2018 has seen lots of flat vector-based design and the use of full-screen high-definition photography to bring homepages to life and these are not set to be going anywhere in the next year.
Today we’re going to take a look at what UX design trends we expect to see more of in 2019 and more importantly, why these trends will be dominating the digital landscape.
There’s an opposite approach to bold colours and the phrase “less is more” will be a major term when it comes to interface design in 2019.
When it comes to building an interface you should imagine you’re marking out a path through the wilderness, you would clear the way so there were fewer obstacles on the journey and your website should be the same.
You should signpost the different directions that can be taken on your route and avoid making users remember too many options which could lead to lots of lost hikers.
The time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of options increases.
Hicks Law - William Edmund Hick
In other words, keep it simple. If there are too many calls to action (CTA) on your page it’ll make the choice harder for your users. To improve it, companies should strip back their websites, making the key CTA’s stand out. In turn, it’ll take users on a direct path to their solution. Take a look at the below example:
Spotify keeps it simple with high contrast colours that work well to help aesthetic elements stand apart from the main call to actions on the screen. This leads us nicely onto our next section looking at some of the colour trends you can be sure to see more of in 2019.
Gradients have been seen all over the web in 2018 and this is set to continue as devices become more powerful and advancements in screen technology make it easier to display crisp and natural-looking effects.
Flat design has dominated in recent years, however, we can expect to see more sites adding depth to their vector graphics with the use of 3D textures and more advanced shadowing.
Bold colours work especially well in UI design helping elements stand out from the screen. By pairing these bright aesthetics with a mix of more muted colours you can create a slick looking site with call to actions that really standout and take users on a clearer path along their journey.
A great example of really bold colours working well can be seen in the work done by Sagmeister & Walsh for Meetup: The attention-grabbing colours really take centre stage and although this is a branding project from the studio, the effects spill out over all instances of their web and social media designs.
“Above the fold” screen design is so important to users when landing on a page that many are now taking the full advance and placing multiple pockets of information in this area.
The below example from Engine Themes shows the page split into two parts offering a great space for contrasting colours and graphics. This creates an excellent initial signpost to direct those potential customers around your site.
Their homepage utilises negative space to balance out the layout, they’ve also added just a small amount of animation to the imagery on the page to really help the page pop.
Digital illustrations have been taken to the next level in recent years, with clear vector graphics being used where photos may have previously prevailed.
There are many reasons for this but a big plus for this style of design is the possibilities of the format. With it, you can create some awesome graphics as SVG’s and they’ll maintain a small file size and be much more scalable for our current responsive world.
If illustrations are your thing, you’ll be inspired by some of the character designs that are coming out from the big companies such as Zendesk, a leading online customer helpline platform. They utilise them to display the ease of their processes.
These characters also work well to add a personal touch to your business, and in turn encourage customers to create a connection. When these designs are paired with micro-animations user engagement will be increased through interfaces that really come to life.
Alternatively, you can use moving images which have become more and more popular over the last few years since devices and networks are now capable to deal with a higher level of motion graphics.
Loping animations work great to add depth to otherwise static pages and work well at keeping the user engaged with the content on your site.
The smallest amount of animation can make a whole lot of difference when it comes to grabbing and withholding a users attention, which is echoed in the increases in the popularity of cinemagraphs in the realm of social media.
Along with capturing a users attention, video’s are a great way to inform potential customers about your brand and your products, with many users now preferring to watch an instructional video than trying to make sense of industry-specific jargon in written documents.
When thinking about the user interaction with your site it goes past the pure aesthetics and delivering a personal experience to your customers is increasingly important in a highly saturated digital world.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a part in most of our lives even if we don’t know it. I think everyone at some point has screamed at the predictive text that their phone has thrown at them or that may just be me…
Now AI can be used to drastically improve the experience on your platform with the personalisation of the content delivered determined by the geographic location and demographics of the user.
Netflix is one of the businesses pioneering this AI by changing the cover image shown for a movie based on other shows you’ve watched or added to your list. So, if you’ve watched a lot of Dwayne Johnson films they’ll show you a still image of him taken from that particular film he appears in.
Now we’re not going to try and decode the algorithm that the streaming giant uses but by delivering a personal experience to users you can make them feel valued. This can only encourage them to spend more time on your site and to have a greater belief in your products or services.
With the internet becoming even bigger it’s starting to fall into all aspects of peoples digital lives. So in 2019, it’s going to be even more important to consider access ability on your site to ensure it can be browsed by those using voice-activated devices.
There’s a plethora of other styles and formats which are sure to show some prominence over the next year and we’ll be sure to keep you informed with the latest forms of creativity which are being used to take design to the next level online.
Get in touch
To find out how we can utilise some of the above help to improve user engagement with your customers, be sure to get in touch.