This is a guest article by Khalid Durrani from Design Iconic
Not many industries are as fast-paced as the UX design industry. The scope of this industry is far-reaching with multitudes of trends, techniques, and methods surfacing every year. The design of user experience controls the overall digital encounter of the users. With the rapid evolution of technology in the field of design and incorporation of UX design (or UXD for short) in almost every industry, isolating or even listing the impacts of UXD is a tough assignment.
When it comes to defining design trends and techniques, there are two leitmotifs in these trends: completely new and groundbreaking concepts like biometrics and facial recognition and refining the established concepts with new technologies and innovations.
Expect 2019 to be a banner year for the continued growth of the trend techniques of content-focused designs. With the growing trends of definite patterns and minimalism, the best solution for making a fundamental interface is to accentuate the content overtly.
In 2018, UX design started redefining the ideologies of human interaction with digital devices. From smart wearable devices like Bird and Lenovo Mirage Solo to Samsung Flip and VR-based and AR-powered Merge 6DoF Blaster, the year 2018 took digital interaction to the next level. Considering all these innovative devices and creations, it can be rightly said that the world of design will keep evolving.
UX Design Trends Prediction for the Year 2019
UX design trends and techniques change almost every year. The designing process and principles might stay the same, but the trends of UXD change with evolving technological methods. With the rise in usage of tech devices, human behavior and demands for better digital experience and solutions have also increased.
The designers must stay in touch with the up and coming UXD trends to meet the rising demands and newly introduced design requirements. Here are the changes that we can expect to see in 2019:
- Uncovering the fascinating and untapped potentials of Voice UI (VUI)
- The inclusion of device agnosticism in designing concepts
- Obsolescence of one-size-fits-all theory
- The surfacing demand of UX writer
- AR as the new black
- The apprehension of user-centeredness
- Ethical yet predictive responsiveness of design
1. Voice Commands Are the New Interface-Controller
Voice technology is one of the fastest growing and rapidly spreading technologies. With voice-controlled devices becoming commonplace, UX designers of this highly-digitized world need to shift from screen-controlled to voice-activated UX design ideas and concepts.
From personal assistants to smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home, the accessibility and widespread use of these devices compel designers to include voice-command features in their UX design. The transition from screen-controlled UXD to voice-controlled interfaces is more seamless and swifter than your expectations. So here are some of the designing principles you might need to follow to turn your graphic-based design into a vocal one:
- The manifestation of visual feedback
Feedback is important for validation of users. The feedback is given as a vocal confirmation along with a visual element. Take the example of Alexa, currently the best personal assistant on the market. When a user addresses Alexa, the device is illuminated with blue light, and it responds with proper feedback like “okay” or “I don’t understand.” VUIs don’t have to be loud in volume and excessive.
- Incorporation of personality and humanity
The Best VUI designs present in the market have integral human-like qualities like personality and ability to carry on a conversation. Most of the designing companies that use AI are developing robots and devices with which they can imitate human behavior and qualities. A skilled UX design team has to work on deeper layers of UX designs to introduce a little personality to their VUI and voice-based devices.
- Simplicity rules
The keystone of every UX design? KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). This phenomenon is important for VUI technology as it is a fairly new discovery in mainstream technology. Keeping it simple in VUI design means that designers should avoid using contextual interactions, explicit designing, jargon language, and voice commands.
2. Supersession of Multi-Device Approaches
Device-agnostic approaches and methods are taking the UXD industry by storm. In this era of hyper-connectivity, developers and designer are encouraged to create UX designs that fit perfectly in all screen sizes.
To create a highly responsive UX design, designers have to break out of the desktop paradigms. To make designs that look equally good on both the smartphone and 4K monitors, follow these crucial tips:
- Pick any starting point
That means start building your design for any type of browser, device, and screen-size or input device. To make sure that your design works smoothly on all types and sizes of devices - current and upcoming ones - focus on your design idea rather than on ifs and buts.
- Determine the building blocks of your design
To make your design and content as device agnostic as possible, think through the necessary design elements. To make a modular design that works well on more than one device and model, you must determine what you are crafting.
Decide the main version of the modules and pages and define a few variations. However, try to keep it simple, vary your modules only when it’s really needed.
- Put your thoughts on paper
If nothing works, grab a piece of paper and a pencil and start sketching. Sketching helps designers determine the design process and elements. Regarding composing the design of the main page and different module templates, sketching enables the designer to think through all screen types and sizes.
3. Personalization of User Experience
Personalization of UX means creating UX systems that identify the specific type of user, then deliver and suggest the content relevant to that type of user. In simpler words, personalization introduces real-time individuality to the website or application.
Personalization is all about anticipation. While personalizing any site or application, the designer must anticipate the needs and requirements of the users.
Using information and technology to control all the behind the scene processes and methods to shape a user experience in real time is personalization’s main objective. Let’s have a quick look at how to integrate personalization with your UX design:
- Collect a user’s data and information
Ask your users to build profiles and accounts on your website and app. Through this, you will be able to group your audience by age, interests, demographics, and behaviors.
- Content personalization
Once you have all the relevant information regarding your targeted audience, try to understand their needs and wants and personalize theirs per the provided information. Use auto-fill features to populate the form with the information provided by the users.
- Resume from where the user left
One of the greatest features of Netflix is that when a user leaves an app before finishing the episode, it will start from the exact point they dropped at the next login. These features allow users to keep track of their digital journey on a website or an app.
- Push notifications
While some consider push notifications annoying, they are the best way to keep the users engaged. Push notifications allow the user to remember to use your up and learn about updates.
- Content correlated with app or site history
The best example of this personalization feature is YouTube. YouTube updates the homepage for the users according to recently and previously watched videos. Having a homepage that curates all the preferences and favorites is the basic need of every user.
4. Role of UX Writers in Content-Driven UXD
Also referred to as microcopy writers, UX writers compose the content and text that the users see while scrolling or browsing through a website, apps, or software. UX writers pen down the content for pull-down menus, error-generation messages, on-screen text, help text and other similar types of content.
Microcopy writers help in improving the UX by composing clear and intuitive content for the site or app. Another important job of the UX writer is to communicate the site’s branding. While UX writing requires no specific degree or qualification, being skilled in technical writing is a must-have requirement. The UX writer works in collaboration with the UX design team, so it’s important that you hire only skilled professionals for this purpose. Use these tips to secure the services of the best microcopy writer:
- Hire someone who can summarize complex concepts into a few words while maintaining comprehensibility.
- Technical writing is a craft. Creating relevant and well-thought-out content takes time. Don’t expect your UX writer to write a thousand words in a few hours - that’s what content writing is. UX writing has a completely different rule-set.
- Don’t employ anyone because of their marketing abilities. UX writing is about guiding users, not selling products.
- Stronger and cleaner words - that’s what makes relevant and useful UX content. If you can’t find anyone with such skills, contact under-paid or out-of-work journalists or an author with HCI certification.
5. Augmented Reality—Defining Future Prospects
When it comes to rapid advancement, AR has surpassed virtual reality in numerous ways. From Pokemon Go to open source apps and solutions like Apple’s ARKit, AR is changing UX design practices. Augmented reality is not a new concept in the UX designing industry. Building an AR experience in UX designing has a few principles that the AR UX designer should follow: • Set the environment We live in a 3D world; anything designed in 2D is considered less natural.
Augmented reality provides the users with options that other UX approaches can’t. Incorporating the realism of the physical world using cameras enables users to interact with the AR experience and environment. Keep the environment conversant.
- Prioritize screen realism
To enhance the user experience, don’t clutter your screen with different information or objects. Try hiding all the information in the menu bar; this helps keep your screen tidy and also assists the user to focus on the AR experience.
- Simple onboarding
For successful 3D space onboarding, don’t limit yourself with conventions and standards. However, reinventing the workable principles and standards is also not advisable.
- Subtle clues and hints
Integrate animation as a part of the AR-experience to enhance user interaction. Clues and hints don’t necessarily have to be text; you can use elements like tooltips, buttons, and menus. Leaving clues and hints helps the users navigate through the overall experience.
- Keep the experience useful
Before you start working on any AR or UX design, establish the need for it. Experiences like these are bridging imagination and the physical world by using real-world objects as the middle-ground for visualization.
6. The Emergence of Design Cognizance
User-centeredness of the design is what makes the whole experience worth it. Design cognizance is all about enhancing that experience. Design has played an essential role in changing and making perspectives. Whether it’s about how we perceive gender and culture or our perception of various ideas, UX design has been of core importance in that.
Take, for example, registration forms. Ask users only for the most necessary information and keep it inclusive if you do: Giving more than two gender options is one example.
New and better design approaches are extending the impact of the designer from being digital change-makers to actually playing a part in global causes. Etsy, for example, allows you to calculate your carbon footprint with each order to make a more conscious choice. Amazon allows customers to set one day a week for all their orders for their convenience and to minimize production waste.
The chief job of the designer is to assist the users in completing the task in the most efficient and innovative way. But if the user is all caught up in the process it can’t be productive or efficient enough, right? Well yes, that’s the notice that you receive when you have seen everything on your Insta Feed. Instagram’s in-app tracker pioneered the technique of making the design socially responsible and user healthy.
Before selecting any trend or approach for UX design, stay mindful of how these trends and newly introduced techniques will change UX prospects. There’s no denying that these trends will have widespread impacts. From marketing to engineering, every industry is somehow associated with the UX design industry.
The thing to consider is whether these trends will redefine brand development perspectives or will they present the world with a new approach for the interaction of user and product?
Khalid Durrani is an Inbound Marketing Expert and a content strategist. He likes to cover the topics related to the latest tech, startups, IOT, Artificial intelligence, Big Data, AR/VR, UI/UX, Crypto Currency, Block Chain and much more. Currently, he is Global Marketing Manager of Design Iconic, an AI-based design agency.