Everyday at Netguru, we do our best, not only to provide our customers with the best software possible, but also to design their products in a way that will guarantee success. That’s why our designers follow their own design flow based on some obligatory rules. They must stay on top of all the latest trends in design and use state-of-the-art technologies. We asked them, what are their UX and design predictions for 2016. Check out what they told us:
The trend of simplifying app and software interfaces and features instead of making them more complicated is on the rise. We’re witnessing an increase of information clutter. People don’t know which pieces of information are important and which parts can be skipped. Sometimes it is really hard to focus on a specific task or even recognize and understand it. As a result, when faced with a complex interface, we prefer to abandon apps or websites due to the lack of time or the fact that too much effort is required to properly use them. In order to get people’s attention we need to surprise them with purposeful, simple and intuitional interfaces which let the user focus only on one thing at a time.
How many people in your community don’t have a phone with a touch screen? We’re getting used to using gestures instead of keys. As a result, one of the most important UX trends for the coming months will be design compatible with gestures which become super natural, even for young children. In the not-so-distant past we used mainly mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Today hybrid devices become more and more popular. These include laptops mixed with tablets, like Microsoft’s Surface Book, bigger tablets with peripherals, eg. an additional keyboard, like the iPad Pro etc.. This means that usage of devices with touch interfaces enters a whole new level - they are now being used for professional purposes. Using gestures enables designers to omit many elements of the interface, as the intuitive nature of the touchscreen simply makes them obsolete. Thus it’s possible to take interaction with content to the next level, at the same time making it more fun for the user. Now we can do more with our touch devices - we can create content instead of just consuming it.
We’re observing a growing importance of animation. With animation we can add another layer of information to the content. It's especially important on mobile devices, where the space available is very limited. Probably you can imagine, that a user led to the same view by means of two different animations may perceive the content differently (i.e. push left vs. pop). More and more companies decide to adopt this way of presenting information, as they realize that in today’s fast moving world visual messages are most powerful. Awareness of animation as a UX concept increases as it is used more and more often in new applications. Besides showing the hierarchy and structure animation is a perfect tool for indicating progress, data processing, user action or simply giving a visual hint.
You can even spot this trend on Dribbble. According to their 2015 year in review almost 10% of all shots published through their site were animated gifs (perfect for showing animations and interactions). In the article about Inbbbox - the application for browsing pics from Dribbble which we’ve recently created, you can preview our animated gif in action. I think this number will grow this year along with the idea of animation becoming an important aspect of UX.
Modern consumers are fed up with traditional marketing campaigns. They’ve become tired of invasive commercials and disruptive adverts and they’re also increasingly resistant to them. Native advertising is the perfect solution for this problem but the concept is still relatively fuzzy. Native advertising is a form of paid advertising displayed in a very subtle way which increases brand awareness and recognition without interrupting and defocusing the user. This way of advertising is not imposed by the person wanting to publish an advertisement but by the platform on which it’s published. Thus it’s easier to maintain the image consistency of the platform and in consequence, impact the user experience in the positive way.
Although methods of communication are continuously evolving, one thing is constant. Our most favorite method is still sending text messages. And messages are not only text. They’re conversations. Why not adopt this method in the use of applications? Or change applications into conversations which for us are so natural? What would happen if the only thing to do to order Uber was sending one fast iMessage? Not so long ago we witnessed the boom of Slack. What is the difference between Slack and Skype or Hipchat? Slack, on the contrary to other communicators, was able to make conversations with others (websites included) pleasurable and simple again. Text is not dead, on the other hand it’s evolving quickly which, not only in my opinion, we’re going to witness in the forthcoming months. Some people even say that design is a conversation.
The trend aiming at reduction of excessive options. As we explained some time ago, anticipatory design is based on the presumption that less (choice) is more, the goal of anticipatory design is to decrease the number of decisions the user is forced to make, for example during the process of purchasing something from the web. As modern consumers we have to face choice after choice which, at some point, may become tiring and discouraging. This new trend in design aims at empowering the user with more time and at the same time reducing worries. See the examples of businesses that may benefit from it and read about Netrugu’s approach towards anticipatory design.
What trend in your opinion will be the most important in 2016? Do you have any other UX predictions for the forthcoming months? If so, please share them with us in the comments below!