User experience (UX) design is becoming more and more important as the need to stay connected to your audience grows. In the past, it was easy for companies to set themselves apart in uncompetitive fields with little in the way of design.
Nowadays, however, every industry across the board has become competitive through the power of the internet and advanced computing, making UX design necessary in order to stand out.
So, now that the design is popular, how do we stand out from the other UX designers in the field? By staying up on the latest trends in the industry.
Here are the top four emerging UX trends to keep you ahead of the competition.
1. Mobile-first UX design
The mobile market continues to grow at great speed. The mobile app market is expected to double in the year 2020, amounting to more than US$100 billion. Mobile devices are becoming the predominant way to surf the web and interact with software.
As such, the user experience for mobile will become a higher priority in the years to come. In fact, we’ll not only see device-agnostic UX design, but mobile-first UX design. In mobile-first UX design, the user experience is built from scratch on mobile then later adjusted for different devices.
In essence, mobile UX design will become the foundation of UX design processes going forward, which will likely bring changes to overall user experience design changes. For example, we’re likely to see bolder, cleaner designs coming from mobile-first UX designers.
2. Shift to material design
Flat design was once king. That all changed in 2014 when Google introduced material design. Material design allows for three-dimensional icons, grid-based layout and animations.
With padding, increased interactivity and a more web-like layout, mobile-first UX designs are easier to make and tweak, and, most important, are more engaging and enticing to end users.
In addition, the added features of material design can help build trust between end users and new brands. With added security and more robust functionality, material design will surely continue to lead the way for mobile-first UX designers.
3. Greater focus on storytelling
Some of the top user experience designers are now starting to realize that a beautiful app is one thing, but an app that tells a story is something else completely. A new trend that will take over UX design is having an order to your app that makes it unfold for the user naturally, leading them through the journey of the brand.
The goal is to guide the eyes and lead them through a curated look at the product and company culture. This creates a deeper connection with the customer base and allows the brand to flourish and find an audience.
This type of storytelling will create a passion for the brand and product that would not have been possible in any other circumstance. It is just as much about creating your audience as it is about finding your story. A company truly thrives when people love the company itself, even more than its products. A great UX designer will be able to create brand stories that give deeper meaning to the life of the app or site.
4. Increased focus on voice control
Voice recognition software is becoming more sophisticated. Before, the nascent technology was simply not viable. Now, however, integrating voice commands and gesture controls is a much simpler prospect, and one that does not weigh too heavily on mobile processing power.
Upgrading the user experience can be done through the integration of intuitive voice controls and gesture commands.
As designers come up with better and better ways to integrate these technologies, we are bound to see them trending in the years to come.
The emphasis on any UX design should be on making the visual connection with your potential consumer base so that you create a relationship between your product and the customer.
Good UX design should be about making a memorable application or site that is simple to navigate and elegant to experience. This makes it a race between UX designers to find the latest and most creative ways to engage an audience. In order to do that, you are going to need the most cutting-edge tips to beat the competition.
Trends that are clearly emerging are mobile-first design, a shift to material design over flat design, an increased focus on building empathy through storytelling, and the integration of voice commands and gesture controls.
Donna Howard is a business consultant working with high growth companies for their business development. She has worked with companies in scaling their business operations from Europe, Asia and Africa. You may connect with her on Twitter.