UX design is a constantly evolving discipline which forces designers to take a multi-faceted approach to development. It’s no secret that the world of UX design has boomed since it’s conception. As developers are constantly improving technology, users are also constantly developing higher expectations.
The dynamic development environment is as competitive as ever. We repeatedly see the rise and fall of design trends and just when you thought you got it, it changed again. For UX designers, it is critical to keep up to date with current trends and forecast the future of UX design. Here are our predictions for the direction of UX design in 2019.
Shift from Responsive to Adaptive Design
There are hundreds upon thousands of different devices which exist in 2019. In the past, designers have needed to be wary of responsive designs for both mobile and web displays. Present day designers are faced with the challenge of designing for a multitude of platforms including smart speakers, televisions and even wearables such as watches. In 2019, we will see more device agnostic design in order to accommodate for more mediums and therefore, more users. Companies such as Huawei, Samsung, Oppo and LG have prototyped foldable displays in 2018. Foldable devices will be introduced to consumers in 2019. Designers will have to design for a new type of responsiveness. Device agnostic design will allow for a seamless user journey from device to device.
Augmented Reality in Practice
“The tools today (face filters and games like Pokemon Go) are primitive and people aren’t using primitive tools because they prefer primitive tools. They’re using primitive tools because we’re still early on the journey to creating better tools.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg predicted that lenses would replace all screens. Since then, companies have begun to build AR prototypes and implement these designs in applications. We have seen applications such as Pokemon Go and Snapchat utilise AR for an interactive, engaging and entertaining user experience. Applications such as Google translate, and Apple’s Measure have approached the use of AR in order to present practical solutions.
A combination of complex animations, 3D graphics and biometrics have played a significant role in the development and expansion of augmented reality. Users are able to be as expressive and as emotive as ever by using tools such as Animoji and Memoji which allow users to create animated characters using their own faces. 2019 sees an increase in the applications for AR as a solution or tool, particularly the use of biometrics.
Renewed Gesture-based Interaction
Buttons are disappearing from devices everywhere, but the death of buttons wasn’t just physical. Since the release of the iPhone X, a new precedent of design has been set, disregarding the utility of buttons. Instead of simply creating digital buttons, basic controls and interactions are now gesture based. For designers, this means that 2019 will see more gesture-based controls paired with guiding animations. Designers face challenges with drastic usability issues such as discoverability and usability. The use of guided animations will assist users in navigating the interface whilst normalising the use of gesture-based controls.
Seamless Voice Control Interfaces
Gestures aren’t the only things in control in 2019. Voice-activated user systems such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home are emerging in households all around the world. Google, Alexa and Siri have been able to complete basic functions such as checking the weather however we predict that UX designers will be creating more advanced user-friendly voice systems, allowing for more complex capabilities. Voice user interface design will become a new, highly sought-after discipline amongst designers.
Shift from Flat Design to Material Design
Designers have been very conscious of minimalism and simplicity. Flat design became a trend, however, there has been a gradual shift toward material design in 2019. Like flat design, material design is very minimal and focuses on crisp edges and 2D illustrations. Material design also incorporates shading, gradients, textures and patterns in order to add depth and liveliness to design. Material design paired with animation will allow designers to create exciting interactivity in user interfaces.
All in all, technological advancements have allowed designers to enhance user experience. The technological environment will continue to transcend our expectations and we are so excited to see what the 2019 year of UX will look like.
Personalised for You
“33% of customers who abandon business relationships do so because personalization is lacking.” – Accenture
Personalisation is known to enhance user experience as it allows users to feel more special and connected. Previously, personalisation has been applied to design by allowing users to select their own setting such as font size and colour spectrum (for those who may be visually impaired). Now, in 2019 designers are now considering geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural segmentation when researching. Netflix and Spotify will customise your suggested content based on your activity. Brands are trying to allow users to see what they want when they want.
Protected Data with Biometric Security
As the capabilities of technology are increasing, the likelihood of security risks involving technology is too. For decades, users have been remembering passwords to protect personal information. Several high profile tech companies experienced data breaches in 2018, compromising the personal data of millions of users. The GDPR was introduced to legally govern how businesses store and use consumer data in May of 2018. Despite being forced to add an unsightly opt-out notice to their websites, UX designers were also forced to consider the risks and responsibilities involved in presenting information.
Security is at the forefront of development this year. We predict a trend in the rise of biometrics to provide a personalised user experience where users won’t have to remember multiple complex passwords. Devices now come with biometric security systems such as fingerprint scanners or facial recognition. In 2019, users will normalize the use of biometrics as an alternate password to gain access and protect user information.
Rise of the UX Specialists
“What’s better than knowing a little about a lot and a lot about a little?… Knowing a lot about a lot.” – Mike Arauz
The importance of keeping up with trends has meant that specialist UX roles are more in demand. UX Design has deviated from being a standalone role. The emergence of specialist UX roles such as the UX Writer, UX Engineer and UX Researcher has allowed organizations to increase their design capabilities. In 2019, we expect to see more specialist UX job titles and job listings.