User experience (UX) design combines branding, usability and functionality. It is about designing products such as websites, software and smartphone apps that are easy for users to interact with.
An interesting fact is “user experience” was first coined in the 90s by a man named Don Norman, who is affectionately known as the grandfather of UX. We’re bringing this up because it gives you an idea of how long the process of user experience has been in existence. Its primary job is to put the end-user at the front of design creation, to ensure that users get accessible, quality and valuable experience when interacting with the products.
As with many technological advancements, user experience design has undergone many changes, updates and tweaks to make it more user-friendly. UX designers spend time learning about user behaviour, patterns, needs and wants when interacting with products, and they try and implement design elements that make that experience streamlined and effortless. They do all of this through interactive design methodology, which involves prototyping, testing and analysis. The more they learn about users, the more they update UX design elements to ensure that users get desired and enjoyable experiences. This is how UX design trends are born. With that, we bring you a shortlist of UX design trends that UX designers who offer web design services in cape town or anywhere in the country.
More data-driven design
Data-driven design is about developing designs according to data insights collected via consumer research. The data tells UX designers what the pain points are for users, along with their preferences and goals. That way, they’re able to know what to prioritise and which techniques to use when designing the elements needed to cater to these needs. The fundamental goal of data-driven design is ultimately developing a UX design that will solve the problem and resonate with the end-user.
Embracing ethical UX design
Unethical UX design refers to designs that are deliberately developed to take advantage of users. It keeps visitors interacting with the product, even when there isn’t any new content to engage in, because it benefits the business in question. One of the major dishonest UX designs is dark patterns. A clear example of dark patterns is misdirection; it’s basically the act of tricking users into believing they have control of completing an action, which in the end, they don’t. Closing an Amazon account is a great example of misdirection; you will be hard-pressed to find an option to close your account under my account until you land on the help option found in the footer. This will reveal several click-throughs and dropdowns that only an Amazon associate can delete your account.
Essentially, subscription options are hidden to the user.
There are many other different types of dark patterns, for example, forced continuity (where you sign up for a free trial or free membership but have to enter your credit card details and find yourself paying without notice or permission), hidden costs, bait and switch disguised ads, and more. In 2020, these evils of design are being done away with, and UX designers are embracing ethical UX design.
This approach won’t harm or manipulate users.
Artificial intelligence to improve UX design
Every industry has been talking about artificial intelligence (AI); its capabilities and benefits to better all processes. UX designers also benefit from artificial intelligence in many different ways. Artificial intelligence is integrated with machine learning systems, and these applications study data and patterns. They also identify ways to improve customer behaviour through experience. This means then that AI will collect UX design data, analyse it, and improve it to provide users with more relatable, engaged and personalised experiences.
Augmented reality (AR) is technology integrated with interactive programs which offer real-life-like
experiences. It puts people at the centre of experiences, where they feel part of the experience instead of being a bystander watching from the sidelines. Its integration into UX design means there’s an opportunity to add AR features to make the interaction with the products more seamless.
Customisation helps to tailor experiences according to the user’s specific interest. It allows users to make experiences more personal to them, and it gives them an opportunity to be in control of their experiences. A clear example of customisation themes is the dark theme which has been adopted by big brands like WhatsApp. UX designers add numerous options to themes to give users a chance to choose a theme that works for them.
These trends above are a testament that the industry is heading in the right direction by cutting out dishonest UX design practices. It is also evident that user experience design is looking to return to the basics by focusing on simplicity as well as work more with advanced technologies to meet the needs, wants, interests and goals of the end-user. In the end, user experience designers should put users first. Fortunately, we, as one of the best web design companies in South Africa, understand the importance of improving customer journeys and the significant role it plays in the success of products, services and overall, businesses. Contact us today, and we’ll help you improve your user experience!
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