Out Microsoft Designer Yet? (Get the Scoop Here)

macbook pro on white couch

As technology continues to advance, so does the landscape of design tools. Microsoft has been a company at the forefront of business apps. Microsoft 365 began with about seven apps. It now offers new users access to over 20.

One of the newest ones added is Microsoft Designer. This quick-and-easy design tool has caught the attention of designers and professionals alike. You can use it whether you’re a graphic pro, marketer, or small business owner. Or someone that simply wants to make a funny meme.

Microsoft Designer offers a range of features to streamline your design process. If you haven’t used it yet, you may want to check it out. With AI features and an easy interface, it can elevate your design game. Not to mention saving time and money creating business graphics.

Let’s explore the key features.

Intuitive and User-Friendly Interface

Microsoft Designer boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface. This makes it accessible to both beginners and experienced designers. The tool provides a clean and organized workspace. It allows you to focus on your design without distractions.

Its user-friendly features include things like:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality
  • Contextual menus
  • Easy navigation
  • Text prompts to start your design

The first prompt it asks is “Describe the design you’d like to create.” This makes it simple for someone with no design experience to use it. Based on your prompt, the system can leverage AI to generate graphics. You can also upload your own.

Microsoft Designer
Microsoft Designer Interface

Comprehensive Design Templates and Assets

Microsoft Designer has several stand-out features. One of them is its extensive collection of templates and assets. It has a wide range of professionally crafted templates. These enable you to kickstart your design projects quickly.

Whether you need a business card, flyer, or social media post, this app has you covered. Additionally, the tool offers a vast library of assets. These include:

  • High-quality images
  • Icons
  • Fonts
  • Color palettes

You can use these to create visually stunning designs. Ones that align with your brand identity. The abundance of design assets gives you creative freedom and flexibility. You can have fun bringing your vision to life.

Smart Layout Suggestions and Design Recommendations

Microsoft Designer goes beyond being a mere design tool. It’s a knowledgeable design assistant. The tool employs artificial intelligence. It can analyze your design and provide smart layout suggestions and recommendations. So even if making images isn’t “your thing,” you can make something decent.

The AI help is useful for those who may be new to design or seeking inspiration. Your “design assistant” can offer optimal font pairings, appropriate image placements, and more.

Microsoft Designer helps you make informed design choices. This elevates the visual impact of your creations. It also keeps you from spending hours on one design.

Seamless Collaboration and Integration

Collaboration is essential in today’s digital workspace. Microsoft Designer understands this need. The tool offers seamless collaboration capabilities. It allows several users to work on the same design project simultaneously.

You can easily share your designs with team members or clients. As well as get real-time feedback and edits. Furthermore, Microsoft Designer integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Office applications. Such as PowerPoint and Word. This creates a cohesive workflow across different design and documentation tasks. The ability to collaborate ensures efficient teamwork. The integration with other tools enhances productivity.

Accessibility and Cross-Platform Support

Microsoft Designer recognizes the importance of accessibility and cross-platform compatibility. The tool is available both as a web application and as a desktop application. You can use it on Windows and Mac.

Use it working on your desktop computer or from a mobile device. The tool also adheres to accessibility standards. This means it’s inclusive and usable for individuals with diverse needs.

What Does It Autogenerate?

Just for fun, let’s see what we get with the AI-generated option. We’ll describe our design as, “a sales ad for orange juice with palm trees.”

In just a few seconds, this is what Microsoft Designer generated as options.


While some images might not be relevant, it gives many options that are. If you’re not getting what you want the first time, rephrase your prompt.

If you’re seeking a user-friendly design tool, Microsoft Designer is worth exploring. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or a beginner, it can save you time and money.

Learn More About Our Microsoft 365 Support

Microsoft 365 is a vast universe of apps. Ones that can lower costs and boost your productivity. From the Office suite to Intune for endpoint management, it’s a valuable asset.

Need help with M365 questions? Looking for setup and security support? We can help. Give us a call today to schedule a chat about our Microsoft support services.

Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Web Design Trends at the Start of the Decade

WRLD Product dashboard design incorporating the latest web design trends.

Design trends are reactions to technological and cultural changes. Product creators follow design trends for a reason — incorporating newer design trends into a product’s design can make the product look fresh and desirable to the target audience, and this creates a substantial competitive advantage.

But the problem with design trends is that they come and go, and it can be hard to know which trend to follow. An incorrect decision can cause a lot of problems. Just imagine that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into incorporating a particular style into your brand guidelines, only to discover that this style is now obsolete. 

Now, when it’s almost the end of the year, it’s time to make an educated guess on what we will see in 2020. In this article, I’ve summarized the top 12 most powerful design trends that will dominate in 2020 and beyond.

1. Gradients 2.0

Ultra minimalism dominated product design for a long time. Designers strived to reduce all visual properties and leave only essential objects such as key content and functional elements. As a result, they created products that used exaggerated amounts of white space and practically no color. Ultra minimalism made all interfaces look similar.

Users got bored with dull designs, and designers started to experiment with various visual styles. One particular style that found itself in the spotlight — gradients. In 2018 and 2019, gradients started to replace the flat colors. Gradients add some depth in flat layouts and make them more visually interesting. Both product teams and stakeholders love gradients because branding colors could be used to create them.

Grammarly uses gradients created using their brand colors.

Gradients are a versatile tool. They can be used in various contexts such as a background for content, as color filters over the images or illustrations, or as an accent for functional elements such as the call to action buttons.

Bright gradients are used as background colors, bringing depth and dimension to the UI. Voice shopping interface. Artwork by Gleb Kuznetsov

Gradients look equally good on the large screen of TV or desktop and a small display of mobile devices.

But compared to the gradients used by designers in previous years, the new generation of gradients has different styling. Gradients 2.0 can be subtle (created using muted colors) or loud (created using vibrant colors), but in both cases, they are relatively simple, using a single clear light source and created using one or two colors. 

2. Abstract illustrations

It’s a well-known fact that using a custom illustration style is an excellent way to make a brand stand out. Genuine illustrations are part of a product or brand DNA. Competitors can copy your color scheme or typography, but not your illustration style.

Digital illustrations have taken center stage over the past few years. In 2019 we saw a boom of illustrations. All large companies introduced illustrations in their visual language. Here just a few honorable mentions:

  • Shopify
Illustrations in Shopify
  • Mailchimp
Illustrations in Mailchimp
  • Google
Doodles by Google

But recently, it has become apparent that illustrations don’t have the same eye-catching power that they did before. With so many illustration styles around, it becomes hard for the users to match a particular style to a specific company. 

In an attempt to make illustrations more effective, designers started to embrace more abstract illustrations styles, and this style will dominate in 2020.

Dropbox’s about page illustrations. Artwork by Justin Tran

However, there is an important thing that designers should remember when working on abstract graphics. It’s vital to make sure that your audience can interpret what you are trying to say. Illustrations that are too abstract won’t have much business value, and they will be more like a work of art rather than a functional element that serves a specific business purpose. 

3. Bold fonts

If you visit the websites of industry leaders, you might notice that the headline, not imagery, is the first thing that grabs your attention. Hero headlines aren’t a new trend at all. But the interesting thing is the way those headlines are designed. Have you noticed that many of those headlines are designed with large bold fonts? Heavy fonts put more visual weight to the message and direct the reader to where they should look first. From an aesthetic point of view, bold fonts also give designs a modern and contemporary feel.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

With the release of Apple iOS 13, bold headlines become an integral part of iOS apps. If we evaluate this design decision in terms of usability, it will be clear that heavy fonts are great for creating contrast (which improves text readability) and visual hierarchy of elements (which improves content comprehension). That’s why bold fonts are so popular among mobile designers.

Travel app home screen UI design by Gleb Kuznetsov
Travel app home screen UI design by Gleb Kuznetsov

At the same time, when using any heavy or bold font, it’s vital not overuse it. Here are a few things that you need to take into account:

Bold typography can be a little overwhelming when there’s a lot of it to read. If everything is bold, then nothing is bold. That’s why you should try to use these bold fonts only for short pieces of text or headers/subheaders.

Don’t forget about the contrast — a heavy font will have more impact when contrasted against a neutral background.

Use simple fonts. When it comes to text elements, the first thought should always be readability. It’s recommended to use Sans Serif fonts because they scale well. Also, when picking a bold sans-serif font, look for letters with round shape.

4. Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes are a simple yet powerful asset that allows designers to create more appealing visual compositions. Commonly, geometric shapes are used to create visual dividers between sections.

But in 2019, designers started to find more interesting ways to use geometric objects. Many product teams use geometric shapes to convey a specific feel. For example, soft geometric shapes can help create a futuristic look:

Identity data visual by Gleb Kuznetsov

While sharp lines and edges can convey a brutalist feel:

Future London Academy

This trend works well with other visual design trends, such as gradients and bold fonts.

If you’re considering adding geometric shapes in your design and looking for inspiration, you can find perfect shapes in nature.

5. Emotional design

Design is communication. When we think about communication, we naturally think about delivering and receiving information. But there is one aspect of communication that can easily be missed — emotions. For a long time, product teams were focussed on creating great usability. But today, the focus has shifted towards great usability and the right emotional impact. Companies are quickly moving from neutral design towards a design that has an emotional impact.

Designers have a lot of tools in their toolbox that allows them to create more emotional interactions. For example, you can bake some humor in a design:

Cuberto — Rate a ride experience

Or you could utilize simple animated effects to create delightful micro-interactions. 

Reaction on user input by Darin Senneff

6. Data visualization

Humans are visual creatures. For many people, it’s easier to comprehend the information when it’s provided visually, rather than in text. Data visualization is quickly becoming an essential tool for creating visually engaging stories. The stories, like the one you see below, can captivate your audience and make them want to learn more about your brand.

A strong part of data visualization is visual storytelling and data art and illustration. Image: https://eng.uber.com/data-viz-intel/

7. Hero Video Headers

“Show, don’t tell” is a foundational principle of good product design. Imagery plays a crucial role in visual design because it helps the designers to deliver the main idea quickly.

For a long time, web designers have had to use static imagery to convey their main idea. But the situation has changed. High-speed connections make it much easier for web designers to turn their home pages into immersive movie-style experiences. That’s why in 2019, we’ve seen more and more websites that use short video clips on their home pages.

Video makes the experience more live and dynamic. It engages users, and they are more willing to spend time watching clips. Video clips used in a hero section can vary from a few seconds of looped video to full-length preview clips with audio. 


8. 3D and Faux-3D Design

For a long time, 3D objects were only used in games and entertainment. With the rise of device processing power, we have 3D objects emerging on regular websites both on desktop and mobile versions. By introducing 3D objects and pseudo-3D objects in web experience, you add realism to interactions.

Bruno Simon’s portfolio is an excellent example of how to pair gradients with 3D objects

9. Scroll-Generated Websites

The power of modern technologies can help us create a lot more than just web experience — they allow us to create immersive visual journeys for our visitors. Scroll-generated websites track the user’s progress as they scroll the page and show contextually-relevant information. Scroll-generated websites use the power of motion and animation effects to capture user attention and introduce dynamism in user interactions. Those effects add an extra layer of meaning into existing content and make it more memorable for users.

AirPods Pro by Apple

10. Dark UI

You may have noticed that some of the largest companies are adding light and dark modes to their products. A dark mode is a low-light user interface that displays mostly dark surfaces. Embracing the dual-colored design trend has two significant benefits to user experience: dark themes help to reduce eye strain by adjusting the brightness of the screen to current lighting conditions, and they conserve the battery power of mobile devices by reducing the use of light pixels.

Dual-colored design by Niclas Ernst

If you’re working on dark theme design, be sure to check Material Design guidelines that contain practical recommendations on how to design a dark theme for your product.

11. Better Personalization

The ideology of “one-size-fits-all” does not work for 2019 users. Brands are seeking for ways to fine-tune the user experience as meticulously as possible, and a personalized experience has quickly moved from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.” 

SoundCloud is a music service that considers the preferences of its users and suggests the music that they like. The services do it based on the music you play and tracks you like.

Dual-colored design by Niclas Ernst

With the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, it’s becoming much easier to make the user experience more personal.

Popular personalization tactics. Image Colin Eagan.

12. Design Systems

Modern product design is all about speed and quality. Product teams should move fast without losing the quality along the way. Taking into account the fact that a single product usually should be released on multiple platforms, it can be hard to achieve this goal. Design systems are the answer to the scaling needs of the product team. 

In 2019, more teams are starting to incorporate a systematic approach to design. While design systems are not a web design trend, they have a significant impact on web design. Thanks to design systems, product teams can reduce repetitive work and, even more important, achieve consistency across all platforms they design for.

Design system. Image: Justin Reyna.


Some of the trends you read in this article will be familiar to you, and some might be completely new. But don’t rush to implement all those trends in your products. 

No matter how impressive the trends seem to be, it’s important to remember that the mission of the designer should always stay the same: help users achieve their goals by creating more usable products. That’s why fashion should never trump usability. It’s vital to evaluate every trend and implement only solutions that create a better user experience for your users.

Nick Babich


Nick Babich is a developer, tech enthusiast, and UX lover. He has spent the last 10 years working in the software industry with a specialized focus on development. He counts advertising, psychology, and cinema among his myriad interests.

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