User experience (UX) design is an ever-changing and evolving field that is constantly adapting to new technologies, shifting user needs and emerging design trends.
Now 2023 has begun, it’s a good time to look at some key trends and themes that are likely to gain significance in the world of UX design. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at five of these trends and explore their potential impact on the future of UX design.
The power of AI in UX design
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise the way that designers and developers approach the UX process. By utilising AI tools and predictive analytics, designers can save time and create more considered designs that are tailored to the specific needs of their users. An example of this is the launch of ChatGPT, a dialogue-based AI that can create human-like responses to questions posed by users. This service can be used to create a variety of digital products, such as web pages, code and literature.
In addition to traditional design and marketing methods, AI technology can be used to enhance digital products and businesses. AI can assist with music generation by allowing users to select the genre, mood and length of the sound they desire. It can also aid in logo creation and brand identity, as well as the creation of survey or usability testing questions. Furthermore, AI can generate copy for businesses and digital products, which can help to improve their appeal and effectiveness.
By training an AI-model to generate UI variations, we can let designers – the human in the loop – get inspired by hundreds of design variations they can steer and select from.
Sonke Rohde – Vice President, UX Research and Development at Salesforce
Designing for video experience
The integration of video content into web pages and mobile screens has been a growing trend in UX design in recent years. With the rise of social media platforms, it is estimated that 86% of Gen Z users consume their digital media on video-led platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. Therefore, video content will play a key role in the success of many digital products going forward and there are several key things that UX designers must consider when incorporating videos into their designs.
- Video size and loading speed: A fast loading video without buffering is crucial, as the average site user is expected to bounce in just 3 seconds if a video is loading. This can be achieved by compressing videos, reducing the size without affecting quality.
- Optimization for mobile users: A mobile-first design approach is best practice in UX design, as over half of online traffic is now attributed to a mobile device. When incorporating video design into mobile, designers should reduce excess clutter and simplify designs, prioritise full-screen mode with just one action needed, and include shortcuts to enhance the viewing experience, such as 10-second double-tap functionality to allow the user to skim through the content.
- Include a call to action (CTA): The video should not only be dynamic and informative, but also include a way to keep the user engaged with the site once it has been consumed. A CTA should be incorporated into the overall design, allowing users to learn more about a product or sign up for more information.
- Videos that educate and delight the user: Videos should not only educate the user but also delight them, to keep them engaged. The video should be visually engaging and informative at the same time.
Sustainability in tech
As the world becomes more aware of the environmental impact of technology, the importance of sustainability in the tech industry is increasing. However, a recent study predicts that if the information and communication technology (ICT) industry continues at its current rate of growth, it will contribute to 14% of global carbon emissions by 2040, highlighting the need for the industry to take action. Three ways tech companies can adopt a more sustainable approach are:
- Internal Audits: Evaluate current internal processes that may contribute to unnecessary growth of the business’s carbon footprint and work to reduce them.
- Green Upgrade: Track and reduce the consumption of resources through energy-efficient equipment, and look for renewable power sources.
- Promote Sustainability through UX/UI designs: By thinking of more eco-friendly processes through design, businesses can help to reduce their carbon footprint. Examples include using e-signatures instead of physical hardcopies to reduce paper wastage, converting in-person meetings into digital events to reduce travel, and incorporating QR codes into digital products to reduce the need for printed materials.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that combines the real world with computer-generated content, creating interactive digital experiences. As people spend more time in the digital realm, AR experiences are becoming more lifelike and engaging.
One example of AR that stood out in 2022 is the interactive Burberry virtual store in Ginza. This virtual replica of the physical store allows customers from anywhere in the world to navigate and shop as if they were in the store in person. It also includes digital touchpoints that provide shoppers with styling tips created by stylists.
This example highlights the following key themes in the use of AR in UX design:
- The platform explores the relationship between physical and digital experiences, offering a new and exciting concept for its community and enhanced shopping experience
- By fully replicating the physical in-store experience digitally, users can experience the Burberry world anywhere and at any time
- It creates an immersive experience where users can discover and learn about both the brand and product
- The inclusion of styling tips also adds another layer of user engagement and interaction.
This example demonstrates how digital experiences can be brought to life by merging the human and digital worlds together.
When designing for the metaverse, some key themes to keep in mind are:
- Transitioning from 2D to 3D: As designers adapt to this new virtual space, they will need to create experiences that are fully immersive and utilise technologies such as VR and AI.
- Emphasis on sensitive design: The metaverse should be designed to be sustainable, pleasant, and avoid creating environments that are too intense or negative.
- Storytelling: Crafting a story that reflects the brand’s identity and values can help to increase customer engagement and trust. As a final note, I would like to share a video about how the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is using the metaverse to preserve its culture and values in the face of rising sea levels.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the many trends and themes that are likely to shape the future of UX design. Whether it’s the power of AI, designing for video experience, sustainability in tech, augmented reality or the metaverse, each of these trends has the potential to transform the way that users interact with digital products. As designers, it’s important to stay informed about these trends and to experiment with new technologies and design practices to create the most engaging and user-friendly experiences possible.
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