Top User Experience Design Trends to Watch for in 2019
UI, UX, XD; all terms for user experience design. In today’s digital landscape, more businesses are challenged—but required—to create very memorable experiences for their customers across channels and platforms. From product interfaces, onboarding processes, and even content presentation, all depend on new design strategies to provide a quality and user-focused experience design as well as meet the rapid advancement of technology.
I profile some the top UX design trends to watch for in 2019:
The Screaming Rise of Voice UI
Alexa? Siri? Google? More and more users are turning towards using voice search to find information, add tasks to their day, or, lets’ face it, for entertainment value. The second quarter of 2018 saw a 182% increase in sales of voice-activated smart speakers. The value of voice UI is boundless for a faster, easier—and at times—more enjoyable experience of interacting with a business's product or service.
Although the implementation of voice-activated search was usually without the need of interface design, it is now up to designers to help consumers understand and use this new tech to enhance their overall experience and interaction on their sites, or with their products and services. When approaching design for voice, be aware of the fine balance between integrating your brand’s personality with the implementation of the AI. Likewise, make sure to update your user workflows to include voice!
Designing for Diversity, Inclusion, and Good
Diversity, inclusion, and charitable good are some of the most talked about buzzwords and initiatives that are affecting businesses today. More than ever, this impacts human resources and recruitment efforts, PR and media, and content strategy. Just as rapid as this has registered with industry, so too has it had an effect on reinforcing the human element in design by working to make lives better for those in underserved communities. Some of the key UX trends to be more diverse and inclusive by accommodating users with disabilities, be it visual impairments, haptic inabilities, or those with reduced mobility to broaden access and provide a measure of independence when interacting with their environment and technologies. More designers will need to integrate this approach to enable people with diverse characteristics and needs to use a product, service, or both with the rewards of participating in the experience.
Further, design needs to redefine what's normal and accepted among various audiences including gender, race, sexual orientation, and culture. A self-aware designer will need to integrate this into their arsenal of best practices, particularly when it comes to UX for forms, and should propose workflows to the users that are environmentally friendly. The conscious experience design effort will affect a user's perception with more users staying loyal to brands that demonstrate social responsibility. Furthermore, it’s simply good business sense.
Designing for Privacy
In today’s world, privacy and security are significant topics across all levels of business, as well as being top-of-mind when it comes to users and their interaction with any digital product, service, or both. Therefore, it is no surprise that privacy and security have made its way into experience design. Each country may have its own regulations, so it’s critical to adopt a process and practice to protect user privacy and ensure your site will meet as many requisites as possible to scale design efficiently.
Not so Flat
Flat design was quite popular for UX design, and today, you can still see it in practice. However, we are seeing a trend in moving away from flat into a more engaging level with responsive elements such as animations, 3D styling, light and shading features, transitions, and more. This trend is known as material design. Moving away from the more minimalistic and bright style of flat design, designers are embracing the more increased interactivity and detailed method of using textures and patterns, as well as adapting the design to various devices. To each their own where it concerns preference of flat or material, but they have at least three features in common—the wrangling for minimalism, structure, and bright colors.
The Popular Personalization Experience
YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu are all industry leaders when it comes to the experience of personalization. More users prefer the personalized experience; from a personalized interface to their personalized convenience and tastes. Why? It appeals to the universal human nature of needs. In fact, in a report conducted by Accenture in 2018, 33% of customers who abandon business relationships do so because personalization is lacking. An increased number of designers will need to adopt the practice of catering to the users' needs based on past and current interactions throughout the site. Personalization is a very dynamic and regarded as a much-required business UX trend. As it learns and adapts, you can offer your users an incredible experience based on their characteristics, behaviors, attributes, and data.
As a designer or marketer, or even us a typical user, good navigation can be the make-or-break of your website or product. More designers are moving towards a nimbler approach for navigation, making it as clear, as simple, and as time-saving as possible. Some top tips include a load time of fewer than two seconds along with a decluttered material design over a busy screen with menu burgers.
New Tools and Tech
Technology is changing business as we know it. With the vast amount of data that exists and is ever-growing, a design process that is increasingly data-driven is trending. The results of this data-driven process will allow designers to be creative and adjust in real time. In addition to UI and UX in experience design, technology is also advancing change in the customer experience. The emerging technologies of today are powering the customer experiences of tomorrow, most of which are enabled by smartphones that will require experience design.
With our heads down, reading this on our smartphones or tablets on our commute, or at work, all whilst scrolling social media and listening to a podcast, we are deeply rooted in an age of hypo-connectivity and constant entertainment. It pushes our demand for technology and its design to deliver an experience like no other. The way we experience—and accept—digital products and services are continuously shifting which means businesses need to make the adoption of emerging trends a top priority. To a greater extent, it is the need to be on top of trends surrounding experience design. In the end, although trends will continue to change, the essential goal will remain that the user will get the best experience and technology will disappear slowly and quietly.
Lynette Sawyer is a Web Project Manager for Falcon-Software, a digital web agency founded in 1994. For the last 13-years Lynette has been in various digital capacities and her expertise goes beyond Project Management. Lynette brings experience and knowledge in graphic design, marketing communications, project management, product management and engagement.