“People ignore design that ignores people.” – Frank Chimero, Designer
As we experience the year 2020 with its technological advancements in the world of design, here is just a quick look at certain statistics that show how important UI/UX design is, to any project.
88% of online shoppers wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience
Customers with a negative brand experience on mobile are 62% less likely to purchase from the same brand in future
91% of unsatisfied customers who don’t complain simply leave
With 2021 approaching, UI/UX trends have made their own way into making us feel sure that this design arena surely has a bright future and the perfect blend of technology with the design will come up with innovativeness as never before.
“UI is the saddle, the stirrups, & the reins. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse.” – Dain Miller
Simply said, the first impression is the last impression and that is what gets created with a well-created UI/UX design. User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are two fundamental pillars for creating a good design. These elements are meant to attract and connect the users as they visit any website/application. The primary focus of UI/UX is to drive a perfect balance between user satisfaction and the workability of the software.
An effective UI/UX means-
Two big technologies – AI and ML have left no stone unturned in offering the best of their technical superiorities to the design elements. Designers now find it tough not to embed these qualities in their designs. UI and UX have both benefited big time and the year to come shall witness more of it, thanks to AI and ML.
Implementing AI and ML techniques have led to the personalization of services, clubbed with the automation of many activities. This personalization has enabled a higher conversion ratio with an enhanced user experience.
Owing to these cutting-edge technologies, users can connect better to the software portal, be it a website or a mobile application. It creates a high level of excitement for the users and encourages them to offer the best of business results.
Leveraging these advancements has helped designers and users in using quality time for the tasks involved rather than wasting time over effortless designs and navigations. Data now has become a crucial element for all, offering insightful perceptions and attractive design elements.
Most times, simple and smart is the in thing and that is what UI/UX design trends call for. Minimalistic UI is in demand today – a look and feel that is not too cluttered with features and designs, a look that is simple and easy to understand, most wanted as a refreshing change to users.
With technology blending in well with the design, there are many variations that can be offered to users in terms of features, information, alerts, data, etc. That sometimes gets too much. The main essence of the design is lost, and users tend to lose their interest. The trend now is going towards a minimal approach that offers the most wanted attributes, understanding the user requirements as a primary input.
Designers have now understood that a good design does not imply showing all features at a time. The clutter that gets too much creates a sense of negativity for the visitors and that can be removed by using this minimalistic UI concept.
Being minimal does not mean being basic or compromising on quality and modern-day features. It means showcasing correct attributes at the right time and designing them appropriately.
Merely understanding customer perception, likings and history does not suffice now. The coming year will need a step further – the creation of persuasive storytelling revolving around the product segment. Now that the trend has moved towards content, designers will have to create stories around products and showcase them on the sites/apps so that the users get more attracted.
Effective storytelling encourages users to create a proper connection with the products, get involved in purchasing products enthusiastically, and offer a transparent picture of their journey on the site. This way, the brand image gets built strongly, making the user feel more involved and satisfied.
Though Mobile First Design has not been anything new, the coming time shall make it the normal way of operations. Looking at the trends, most searches and operations happen through mobile devices. Even Google has come up with ‘mobile-first indexing’ through which it emphasizes the need for a mobile-friendly, responsive design to work across all types of mobile devices.
For Mobile UI/UX designers, designing a mobile-first application will be of prime importance. Best app design is the design that will work seamlessly across all mobile devices and shall have responsiveness as a primary feature. The need to have responsive designs that are enriched with good features and will function well on mobile interfaces will be much higher.
The basic concept of 3D design has always been attractive and now with the UI/UX design elements getting embedded with the 3D concepts, the apps and websites are becoming more exciting. With support from AI/AR/VR, the 3D design components shall fit the bill perfectly.
UI/UX designers are finding ways and means to include 3D components in their projects to attract customers and retain their focus. Such visuals are proving to be thinning the lines between the physical world and the digital world.
Yes, 3D does have its share of challenges – having it perform seamlessly needs a fast-acting software with the ability to support such heavy technology. Not preparing for its fusion may leave the users complaining about lesser speed and ineffective response. But the coming year shall see designers embedding 3D effectively and newer tools and technologies helping it perform at its best.
AR and VR have been twinning their achievements across the globe in different segments. Gaming was one area that was prominently overshadowed by these technologies. As the new year comes, AR/VR shall not remain confined to mere gaming connections, they are passing their goodness and technical efficacy to many other industrial segments.
Designers will now have to design their projects keeping in mind the seamless integration of AR and VR components. They will have to upgrade themselves to be able to embed these components in their UI/UX designs.
Many huge conglomerates are leveraging multiple AR/VR tools and technologies in their daily workings. While designing the UI/UX components for such applications, designers will have to analyze and work out a detailed plan of integrating these components into the design, so that they work as a unified component. Looking at the way AR/VR are paving their way, there is no looking back for them and the designers too!
As design and technology blend closely, the utilization of voice-based technology has increased manifold. Smart voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa are offering high-quality voice assistance to numerous users, irrespective of being industry-oriented or personal usage.
Techniques like speech recognition technology, voice-related search, chatbots, and integration of voice assistance with popular apps like Uber, Lyft have proven that the coming year shall see an integration of voice-based techniques with multiple technologies.
Voice virtual assistance is the key to instantly using applications effectively, searching for information, making notes, etc. Huge tech giants are leveraging this technology with their tools, voice chatbots being one of them.
Popular brands like Instagram, Facebook, Apple have started introducing the dark theme as an alternative to users. It has been preferred at an increasing rate because of its salient features like its modern look, battery saving, highlighting design elements, reduction in eye strain.
Applications are offering the dark mode as an alternative, for users to choose. Till now, there were limited applications offering these options. The coming year shall see the dark mode getting embedded into many other applications as a preferred choice by users.
The routine set of design elements are still persistent, but user finds it boresome, and there comes the newer way of looking at data. Abstract data visualization is a new concept that offers data in a different way. For apps and websites that are cutting-edge, this works as a good way of showing data. The abstract way of showing data attracts users and offers them a refreshing way of looking at data. This mainly works for showing products in a different manner.
Yet another way of making users keep looking for more is using realistic textures – gradients, grains, contours, etc. Designers are making subtle use of realistic textures to make the UI/UX look different and attractive. The coming year shall use more usage of this but in a sensitive manner. Overdoing it may cause a reaction opposite to what was sought after. There are tools coming up to texture images – Photoshop and Illustrator are two good names and there are more coming up.
The latest idea – Microcopy and UX Writing is the small information or instructional text applying on different formats like forms, button labels, error messages, tips, popups, etc. It acts as an instant associate to users, in little ways, while the users are surfing the portals.
Just like the current year, Microcopy will increase giving benefits such as improved branding and dependability, useful user experience and dedication, demanding user directions, and visual fit to the UX design. An ultimate Microcopy output is crucial to an effective UX design and an accurate drive to better sales, business, visitors/clients. Microcopy is the latest catchword in the arena of UI/UX development and has a long way to go.
Freehand design components are being used more to create a different feel for the users. These drawings offer a more realistic feel and hence users get attracted looking at it. There is a tad imperfection but that is what is liked as a different perspective. Designers are now using hand-drawn elements in their portfolio.
Similarly, floating elements, soft shadows, and layers are in demand. Layering is a new catchphrase in the design industry now. Designers are using floating components, soft shadows, and layers to offer their users a lightweight feel and a different view from the traditional design concept.
Forgetting passwords was a nightmare with almost all users. The new trend is going towards offering a login without any passwords. This is a key UI/UX design trend that is catching up in the market. The year to come shall look forward to logging in without having to remember passwords.
The newer ways to log in are fingerprint access, existing social media accounts, face authentication, pin codes, etc. These techniques are picking up pace and 2021 will show more technologies cropping up to replace entering the manual password.
Playing videos in apps and sites is getting appreciated and users are liking the feel of it. Designers, in the next years, will be seen focussing on this aspect in a larger manner. Anyways, videos are a better conveyor of thoughts as compared to text or pictures.
In any form – motion graphics, animation, GIF, videos offer a better user experience and thereby increase customer satisfaction ratio. Embedding videos seamlessly into the design framework will be the designer’s job in the future, ensuring complete security and fast-paced execution.
Since cross-platform development makes the best use of progressive frameworks and modern-day tools, it is ideal to be used in designing apps and websites. It offers an effective output to different devices like mobile, web, desktop from a unified codebase.
Code reusability is one big aspect because of which designers are adopting this technology. It helps them cover up on time and maintain a thorough consistency. Designers make the most use of multi-device support and design in such a way that works best for all types of infrastructure. Cross-platform designing is one big trend that is showing a good future in the coming year.
Blending ethics in the design concept is what is the latest trend. More than just looking at what the customer will like, it is more towards what is good for the customer and what will make the customer feel more wanted. The concept of ethical design is being preferred by designers nowadays by offering maximum inputs to the users directly without having to bother them for continuous data entry or inputs.
The ethical design brings in a great balance between the business requirements and user requirements. It attempts to get all needed information from the users without troubling them too much and at the same time, ensures that the business does not suffer a bit.
Tech stalwart Steve Jobs was so right when he said –
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
2021 is sure to focus hard on UI/UX development that will emphasize the importance of a good design in any kind of IT project. It is worthwhile to see how technology blends in its upcoming advancements into the designing aspect to bring out results that humankind will enjoy.
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