Is UX design dying? The short answer to this is a vehement no. Sure, the web design world has had a few wild years as far as user experience (UX) goes. However, some design trends that seemed inconsequential a few years ago have now become rather big. Given that design trends are evolving rapidly, there’s a need to analyze them in relation to your business and its online presence.
As the digital era takes over all industries, you need to understand the importance of getting a professional website to represent your business. This begins by looking at the top UX design trends that are set to change the digital landscape in the coming years.
Bear in mind that the mobile and web design experience is changing every day, which is why you have to stay on top of the game. Failing to do so will result in your business falling behind its competition. It is important to have a look at the trends that may well rock the UX design world in the near future, and making necessary adjustments to your website is just as crucial.
With further ado, here are the top UX trends that any web design agency worth its salt is now looking to embrace.
Table Of Contents
Personalized User Experiences
Personalization in web design refers to delivering unique user experiences based on factors like browsing habits and user behavior. Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube serve as perfect examples of personalization, given that no two accounts on these platforms display the same information. This is because their algorithms offer suggestions according to your preferences. Amazon.com follows a similar approach, where the products you see on the homepage are in line with your browsing history.
When it comes to offering personalized user experiences, paying attention to four elements is crucial.
- User personas
- Recommendation of products
- Pricing of products
- Positioning of products
Whether you have a website or a mobile app, remember that the bar for personalization is on the rise. As a result, web designers need to look at what best they can do to tailor user experiences that align with the needs and expectations of your target audience.
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Way back in 2013, a Forbes article indicated that it was time for skeuomorphism to die, which was soon after the launch of iOS 7 which took a flatter approach to its interface than its predecessors. Incidentally, Steve Jobs was a big proponent of skeuomorphism, as it paved the way for more intuitive interactions between users and mobile/desktop interfaces.
In simple terms, skeuomorphism refers to a design concept that makes clickable items look like their real-world counterparts. While material design has been at the forefront in recent times, it’s plain to see that skeuomorphism is making a comeback. Skeuomorphism is already sneaking into attractive user-friendly interfaces in different web design projects, primarily to deliver a better user experience (UX).
Scrolling and Parallax
While some UX trends come and go and others change, a few manage to stick around for a very long time. Scrolling is one such trend, having held its own ground for several years, and it’s not fading away any time soon, mainly because of the significant rise in video-based content. This concept relies on playing and pausing a video or an animation as a user scrolls and moves, and the changes depend on the movement a user makes. While some UX designers do not support scrolling, most of the top UX designers feel that it’s possible to incorporate scrolling in a number of innovative ways without affecting the user experience negatively.
With the proper implementation of parallax scrolling, your website can become a great visual treat. For example, you may expect to see the lifting of elements off screens as well as the creation of dynamic 3D effects, with the foreground moving faster than the background.
Visuals have dominated the imagery section of websites and original images continue to replace the common stock images we were accustomed to at a rapid pace. Going forward, more brands will engage professional designers to create product videos. Video editors are already having lots to do, as demand for their work is at an all-time high.
Consider these numbers collated by Oberlo to get an indication of where video marketing stands:
- In 2020, the U.S. was home to more than 244.4 million people who watched videos online
- In 2021, 86% of marketers used videos for marketing
- In 2023, around 91% of consumers want brands to offer more video-based content
- In 2023, 92% of video marketers feel that videos come with a good return on investment (ROI)
It’s fair to assume that the use of videos as a means to deliver a better and more dynamic experience will continue to gain ground, mainly because this medium is great for the delivery of content. Videos have already become popular through social media networks, be it the in form of shorts or live streams.
Micro-interactions have gained a lot of popularity, and this is not without reason. Users have been rating apps, replying to push emails, and setting status messages, all thanks to this particular UX design trend.
Now, you may find micro-interactions in just about every interactive website. While some micro-interactions require user-initiated triggers, there are ones that rely on system-generated triggers. Preset rules determine what takes place after a trigger sets the process in motion. A user gets to know just what is happening through the presence of a visual cue. The determination of the meta-rules the process needs to follow takes place through loops and modes.
This interaction works in keeping users informed about what to expect and in collecting information as they go about their business. Some common examples of micro-interactions in websites include:
- Call to action (CTA) buttons
- Progress bars
- Dynamic loading pages
- Error 404 pages
- Page transitions
- Gamified animations
- System feedback
- Audio/visual feedback
- Password error feedback
- Tap and hold effect
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Out of the Ordinary Colors and Bold Topography
It is evident that the top UX designers are already experimenting with bolder colors and moving away from ones that have been common in this industry. Going forward, you may expect to see a range of colors working together to create a bright display on mobile and desktop screens. The use of bold colors can be particularly useful when web designers wish to create a sense of vibrancy, energy, and dynamism with the aim of drawing attention to important elements of a website.
Topography is also emerging as a style and tone setter for websites. It helps build a website’s personality and evoke emotions that are important for any business with an online presence. UX designers have already started experimenting with bolder and bigger fonts, and the use of dynamic font types accompanied by original images is on the rise.
While prototyping has become a norm in the UX design world, rapid prototyping (RP) has gained traction quickly and is now the focus. This involves the creation of quick prototypes with important functionalities, workflow changes, and complex interactions.
Rapid prototyping allows changes in technology and design to enhance a web user’s experience. With most of the top UX designers adopting this technology, you may expect to see a rise in new rapid prototyping tools that will help simplify the process even more and allow experts to test the experience without the need to write code. This way, designers can demonstrate the entire web experience to their clients without going through all the traditional processes, making way for faster turnaround times.
The collection of data and information through conventional means is slowly disappearing. You will start seeing fewer questionnaires and surveys and more new techniques that capture the thoughts, requirements, likes, dislikes, and reactions of end-users.
The technology used to capture feedback includes heat maps and will blend biometric and neurometric devices with eye-tracking movements. The feedback coming from the technology will be useful for UX designers because they can provide actual evidence indicating what is happening. They may then use the data and information they collect to convince the stakeholders to make all the necessary changes that can help improve the overall user experience.
Artificial intelligence is making significant inroads in different fields, which is apparent in the world of UX web design as well. For example, web designers are already using AI-based tools to create user personas, color palettes, wireframes, and even complete user interfaces (UIs). The use of AI to enhance or polish images is also fairly common.
In the coming times, you may expect AI to play a much bigger role in UX design, especially when it comes to aspects like information architecture and target audience/user research. In addition, it’s possible to program AI tools to develop multiple wireframes based on relevant best practices, which can reduce the time is takes to create and present possible alternatives.
Google has used AI to improve the overall user experience in its Pixel phone by offering various new features and enhancing existing ones. If you own a Pixel phone, you’ll find the use of AI in:
- Google Maps
- Google Photos (Photo Unblur and Magic Eraser)
- Google Lens
- Love Translate
- Gmail inbox (Help Me Write)
- Pixel Call Assist
- Crisis alerts
Data collated by Wired indicates that the average web user has around 100 passwords. It adds that while four out of five people tend to forget at least one password over a 90-day period, around one in four people forget one password per day. Now, web designers can address this pain point rather easily.
One major problem with setting passwords is abiding by protocols that require passwords to have upper and lower case characters, numerals, and special characters. While crucial for online security, these measures make the process complicated, and having to reset passwords from time to time adds to the woes of web users.
The solution lies in enabling passwordless login, where users may log in using their Google or social media accounts or some form of biometric authentication. A number of brands have already started offering passwordless login, and it’s not surprising that this is among the top UX design trends as of now.
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Air gestures or non-touch gestures give web users a new way to interact with their smart devices. While their use is making steady progress in mobile phones and tablets, this technology has also found favor with artificial reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, smart TVs, and automobile head units.
This technology encourages people to use body gestures when performing actions, and it could be as simple as gesturing with your palm to click a photograph. Google has supported completely gesture-based navigation since it launched Android 10, and Android 13 offers predictive back gestures for different types of devices like smartphones, tablets, and large screens.
From the web design perspective, the biggest advantage of turning to this technology is its intuitiveness. For example:
- Making a fist can take a screenshot
- Placing a finger on your lips can mute your device
- Swiping right or left with your palm can switch between pictures, music, or web pages
- Pinching your thumb with your forefinger and moving it up or down can work as volume control
- Pinching your thumb with your forefinger and moving it right or left can forward or rewind video content
Sure, the day still consists of 24 hours, but it’s not out of place to say that the world is moving at a faster pace compared to even a decade ago. Thanks to the latest UX industry trends, you may expect to see more innovations and changes geared toward improving user experience. Getting back to is web design dying, well, you probably know how that goes by now.
UX remains a very important aspect of web and mobile app development, and web users stand to benefit a great deal in the coming years. These trends will bring about innovation and creativity along with better experiences for all users regardless of the devices they use to access the internet.