We discuss here the recent trends in UI UX across specific aspects of operational, visual, design, and other facets.
Background, Themes, Text, and Visual Elements
Abstract Geometry, Illustrations, and SVGs
UX designers are experimenting with abstract illustrations, absurd proportions, SVGs, unusual angles, and bright colors with a view to make the website or app stand apart using illustrations. The use of such elements creates a friendly environment that captures users’ attention and provides a good user experience. Abstract images and SVGs are combined with motion design to make the website or app attractive, useful and memorable for customers.
UI animations enhance the user experience by guiding the flow much better than a static graphic. Animations are an immersive way for mobile apps to convey messages to the user eliminating the use of modal and banners.
Animations though not new in UI/UX, are becoming more organic, fluid, and impressive. Anthropomorphism attributes human emotions, characteristics, and intentions to non-human objects enabling animations to turn abstract shapes into attractive animated characters that mimic human-like characteristics.
Anthropomorphic animations lead to more engagement and a more immersive experience for the customer.
Blurred, Colorful Backgrounds
The UX trend of using different color gradients involves the use of up to ten colors and additional overlays on top apart from blurred, colorful backgrounds. Such backgrounds are popular because they evoke various emotions and communicate a warm and welcoming feel. Companies choose colors that highlight their brand and even mix them with UX trends like glassmorphism to give a unique feel to the UI/UX.
Bold typography is growing popular especially for landing pages and microsites, as a means of grabbing users’ attention. Such typography stands out from its surroundings and demands attention while being an integral and integrated part of the overall aesthetic.
Human attention span has significantly decreased (8 seconds), making it a challenge to engage with users. Bold typography makes the content scannable as people on the internet do not read but scan the information usually. Bold Typography also conveys information in the most concise manner.
Dark Mode and Themes
Dark mode interfaces and themes improve focus, readability, and battery life enhance visual ergonomics to reduce eye strain besides conserving battery power. It serves as a supplemental mode to default light theme and reduces the luminance emitted by device screens while maintaining optimum color contrast ratios. impacting not only user experiences but their health too.
Dark themes enhance screen time across different user devices leading to improved customer engagement and brand awareness. Companies like Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Apple have adopted dark mode interfaces with good results. Operating systems, browsers, and applications use dark-themed UX designs.
Dark modes and themes can support the visual hierarchy and data visualization especially for those brands whose colors allow such a progression.
This trend has been with us since the COVID pandemic when it took away the comfort of traveling and forced people to stay at home. This UX design trend called Escapism on websites have organic color schemes, gallery-laden scrolling websites, large hero images accompanying a creative copy, and exotic locations.
Neumorphism is a visual style that combines flat design and skeuomorphism featuring background colors, shapes, gradients, and shadows to ensure UI elements’ graphic intensity. This provides a soft, extruded plastic look and almost 3D style user experience.
Physicality & Realistic Textures
Along with smooth and cool gradients, UX designs add realistic experiences to objects with uneven textures. Realistic textures make a design feel sincere and authentic and provide a connection between customers and the products. Such designs are pleasing to the eye and impact consumers positively in favor of the products.
Super Tech Landing Pages
Super Tech landing pages feature the use of volumetric illustrations, renders, and hyper-realistic complex animations. These UI/UX features attract, impress, and captivate customers while delivering value. Brands like Apple & Microsoft are featuring them on their tech and product websites.
UX writing and microcopy
Providing friendly and fruitful customer interaction can be ensured by UX writing and microcopy. The stress is less on creative and decorative fluffy words and more on to-the-point information that brings value and leads to more customer engagement and conversions. UX writing or “Microcopy” involves using short and appropriate sentences that say less while making a more significant impact.
Interaction, Operation, and Experience Levels
Advanced App Onboarding
Onboarding is an important part of a customer’s journey with an app. It makes customers feel welcome and familiar with the app and its features. Companies are now taking onboarding seriously with the help of interactive UX design elements to provide users an immersive experience.
Micro-interactions such as the ‘Like’ feature of Facebook or ‘Retweet’ of Twitter are used in software applications. Advanced micro-interactions such as gestures and touchless controls create a more intuitive customer experience.
Advanced Personalization and automation
We expect to see hyper-personalized user interfaces that change the appearance, tone, and position of elements based on customer preferences. The key to successful personalization and automation is data related to the target audience, their attributes, interests, demographics and buying patterns. With the rise of AI, predictive analytics and machine learning, personalization has received a great fillip to provide content that users can access. Air Gesture
Gesture control is a new mobile design trend that involves the use of body gestures to perform an action such as a user showing a palm gesture in front of the camera to capture a selfie. The advent of touch screens and mobile interfaces’ increasing touch screen aspect ratios now provide a better gesture experience. Air gestures help things happen on the phone without using touchscreens.
While Apple initially introduced gesture control technology in iOS, facial gesture control features are now available in Android 12 beta.
Creative scrolling experiences
Scrolling focuses on the process of navigating and uncovering more and more bits of a website by scrolling. Creative scrolling experiences provide a positive, engaging, imaginative and immersive experience wherein background elements change, elements move through the page with the users, leading to an immersive experience of what the website has to offer.
Data visualization in UX explores ways in which this experience can become visually pleasing, enriching and more exciting using elements like bar charts, line charts and pie charts, and bright and vibrant colors. This is supplemented by features like swiping or tapping, to create engagement with the data and for a positive and engaging experience with a good balance of information.
Device Agnostic Experiences
UX and UI were primarily designed with the mobile in mind but with more devices emerging, the focus is shifting towards providing device-agnostic experiences to customers. This shift provides consumers the freedom and flexibility to be able to shift between devices without any hassle.
Empty and error states illustration
Errors and inadvertent empty pages are a part of a software application or web page but create an unfavorable experience for the customer. UX/UI are now being made more exciting and comfortable.
Experimenting with navigation placement
UX lays emphasis on the placement of navigation on the screen and how users will reach them. UX also must contend with the growing mobile usage and screen sizes. The new trend is moving the navigation or key buttons and items closer to the bottom of the screen or keep the navigation at the top with tab options for key pages at the bottom.
There are benefits and drawbacks of different placement options and customers will have a final say about which method will be victorious.
Individual learning bridges gaps and replaces crowded lectures with a 360-degree, immersive learning experience. Online learning has become mainstream and commonplace in the internet age. It has taken learning out of the confines of classrooms and provided an opportunity for anyone who wants to upgrade their learning. While online learning is now a matter of personal motivation dependent on the learner, attractive and effective UI/UX ensures that the learner is engaged for longer. Remote feedback, psychological tests, matchmaking technology, and scheduling tools are part of the UX/ UI trend that helps learners track their progress, set goals, and learn from their mistakes.
Microinteractions are tiny moments of interaction of user and design. Common examples of micro-interactions on UI/UX include progress bar animations, interactive toggle switches, data input interactions, etc.
Microinteractions provide motion to buttons, icons, tabs, and other elements on websites or apps and trigger faster user response, while boosting user experience without a large expense.
Remote and virtual collaboration
Remote and virtual collaboration tools help run engaging, productive meetings and workshops remotely, share ideas, and find solutions to problems. These UI/UX elements enhance personal and professional productive across locations.
The use of scroll-triggered animations is a recent interesting UX design trend that is expected to be more popular in the future. Scroll-triggered animations keep users engaged and provide a significant storytelling element making users feel they are a part of the brand and the story it is telling.
Creating a seamless experience is the aim of UI/UX that focuses on creating continuity. This continuity could be in a specific scene or process like making a payment, or as part of the bigger picture like the complete customer journey from landing on the site, browsing the online shop, to making a purchase, to receiving the item.
This user experience is consistent and each element within is a natural progression from the previous, leading to a positive customer experience. The aim is to maintain the attention of a user for a longer period on the website or app.
Storytelling creates an experience that can build a strong connection between businesses and customers. Storytelling helps a user know the full story of a brand or the customer experience story leading to greater trust and relatedness with the business.
Storytelling is amongst the most common and preferred UX/UI design trends and carries forward from the fascination with humankind for stories. Along with visual elements, stories can be so powerful and cut through the clutter, get the message across, and influence customers. Storytelling in UI/UX helps keep users engaged, bringing them closer to the brand and helps shift their perspective by making them part of the story.
User onboarding experience
A good onboarding experience is important given that millions of people install (visit a website) and use the services of a website or app.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality and augmented reality have become one of the latest UX industry trends and are not just restricted to gaming but used in other sectors as well. AR has caught on with the stable release of Google’s ARCore in January 2022 and Apple’s ARKit 4 released as part of iOS 14 in September 2021. The growth will be gradual as design and development standards are still being developed.
Voice User Interface (VUI) and touchless interactions
Various methods of interacting with devices, such as voice control and air gesture control, are gaining popularity. Voice assistance or voice control of UI/ UX creates a smooth experience between the user and the voice application or software. We have seen an increase in voice-activated assistants like Siri, Google and Alexa providing new experiences and interfaces for customers to engage with devices, web pages and apps. With 27% of the global online population using voice search on mobile (Juniper Research) it becomes important for optimizing content and interaction in different languages.
Another UI and UX trend that began in the wake of the pandemic is touchless interaction.
The third part of this article dwells on the future of UI UX and its context in the business space.