More Artificial Intelligence! It’s being screamed from every rooftop in tech, but it’s not the only trend worth mulling over this year. The tech space loves asking, ‘What’s next?’ And in the weird and wonderful world of UX design, looking ahead is the only way to stay ahead (of the competition).
The SODA squad have put together a list of some of the more exciting UX design trends emerging this year, check it out:
Augmented reality, virtual reality, and now mixed reality, whatever next? These elements all fall under the term ‘Extended Reality,’ which presents some unique opportunities for UX developers.
Compared to the scope of the transformation it represents, mixed reality (MR) is still in the baby step phase, but it looks impressive – Apple is set to release the VisionPro headset early next year, a wearable device that seamlessly blends the real and virtual realms.
For UX designers, this might mean adapting their UI skills to fit a 3D space. MR differs from VR in that it maps virtual elements to the real world, enabling both environments to interact with one another. Instagram’s filters are an example of it in action.
Surface-less interactions, an extra axis, user research, spatial mapping, simultaneous localisation and rapid prototyping are all major considerations for the future-facing UX designer.
Why are those Netflix recommendations so intriguing? Loads of reasons, but partly because the AI working behind the scenes. Netflix uses AI to personalise the thumbnails of its titles by using an algorithm to choose from thousands of frames.
Grammarly send weekly updates to their users with a breakdown of how their writing has improved, and Tesla creates driver profiles based on driver data. From the minuscule to the massive, product personalisation is all around us – users have come to expect it, and UX designers have a job to leverage that personalisation in a way that resonates with the user.
What does this look like?
Ethically considerate – any product personalisation takes some form of data analysis into account, a hot topic in the privacy space right now. A good user experience is based on trust; granting users more control over their UI can avoid coming over as manipulative. Transparency is key!
Customisation vs Personalisation – the best UXs consider the balance between personalisation (developer-led) and customisation (user-led), but neither can fix an already-dodgy UX.
Expectation Management – Users have come to expect personalisation at every cornerstone; Airbnb does an exceptional job of managing these UX expectations by delivering hyper-relevant and localised content for a streamlined site journey.
If you’re fed up with endlessly doomscrolling, you’re not alone. Immersive scrolling says goodbye to banal backdrops and introduces a new dynamic to UX design. It’s a simple yet beautiful way to keep the user engaged, and you can find a sublime example of it here: https://sputnikdesignteam.com/.
Parallax scrolling was one of the more eye-catching design trends last year. It’s since evolved to be more complex, and designers have their work cut out to find the balance between, functionality, aesthetic prowess, and accessibility.
Spotify’s Wrapped feature was an instant hit, and it’s all thanks to data visualisation (and an elite team of designers and developers). Data visualisation is a neat trick in the UX designer’s arsenal, but it’s not just an aesthetic tool – data visualisation can be used to convey complex data more understandable for the user, as demonstrated frequently in the medtech and healthcare spaces.
Taking the visualisation route can help navigate information overload in a data-rich era, and speaking of mitigating complexity…
Buttonless futures, negative space, subtle animations, and a crystal-clear user journey – the user experience comes first in the age of minimalism. The digital world is overflowing with content, and sometimes it takes stripping back to stand out. Minimalism in UX design can offer a refreshing take on the digital journey, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make bold choices, not when 3D design and immersive scrolling are so visually striking.
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