The internet is ever changing and so are consumer behaviours. To stay current and keep a website relevant, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s trending in the world of web.
As you know, as quickly as trends appear they disappear. So it's a good idea to treat trends as an indication of the general direction and not an absolute.
Don’t put all your eggs in one big trendy basket.
With that in mind, in this post we’ll look at some of the UI and UX design trends to be aware of, including:
- Voice-based User Interfaces
Good user experience (UX) design is no longer a unique selling point. Rather than seeing great UX design as a bonus, today website visitors expect (practically demand!) it as standard. And that presents a challenge; if you can't rely on good user experience when attracting new customers, how can you differentiate your website from the millions of others?
Well, one approach that is proving effective is storytelling.
When we hear a story, the neural activity in our brain increases fivefold and it enhances our sense of empathy, creates a connection and establishes a level of trust.
Human beings are hard-wired to respond well to stories. We have the neurochemical Oxytocin to thank for that.
When we hear a story, the neural activity in our brain increases fivefold and it enhances our sense of empathy, creates a connection and establishes a level of trust. It’s not surprising that storytelling is proving such an effective marketing tool.
You can use storytelling in many ways, it all depends on who you're speaking to and how you'd like them to react.
One surefire way to connect with customers when storytelling is to be authentic.
Authenticity isn’t just something we appreciate, we crave it. We want to know about the people behind the business, how it came to be, what the motivation behind it is. We want to learn about the struggles, not just the successes. It’s humanising and it’s honest.
If you don’t have one already, consider detailing the history of your company on your website and let customers see the people behind the product.
2. Voice-based User Interfaces (VUIs)
“Alexa, what the heck is a voice-based user interface?”
Using voice search and digital personal assistants is fast becoming second nature. Apple have Siri. Google have Assistant. Microsoft have Cortana. Amazon have Alexa. They are in our homes, on our TVs, phones, watches and most recently in our glasses.
The explosive growth of the devices has brands questioning the impact. How will the technology shape consumer expectations? What do I need to do to prepare for the rise of voice-based interaction?
UK Based analyst Juniper Research predicts that ‘voice commerce will grow substantially to reach more than $80 billion per year by 2023’ with more than 8 billion digital voice assistants in operation.
When it comes to completing certain tasks, Voice-based User Interfaces (VUIs) are a convenient alternative to traditional user interfaces. They have the power to make us more productive by delivering a more ‘human’ experience using conversation and voice rather than typing.
Voice commerce will grow substantially to reach more than $80 billion per year by 2023.
Think about your business. Where might there be scope for customers to complete a task using their voice rather than a screen?
If the adoption of Voice-based User Interfaces (VUIs) continues at the current pace, your customers might find themselves getting frustrated at the need to use a screen (their computer or phone) to complete a task as they will be used to getting things done with their voice alone. This is definitely one to watch!
Micro-animations are small, subtle animations that enrich the user experience on a website.
As well as adding interest, they are also useful tools to provide clarity when using a website or app by hinting at certain next steps or drawing attention to a particular area.
Micro-animations help to:
- Make it more intuitive for users to navigate around your website or app
- Provide feedback to a user when they complete a specific action
- Guide users attention to a specific action
- Provide a more rewarding experience
- Add a level of detail to your website or app that can leave a more lasting impression
- Communicate the brand personality
Thanks to improved web browsers and better mobile support, it’s more important than ever to consider the use of micro-animation. The subtle interactions help to deliver a more memorable experience to set your website, product or service apart.
So that’s a look at three UI/UX trends to be aware of in the coming months. All three have the potential to shake up and improve the web as we know it, so keep an eye (or ear) out for them in action and an open mind when thinking about how they might help to evolve your brand.