You might already know about augmented reality, but do you know about foldable phones and three-dimensional design?
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What is user experience (UX) and what does it mean? On paper, it is how a user feels when they are interacting with a product such as a piece of software, an application or a website. However, its meaning can be the difference between the success and failure of a company. Simply put, a product with a great UX makes our lives easier and makes us feel good, so we want to use it more.
In 1955, the wireless remote gave us full control of our televisions from the convenience of our couch. In more recent times, mobile phones have gone from featuring monophonic ringtones and snake to revolutionizing our everyday lives and how we interact with our digital media. 2018 saw many advances in UX and 2019 seeks to improve on those advancements. With that being said, here are the top 10 UX design trends that the rest will start following.
1. Voice-user interfaces (VUIs)
With the rise in popularity of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Bixby, speech recognition and voice command software is not only becoming much more accurate but could help change UI and UX in 2019. Instead of using our fingers to type, our voice could be the main way of interacting with applications going forward. It’s more convenient, delivers quicker results and has a great user experience.
2. Personal user interfaces (PUIs)
Companies such as Netflix have already started implementing and seeing the success of an interface customized to an individual user’s experience. It collects data from previous shows you have watched and then knows what to recommend the next time you log into Netflix, like a best friend who knows your exact taste. It has already shown that if you cater to the needs of the user based on their previous interactions, purchases and preferences, it is a recipe for success. Why risk trying to develop a UI that pleases everyone when you can create an interface that learns from the user and adapts to personalise the experience for each user?
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
Popular in games like Pokémon Go, AR has been around for only a few years but Walmart, Ikea, MTV and Cadbury have already implemented AR into their applications. In particular, the Ikea app is revolutionary in its user experience. Instead of wondering how a piece of furniture will look in your home, you can open the app, select which furniture you are looking to buy, point your phone at the desired space in your house and you will instantly see in real time how it will look.
4. Apps designed for every platform
We use multiple devices such as laptops, desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets, so why have an app that’s only designed for one platform? Businesses need to utilize device-neutral, cross-platform apps in order to provide a much better UX and reach a wider audience. “Device agnosticism” may not be a new buzzword, but it will be one of the hottest trends across all industries.
5. Material design
Minimalism might be a good lifestyle choice, but it’s a terrible UI design choice. Gone are the days of flat design with its simple two-dimensional UI elements, use of simple shapes with no added effects and a “function over fashion” approach. Material design has taken center stage with 3D icons, responsive animations, shadow and lighting depth effects, grid-based layouts and more. We will continue to see the rise of material design being implemented to provide better detailed patterns and textures, customization and increased interactivity for a much more engaging user experience.
6. Video content
Mobile data is becoming less of an issue and file size compression is enabling faster loading times, so videos could be the main form of consumable content. Videos are nothing new, of course, social media is popularizing short videos and it only takes a few seconds to gain or lose the user’s attention. That makes it hard if you want to get a message across in a short amount of time with words. That’s why more companies are implementing short videos on their apps and websites to convey more information in a condensed amount of time while holding the user’s attention.
7. Biometric authentication
Online digital threats have increased and businesses, as well as customers, are focused on their security more than ever. Biometric authentication can be the answer to that problem. It increases security by scanning the user’s biometrics such as a fingerprint to confirm the user’s identity before granting access to sensitive information. This can be seen in banking apps or before a user makes a purchase from the Google Play store.
8. Optimized navigation
When it comes to loading a webpage, you have about three seconds until your user leaves. This means two things: your webpage has to be optimised with compressed file sizes for faster loading and navigation needs to be clear and simple. Material design allows you to add an incredible amount of detail and effects, but don’t fall into the trap of cluttering the page and making navigation hard. Three seconds is not a lot of time, and businesses have to make the most of those few seconds with clear navigation and faster loading, all crucial to UI and UX design.
9. Foldable phones
Prototypes have already started making waves from brands such as Samsung and Huawei with their unique foldable displays. But what’s so great about a foldable phone you may ask? Well, a foldable device takes up less space and is lighter in weight, but one of the biggest benefits is that the material used for a foldable display is stronger and more durable to accidents such as dropping the phone without having to worry about cracking the screen. This is an issue mobile (iPhone) users know far too well.
10. Content always will be king
Every business needs to have high-quality content, including a compelling story as to why the user needs to buy their product. One way to do this is to use user behavior and preferences to know what to focus on and who to target.
Technology will always improve and so will UI and UX design. The game continues to change, and businesses need to keep up with the latest UX trends in order to keep their users happy and engaged.