Obvious UX Trends that will Rule 2018
For web design industry, we see new UX trends in the way we build products for our consumers every year. In 2017, we saw virtual reality and artificial intelligence really picking up the speed.
They were no more just buzzwords; the concepts evolved and gave birth to solid offerings. AI got plugged into chatbots and gave rise to sophisticated automatic customer support interfaces.
Virtual reality found its real-life application in real estate; users were able to experience a potential new home without actually having to go to the new location.
Augmented reality (which mixes real and virtually animated images for a life-like experience) found its way into medical training and similar applications.
UX Trends expected to dominate in 2018
2018 is in full swing. With each year, we see innovations and inventions that drive new trends in any industry. From WordPress to various user-friendly website builders like Wix, Squarespace, ucraft etc. are slowly but steadily making their mark.
What will 2018 bring to the UX industry? Designers are curious and design students are anxious.
Infusing emotions to humanize the devices
Gone are the days where we saw a mobile or a laptop device as a monolithic, almost robotic piece of technology.
Smartphones can talk to users via automated voices, like that of the Google Maps Navigator or Google Now assistant. Even then we know it’s a recorded voice and there is no real, human emotion behind it.
Here are some of the ways in which user apps and software will leverage human emotion to take the user experience to next level:
● Adoption of animated emoticons
● Enhanced gestures to express emotions (beyond the usual right/left swipe for like/dislike)
● Animated feedback from the app
Sometimes, as designers, we tend to add a lot of color to the design. We think it will look good but when the final product comes out it is usually a weird cocktail of color, rather than a usable interface.
In 2018, content will take center stage. Designers have to rethink their placement of text on each screen. No more different colored screens for different types of information panels on the screen.
A lot of visual clutter can be removed by streamlining the position and colors of visual elements to create a more natural flow. Bringing focus on to the important information will be achieved with the help of contrasting colors without overcrowding the color palette of the screen.
That means we will see a lot of apps with two-color interfaces. For example, an eCommerce app having orange as its main theme and a dark grey on call-to-action buttons.
Simplified User Journeys
User experience design is not just about pleasing visuals; it is a lot more about designing end-to-end experiences.
In 2018, we will see a lot of these experiences simplified. We will see a lot of companies refocusing their design priorities towards simplifying an average end-to-end journey within their apps.
This means moving away from complex, multi-page journeys to simpler journeys where the experience of user stays simplified through a clear beginning and end. In other words, we will see shorter and much simpler user experience patterns.
Another way user journeys can be simplified is by not bombarding all information at once. Instead, the focus will be on abstraction and delivery of information to the user with short, controlled notices.
That means, if there is irrelevant data or text on a screen that doesn’t relate to the action being performed by the user, it’s got to go!
Increased page fold size
For mobile devices the US, Apple holds a lion’s share of the market. Without the home button on new iPhone X, designers will be faced with a new kind of challenge – what to do with the extra space?
Designing for the full-screen interface will become a specific consideration during design planning stage. Designers will scramble to best utilize this extra little space in innovative ways.
High-level support and better processes for the UX team
With increasing number of CEOs making the user’s experience their priority, it’s clear that people are recognizing the importance of delivering a complete user experience rather than just a simple design.
This is being led, in part, of consumers’ demand for a more streamlined experience. So, don’t be surprised if your design lead is regularly busy in meetings with the CEO. Don’t be surprised if you see the CEO in a design meeting.
Another interesting development we might see in a collaborative design process. When developers work in a team, they get their work reviewed by each other. Peer review is also an integral part of writing teams all over the world.
In 2018, we will see organizationsrealizing the benefits of such multi-dimensional processes. Designers will be engaged in a distributed environment and will be able to provide suggestions for improvement in each other’s designs.
The design for apps can also be used for designing a website. Even this design will take the highest priority.
In all, UX design will no longer just be an enabling function; it will be a driving force.
Voice could become the next stepping stone for UX Designers
A pioneering step in the evolution of human-computer interaction design was the replacement of mouse with the touchscreen.
It’s high time that technology takes the next innovative jump; voice search will replace manytap or gesture-controlled actions on the mobile screen.
Audio-centric technologies will become the enabler for seamless user interaction design. This implies that designers will now have to integrate not only simple voice commands but also full vocal sequences into their experiences. In fact, Gartner predicts that 30 percent of web browsing sessions by 2020 will not feature a screen at all.
Professionals aware of the latest industry trends can command the price that they want it whenever they switch their job.
In 2018, voice will become the prime driver of user experience. Emotions will be integrated into the user experience and the overall end-to-end solution will be simplified.
What trends do you foresee for UX in 2018?
Pawan Sahu is the founder of the MarkupTrend. He is a Digital Marketer and a blogger geek, passionate about writing articles related to WordPress, SEO, Marketing, Web Design, and Content Management Systems. Follow him on Twitter at @impawansahu.