UX design and user-interface (UI) design are crucial factors in the success of Web sites, both Web and desktop applications, and mobile apps—any software systems with which humans interact.
Customers constantly visit many different Web sites and use many different mobile apps, so businesses need a way to somehow draw their attention and make them stay on their platform.
UI design comprehends every visual element of a design, including animations, widgets, images, color, and text. Of course, good visual design can capture people’s attention, and that is its ultimate goal. Having an eye-catching design for your Web site or product can make it stand out in the marketplace.
In contrast, the outcome of UX design is all about how the user experiences an entire design solution—for example, whether they find it easy and convenient to use. There are some current UX design trends that are driving users’ engagement with Web sites and products—an important aspect of the user experience.
The UX design industry witnesses the continual evolution of design trends. Digital experiences and users’ expectations of them change every day. Some trends become outdated and we move beyond them, but others gain ground and become entrenched
It’s necessary for every designer to be aware of these trends. So let’s look at some design trends that can engage your users and take your UX designs to the next level.
Using motion design is the best way to grab people’s attention. Therefore, many UX designers have integrated animations into their designs. Animations are often the best way to portray the information that a design must convey effectively. Motion can directly touch the human brain and enables users to retain information for a longer time. When an animation is interactive and attractive, it can delight people and engage users.
There are many examples of engaging animations in today’s user interfaces, as in the example shown in Figure 1. For instance, when a Web page is loading, animations can make the page interesting, ensuring that people won’t leave before the page loads. Another example: When the user removes or deletes an item from your Web site or product, don’t just make it disappear. Instead, use an animation to show that you’re actually removing it.
You can make your Web site or product much more appealing and engaging by properly integrating animation into your user interfaces.
Pay attention to users’ small interactions with your system—even those that users don’t use all the time. When you manage every single small interaction properly, these microinteractions can collectively improve the user experience, as Figure 2 depicts.
Particularly in mobile apps and Web sites, every element must be well designed. Even small elements in an application could be dominant parts of the system. Let’s look at an example: On Facebook, the Like button is very small in size, but of major significance. It’s the basis of the entire Facebook application.
For an ecommerce business, this is a salient point because there many small elements that have a huge impact on your system—elements such as Buy Now, Add to Wishlist, or Notify Me. You must design each of these microinteractions very carefully to deliver a great user experience.
Add Smooth-Shadow Effects
When you add smooth-shadow effects to interactive elements in real time, your designs can elicit positive emotional responses from users. Shadow effects on images or other visual elements give users a sense that they’re interacting physically with those elements. Whenever the user moves the mouse pointer over such an element, a shadow effect appears, providing a visual cue that indicates the UI element with which the user is currently interacting.
Figure 3 shows the appearance of smooth-shadow effects of various sizes on different UI elements. You can determine the size of the shadows, depending on the requirements for your user interface, but a subtle effect is generally preferable. Still, you should make sure that the effect clearly highlights an element.
The elements of your Web site or product to which you’ve applied smooth-shadow effects easily grab people’s attention. Adding these effects to any simple, cleanly designed user interface can make it more interesting and enhances user interactions.
Incorporate Augmented Reality
The tremendous growth of technology has affected every area of human life. Augmented reality (AR) is currently a popular UX trend and provides an engaging, real-time user experience.
The design of augmented realities is all about how UX designers visualize supplemental information, laying it over the real-world objects in front of users. Therefore, creating a visual design that provides a better user experience is really important. Such a user experience must satisfy all of the user requirements for functionality, but also make that functionality easy to access without impairing the user’s view. If you consider the fine points of AR design, you can create an amazing user experience.
As Figure 4 shows, when someone uses an AR app to view their current environment, the information that appears over their view must be well designed so it doesn’t obscure the essential elements of the place.
Select Colors Carefully
Never ignore the importance of colors, no matter what you’re designing. Color is the backbone of visual design and can greatly impact the success of any UX design solution. No matter what the purpose of a design, making the proper color choices is mandatory, as Figure 5 depicts.
Colors are essential to the aesthetics of any design. They give a design beauty, can lend sense to a design, and call users’ attention to elements. To create a world-class user interface, you must combine various colors in an effective manner. Every color has a unique meaning in human psychology. Because colors have psychological impacts on people, the role of color is key to providing a better user experience.
And, of course, the use of a few select colors gives a Web site or product its identity in the marketplace and reflects the brand’s personality. Therefore, when creating a UX design, always keep the significance of colors in mind and choose them appropriately.
In this modern world, whatever field you’re working in, staying on trend is important. In the design industry, following UX design trends can take your designs to the next level. In this article, I’ve described a few key points about some current design trends. Some design trends can make our design solutions more attractive, while others make them more engaging. Of course, not all of them apply in every situation. The software systems we design consist of many small design elements, which together must provide the perfect user interface and user experience. Following these design trends can help your designs succeed.
Andrew is a content and user-interface design specialist, who works for a renowned logo-design company. He is committed to delivering an accurate, consistent brand message to an organization’s audience. He loves exploring the latest technologies and trends. Read More