I would like to start the new year with 10 key User Experience trends for 2016.
Mobility will continue to be an important trend in 2016 but we will be talking less about Responsive Design and much more about Adaptive Design, which is the response to what is fast becoming a new fact of life: the Internet of People, which is taking over from the Internet of things. We don’t need more things and objects to carry around. We need to make what we already use, smarter. How can we make objects more meaningful for people, focused on their real needs?
2. Intuitive Design
Solutions will have to be simpler, clearer, faster and more useful. Material Design will take over from Flat Design and the use of icons and images will be increasingly common. Fewer options: through the power of data and personalization , digital products will offer a simplified experience with fewer options to users.
3. More Targeted and Tailored Experiences for Different Device Types
Now that many brands have accomplished this, the next wave of design approach is about extending and tailoring the experience to deliver an optimized experience. We’re also seeing smart contextual menus and interactions that are especially handy on smaller, hand held devices. Furthermore, predictive navigation and suggestive wayfinding will migrate out of standalone app experiences.
4. Real Time Response
Users will demand environments which are customized and personalized, but at the same time they will be more concerned about their privacy. The trend will be for more real time response, that is to say, content which responds to users’ own browsing and interactions.
5. Linear Content Management
From having all the information available at any time (e.g. Amazon.com homepage) to having just the right amount of information available at the exactly right time users need it. With devices and sensors getting smarter and more precise, the user experiences of 2016 are going to be even more linear – and our work even more focused around a specific moment in time and space. People are getting used to the convenience and simplicity of linear experiences. Sitemaps are becoming taller and narrower – and documentation is revolving around a user journey that goes way beyond just pixels and screens.
6. Engagement & Gamification
In 2016 the trend to connect online transactions with the feeling of challenge, recognition and rewards will continue. Even in second derivatives, for example when a company rewards its customers’ healthy behaviour.
7. The concept of being “a UX Designer” is becoming so pervasive it will soon disappear
On the other hand, as we demystify what used to be a hard-to-grasp concept (UX), we can narrow our focus and start bringing more specialized roles into the team – such as content strategists, UX researchers, usability testers and interaction designers.
8. The Content Strategist will be promoted!
Fast forward a couple years and now companies own a number of different websites, microsites, mobile apps, social profiles, blogs, channels, intranets and internal sites, slack groups (and the list continues to grow). Content flows through all these channels every single day, and someone is needed to take the role of making sense out of it all.
9. (UX) is the bridge between big data analytics and the end user
The richness of big data being collected by all types of companies has unleashed a treasure trove of information for user experience designers. UX designers can create more robust solutions for users by analyzing these enormous data sets. A portion of user experience design, particularly when it comes to e-commerce, is based on prediction and helping customers access “desired” goods or services when, or before, they think they need them.
10. Conversion? Of course!
All these 10 trends are aimed at building the foundations of a holistic customer-focused strategy to include:
- Understanding what the customer needs and expects
- Creating a unique experience for customers and knowing how to exceed their expectations
- Ensuring customer loyalty and interacting with them on a regular basis so that we are positioned as the best option at any given time.
- If we do all this, then “conversion” will come naturally.
Written by Javier Aguilar