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Top 9 UX trends right now

Siw Grinaker on

Get a grip on the latest news and developments in the realm of user experience.

The impetus of user experience (UX) is stronger than ever, and emerging trends show that organisations have no intention of stopping the development to create more user-friendly solutions.

But what can you expect to see more of in the coming months? Here are 9 UX trends that will make an impact in the immediate future:

1. Rich web UIs

A vital part of making any website or digital experience more user-friendly, accessible, and engaging is the customer journey. And you can lift your customer journey with rich front-ends.

Rich front-end frameworks make it easier for you to construct a smoother, faster and more functionality-rich experience for your customers or visitors. Traditional websites can be made into a more app-like user experience, where all actions and elements work on a single page.

Popular front-end frameworks include Angular, React, Vue, and Ionic.

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2. Design systems

An ongoing trend not seeming to wither away soon is the design system. A design system maintains the visual and functional elements of an organisation, fulfilling brand principles and user experience through design, realisation, and development of products and services.

With a design system, your organisation essentially gets a sketch library, style guide, pattern library, organisation principles, best practices, templates, and ready-made code to quickly and securely implement your UX across several digital experiences.

Learn more: Top 12 design systems »

3. Full-service customer journeys

Customer journeys are intrinsically linked to user experience. Bad UX leads to bad customer journeys, while good UX may lead to good customer journeys. A great way to ensure a good customer journey is to empower the customer in every way and along every step.

Every digital touchpoint in a customer journey should be fully self-service, either if it’s signing up, applying for a loan, changing a loan, or paying off a loan. Let the customer take his needed time and decide on each step for himself—and always be helpful along the way.

4. Storytelling

Nothing beats a good story, and one emerging UX trend to gain yourself a competitive edge in business is storytelling, according to Inside Design Blog.

Offering good UX is no longer good enough—it is no longer a unique selling point because consumers expect everything to just work smoothly. So what can you do? Become more memorable through storytelling.

Humans have always been enchanted by stories, and our brain’s activity increases fivefold when exposed to a story, as compared to graphs or dry facts. In order to stand out in the future, you need to enhance your UX by telling stories that really matter about your products and services.

See also: Integrate your CMS with marketing automation »

5. Voice UI

Before we could write and read, we spoke. The rise of voice UI is like going back to our roots, in a way, by enabling your interaction with digital experiences to become more like a natural conversation.

Imagine visiting a site or an app, and just “speaking to yourself” about what you would like to do: “I would like to order a pizza” or “what are the financial results from last quarter?”—followed by an instant response to your organic query.

With over a quarter of searches online now being performed by voice and the number rising quickly—and with the advent of voice UIs like Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri—the road is paved toward gearing your UX for voice as well as text.

6. Personalisation

When Tom Cruise walked around shopping malls in Minority Report, we were awed by the personalised ads he received from the billboards. Fast forward from 2002 to 2019, and the future is already here.

Muzli points out that with the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, organisations now have an opportunity to personalise their offerings and experiences based on the behaviour of their customers.

You already know this feature from streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify—but you can expect to see it in other areas as well now and in the future. Any organisation with a focus on great UX should keep up accordingly.

7. Simplified authentication

Muzli also brings up another important UX trend: simplified authentication. As the years online have passed and the number of services and websites have risen astronomically the last 20 or so years, so too has the number of passwords we have to contend with.

Some services demand more and more complicated combinations of letters, numbers, and characters, thus making it still more impossible for you to actually remember a password for a given service. And it doesn’t always help to let the browser store the password either.

As a result, we might witness new forms of more UX-friendly login methods, like biometric authentication, temporary passwords, or magic link.

Don’t miss: 7 checkpoints to create success for your digital projects »

8. Unique illustrations

While text and voice might be at the forefront of UX importance in terms of sheer conceptual knowledge, an auxiliary but still majorly important function is filled by images and illustrations. Firing up any user experience is the beautiful and entertaining use of these visual means, and according to UX Planet we have some treats in store.

UX Planet lists trends on purposeful animation, 3D in interfaces and deep flat, surreal design, gradient 2.0, blazing colours, and darkness—and makes a decent job in evaluating every trend, removing any buzz and glitter from the hype.

A valid point is that not every organisation can, for instance, instigate a brand campaign with surreal design. Instead, pay attention to your customers and be respectful to your core brand, before delving into visual adventures.

9. More powerful browsers

Web browsers themselves are becoming more powerful than ever before, and are able to cater to most advanced UX ideas that have come forth.

UX Planet lists the following strong points:

  • Browser benchmarks and performance tests prove significant performance boosts for most popular browsers.
  • Increases in speed due to streaming compilation impact design big time. Mozilla reports the new compiler to be 10–15 times faster than the previous optimising compiler.
  • All modern browsers support WebGL 2, which allows for a whole new level of 3D texture and object rendering, fragment depth, and vertex array objects.

Having a better vehicle does nothing if you the driver do nothing with the fact. Get your developers, both UX and others, up to speed on the development of web browsers to take full advantage of the technical possibilities allowing for greater user experience.

Handbook: Intro to building design systems

Topics: 
trends
design system
user experience
personalisation
customer journey