A Look at Emerging UX Design Trends for 2019
UX design has become ubiquitous today – product interfaces, onboarding processes and content presentation on varied digital platforms depend upon it. With technology advancing rapidly and evolving, it has become mandatory for industry players to constantly adapt to new design strategies. One would do well to analyse these emerging trends with less than a month remaining to plan strategies for the next year. Here are some UX design trends I would watch out for in 2019:
Voice UI offers a faster, easier and more delightful way of controlling computers and devices by allowing users to use a voice input. Imagine being able to speak to your app screen and watch it take you three steps ahead without having to lift a finger! It has been predicted that about 50 per cent of all search engine queries will be voice-based. Businesses must aim to lead the wave in this fast-evolving VUI tech as the following year could prove immensely decisive.
Designing for Privacy
With the implementation of GDPR laws in Europe, the importance of data and its ownership has finally been highlighted. While the laws don’t apply to the Indian subcontinent and other proposals like the Srikrishna committee report are yet to gain acceptance, it does not stop us from adopting practices that protect user privacy. Following such practices has the added benefit of allowing Indian startups to expand to Europe without changing the design of their systems too much.
There are many variables in user testing that lead to biased results, two of which are the dominant voice syndrome and observer bias. Emotive mapping aims to measure the user’s emotions using brain waves by placing a headband on the user’s temples. The unbiased quantitative results tell us the visual, intellectual, motor and memory load the user is undergoing at any given point of the test. This makes it more effective than ever and vastly more insightful to detect problems in UX design, but more importantly, it lets us see the real data without the filter of our own biases or those of the researcher.
Digital technology can take steps to accommodate for users with disabilities, be it colour blindness, haptic inabilities or other such conditions, and be more inclusive. Designing for inclusivity enables people with diverse characteristics to use a product in a variety of different environments. This is important because it enables numerous ways in which people can participate in an experience.
Micro-interactions have been evolving and getting more attention in the past couple of years, since they contribute in a huge way in improving the usability of an application. In addition, these micro-interactions can help deliver the tonality for an app, which is far harder to achieve without it. As products become smarter and more technologically capable, the industry must aim to create systems that use micro-interactions to create an emotional bond and build loyalty with their users.
Design for Awareness
Design can redefine what’s normal or accepted. The history of design is replete with examples of how it has affected ideas about gender, race, sexual orientation and culture. As self-aware designers, for example, when we’re designing a registration flow, we should take an inclusive view and list three genders instead of two or if we require a parent’s name in a form, we must make it a point to state “parent’s name” instead of “father’s name” as is so often done. Furthermore, we should propose workflows to our clients that are environmentally friendly, such as “pick up from a store”, “deliver when all the items are available” or “don’t include packaging” that help reduce environmental pollution. The ability to be conscious and include these options also has an effect on consumer perception as they are more likely to stay loyal to a brand that demonstrates social responsibility. It just makes good business sense to do so.
Flat 3D or 2.5D
The industry must accelerate the search for faster and easier solutions to 3D rendering while still creating the illusion of motion. Imagine creating 2D illustrations or animations on the X plane and then adding them to a Y plane. This is called a 2.5D plane or flat 3D or the plane that exists between 2D and 3D. The implications of such effects and their potential for use must be explored in the upcoming projects this year.
Universal Experiences: Integrated Service Design
When it comes to customer service and delivery, while inclusive design focuses more on the methodology used whilst thinking of a solution, universal experiences is the solution itself. The idea is to design an experience that can be accessed and used in the widest possible range of situations without a need for adaptation. Hence, online and offline experiences must be combined, especially since quite a few offline stores want to move online but don’t know how.
In this age of hyperconnectivity, there is a constant need for technology to adapt in order to deliver advanced solutions and their lifespan is usually relatively low. The manner in which we experience digital products and services is also constantly changing, making it worthwhile to plan effective adoption of emerging trends. In the end, though, trends will keep changing but the essential goal of technology will always be to disappear quietly into the background.