In the previous article, we talked about how usability affects the effectiveness of an e-commerce website. Today we would like to consider in more detail a UI/UX design in the context of current trends, which we will follow in the next few years.
Given the global trends in the IT field, we can say that with a high degree of probability these trends will affect both the design and:
- page making;
- style of interaction of companies with customers.
In a broader sense, they will affect the strategies of IT companies, because what has worked before is not so effective in our days.
«What does design have to do with it? » – you would ask. Everything is effortless: this is the aspect of interaction with customers, in which the changes will be traced most clearly. Indeed, we are already seeing the first steps towards the rapid modernization of the industry.
Which design trends will be relevant in the near future?
Download speeds for web and mobile browsers are steadily increasing, new powerful chips for smartphones have become more productive, so we have expanded the possibilities for creating bright, animated content. For example, all modern browsers support WebGL 2 technology, which allows us to:
- Reach a new level of rendering and, accordingly, three-dimensional objects;
- Improve the quality of their detail;
- Make complex shapes;
- Increase the depth and saturation of colors.
Now we don’t have to abandon the graphics in favor of speeding up the loading of pages, and much of the information will be transferred to users due to movements and transitions. Luxury has become an available function and instrument of influence.
3D graphics and animation – powerful tools for sales and positioning
3D graphics and animation will be used to demonstrate completed projects or services, visualize research (numbers in dynamics) and simulate work on the current order. This is especially helpful for product companies with complicated, weakly imagined processes. Thus, you will create a higher level of understanding and loyalty among your customers, which makes their use as the №1 trend for 2019.
An exciting novelty of this year will be animated logos that attract much more attention and are remembered much better – especially if you are a pioneer.
Furthermore, a stylish and timely solution will be to create a visualized and animated history of your company, which will include logo design.
Context and controversies
Any new idea should be taken in the context of significant factors. Negative associations related to a specific product category and the conflicting drive towards breaking standards are such variables for animation. In the first case, we should abandon the animation, even if it makes sense, as to recklessly reviving the idea is a bad thought. The second factor creates a knock-on effect in surreal design.
Why will surreal design get popular?
All efforts to create a dynamic design and three-dimensional objects will be useless if the finished result doesn’t cause a strong emotional reaction from your potential clients. Difficulty isn’t always required for a tangible effect, as people need to balance their common sense. Ironic and even scandalous solutions are sometimes the most effective, both for beginners and for large enterprises. Below is an example of applying this approach by Dropbox Inc.
The objective of using a cartoon style in the design of this illustration and the UI as a whole is to maintain the freshness of the image. When a brand is the main product, it can be surrounded by an unlimited amount of noise. Corporate style can be strange and even phantasmagoric – be sure, in some cases, it will work fine. Therefore, in 2019 we may expect an increase in the number of such projects.
So, here you may talk about the next strong trend. You don’t have to follow it, but you need to take it into account. However, remember that the more comprehensive your audience, the more caution you should keep concerning humor and surreal design. As for startups, it’s hard to say with certainty how much reasonable the use of cartoon and strange images is. Some of them become very popular due to their scandalousness.
Deep flat design
Implementation of 3D graphics and animations into interfaces is not the only way to jump off the page. As we said above, designers have got the opportunity to play with forms, make colors deeper, and details better drawn. It creates the feeling of an entirely new flat design. So, now we are watching modernization of the underlying trend of the last 5 years while retaining its main essence – symbols, contributing to a better understanding.
Deep flat design is a new flat design
Actual CG combo and 3D have given us the opportunity to understand the reaction and principles of customer interaction with “lively” objects. Based on such observations, resourceful designers have already begun to develop pseudo 3D. It includes:
- the imposition of layers and forms on each other;
- special techniques of using light and shadows;
- use reflections.
As a result, we get the illusion of three dimensions.
There is also an upward fake 3D trend based on the use of traditional design tools, such as Principle and After Effects, to create moving models that emulate 3D with its inherent volume and motion.
Gradient 2.0, bright colors, and dark backgrounds
These are new developments generated by the appearance of modern displays with fantastic color space and resolution. Even a monochrome palette can now be made much more multifaceted, thanks to sophisticated transitions and depth of hues.
However, bright colors and rich gradients are traditionally perceived by users more positively. With their help, the necessary contrasts and accents are easily created. Therefore, in 2019 we will see more examples of their use with several new introductory ones:
- gradients will be used preferably to ensuring dimension and depth of interfaces than to attract attention;
- more combined layers and colors will appear;
- starts using gradient 2.0.
This kind of gradient is simple, subtle and stylish. It involves the use of friendly tones and a precise light source to highlight shapes.
Noteworthy is the fact that bright colors and gradients look more impressive on dark backgrounds. When all colors are bright, it becomes difficult to highlight something, and too thin transitions can be lost when browsing on some screens.
At the same time, a sharp contrast will distract users from the substantive content. But too dark themes will not work outside in sunny weather. Therefore, for a professional designer, it is important to find a balance. Those who succeed will be on the crest of a wave.
We used to perceive typefaces as static elements with a limited number of configurable parameters. Designers had to consider intelligibility in the context of strokes, and also letter height, and width.
Every time a UI design involved varying typefaces, designers had to send all the files for the font styles used. You couldn’t fully commit to high-quality typography in a product unless you cover all the bases.
With variable or generative fonts, you need merely one file because they provide you an endless number of customizations for letter weight and width.
This slightly simplifies the product design, right? Moreover, here we see a prerequisite for an intensive development of a dynamic design of web pages, which will be configured more flexibly for each individual visitor now.
Voice UI would be popular
Despite the beauty and flexibility of modern fonts, as well as simplifying the process of typography, users increasingly resort to voice search for information of interest. This idea has already been successfully implemented in search engines and begins to be implemented on the LinkedIn platform. The next step is to create a voice UI for websites and mobile apps.
The process more relates to writing, building context, and synthesizing data, than to real design. Even so, a substantial part of designers is possessed by the idea of discovering ways to display voice UI. Mostly it is represented through individual visions of enthusiasts, who develop impressive interfaces and animations.
Most of the times they haven’t anything in common with voice interfaces. However, they bring people to an absence of controls elements and teach them how to use new technology. In 2019, we wait to witness the deepening of the knowledge about voice UI, as more designers move from plain visual aesthetic to meaningful experience of design.
Product designer as a full job
UX design is a very extensive term. It is a part of service design which is cross-industrial discipline. As a result, designers and design firms collect diversified portfolios of projects involving both simple utility apps as well as multiple FinTech platforms.
Service design is a coverlet. It can cover many industries and apply universally approaches. Service designers may have their individual styles which they can apply to any products. That’s what they get prominence for, and that’s what businesses are ready to pay for. It’s similar to buying spare parts from a respected manufacturer.
However, most businesses are product companies, and they might an emphasize a deeper level of understanding from a designer. Similar companies need product designers who are deals with working into their teams. Such specialists must have all the data available and tools to impact the system as a whole.
In my opinion, this is a natural result of the strengthening of the global tendency towards narrow specialisations of companies. As a result, the demand for fully dedicated core specialists increases. With a high degree of probability, such changes will contribute to improving the quality of products and the level of professionalism of individual employees, as well as a more precise focus on the impact on consumers.
Diversification is no longer the best approach for individual businesses. However, the integration of separate companies with a narrow specialization into large holdings is still relevant.
Inspired by UX Planet