UX Innovation: Top 5 Trends 2016 Has Left Us with
2016 was the year of chatbots, growing adoption of IoT solutions and drastic changes in content consumption. With so many complex products and services up their sleeve, businesses need a whole new way to engage customers and deliver the ultimate user experience. What are the biggest UX trends from 2016 and why should you care? Read on to find out!
User experience: top 5 innovation trends you need to embrace ASAP
- Mobile-first approach to website development. The average user reaches out to his smartphone up to 200 times per day. 48% of customers believe brands do not care enough for them if they fail to make their websites mobile-friendly. Through 2017, 75% of all Web traffic will be coming from smartphones and tablets. It’s no wonder mobile-first is one of the hottest trends in web development for 2017! If you want to launch or overhaul a website this year, make sure you vendor designs a mobile version first and decides on the desktop version’s feature set later on. Then you can add as many extra features as it takes to reach your business goals;
- Dynamic UX. The concept of responsive design has evolved from building websites and applications that perfectly fit device environment to cognitive functionality – that is, software that differentiates user behavior patterns and acts accordingly. Today UX designers leverage data collected through research and smart sensors to create machine learning algorithms and take user experience to the next level. In a nutshell, machine learning is a type of Artificial Intelligence that makes software change its functionality depending on context. Netflix, a US entertainment company with over 86 million subscribers around the globe, makes personal movie recommendations based on a user’s rating history. When you load Safari homepage, you see the list of websites that you often visit, which makes browsing on the go a lot easier. PayPal creates use scenarios involving both law-abiding users and cheets and feeds the data to its machine learning algorithms to fight fraud. Provided you follow the latest UX trends and enhance your website or app with dynamic elements, your customers will easily find its categories and components without looking through tons of irrelevant data. There are chatbots, too. In 2016 several popular messengers including Facebook, Kik and Telegram launched their bot development platforms, giving content providers, customer service companies and retailers an opportunity to reach their target audience through conversation programs that understand natural language. The success of WeChat (a Chinese messenger with 700 million active users) and its bots proves some businesses no longer need mobile apps to win customers. You shouldn’t jump at conclusions though; Asian markets have their peculiarities. In the end, the choice of customer engagement channels entirely depends on your audience’s preferences. Provided you consult a software development company with great expertise in UX design and focus on innovation, you’ll do no wrong;
- Voice interfaces. Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google’s Assistant have given rise to voice recognition technology and hands/eyes-free interfaces. Today some applications (for example, Hound) can easily calculate the average monthly mortgage payment for a house priced at $ 1 million, tell the distance between Berlin and Tokio and figure out that the city where the Space Needle is located is actually Seattle – and you don’t even have to type anything. Why are voice interfaces so important these days? First, users browse a lot (and usually on the go). Second, more websites, applications and smart devices are now built with accessibility in mind. After all, 54% of US citizens with special needs (that’s over 5.8 million people) own a smartphone. They don’t want explicitly designed software and gadgets. We live in the age of user experience innovation – and you have to keep ahead of the game;
- Micro-everything. We’re moving away from bulky monolith software, slow processors and heavy UI elements. Everything is simple and task-oriented – and that’s why the micro approach to software development has become one of the biggest user experience trends. Microinteractions are product moments centered around every single use case. Whenever you like a Facebook post, check weather forecast or set your status message on social media, you’re dealing with microinteractions. Users do not normally notice these things until something goes wrong; yet, microinteractions make the difference between a product they love and a product they only tolerate. Want to engage customers through microinteractions? Use images and animations to tell them what’s going on. Reset the color of an icon to highlight changes. Visualize data input. Use non-standard layouts like flipping images forwards. Encourage customers to keep scrolling and share content on social media. Microinteractions will help you stand out from the competition, boost conversion rates, create a memorable user experience and convince your customers that you actually keep up with the latest trends and value their time;
- Internet of Things. By 2020, there will be 20.8 billion connected gadgets worldwide (up from 6.4 billion last year). IoT is growing at a steady speed, and that means we have more data to process and more devices to manage. How does it impact UX design and trends? Using Artificial Intelligence programs, businesses can gain a better insight into customer behavior, create more detailed buyer personas and improve ad targeting. A simple task like unlocking a door becomes complex once the lock is incorporated into a sophisticated home automation system. If you consider building a custom gadget (or using one for business purposes), be prepared to face all the challenges of cross-platform design at the same time. And don’t forget about infrastructure. Personal safety wristbands surely help the elderly stay in their homes longer and live independent lives. However, there must be a customer support specialist on board to monitor patients’ activities 24/7 and take measures when needed.
UX is no longer part of design – it is a business of its own. When it comes to website and mobile app development, software architecture, layouts and content are considered the key factors behind excellent or disastrous user experience. 88% of customers will never visit your website if you disappoint them once.
The process of creating great UX requires close cooperation among project managers, business analysts, marketers and developers. That is why you should address an experienced vendor who follows the latest software development and UX trends and will conduct a comprehensive field research before a single line of code is written. These insights will help you understand how your customers think – and make the right business decisions, of course.