I decided to watch Arrival, which was an absolutely amazing movie. Arrival is a movie about a set of alien pods landing on earth out of the blue, and causing mass hysteria internationally. It becomes the goal of all nations to find out why they are here and linguists must race to learn their language in order to understand them.
My favourite design decision from arrival were the alien spaceship pods themselves, called heptapods after their alien owners. They are not necessarily a small design decision, but they are not the core focus of the movie (the language is), so I consider the actual design of the spaceships useful for creating a believable environment. Everything in the movie made things feel like they were happening not far from the present, and I think this was intentional. Even the pods themselves did not feature any super high tech insane designs, they were simply oval shaped and grey. This made the movie more realistic because it didn’t take a giant leap to believe that aliens that are very different from humans would have spaceships that humans themselves couldn’t understand. High tech for humans and the way that humans imagine aliens to be is not necessarily how they will be. So making the alien arrival experience confusing and very nondescript made things more realistic.