Top UX Design Trends of 2017
Time Saving Design
One of the most common design styles used in time-saving websites is linear design. Websites with logical, often chronological, or beginning-middle-end format, follow linear structures. Instead of presenting every page on the site in a drop-down menu, these sites often provide only the most relevant information on the homepage and then guide users to additional pages based on the customer journey.
As businesses search for ways to offer a more personalized brand experience, they naturally gravitate toward intuitive, efficient, and streamlined designs. Any digital asset that expedites the customer experience and increases visitor satisfaction may fall into the category of a time-saving design.
Time management is part of the natural evolution of design trends. In the near future, advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning will enable designers to create increasingly efficient sites. Technology-driven, time-saving design concepts not only streamline user navigation and content retrieval, but anticipate a user’s needs to deliver relevant content.
Conversational UX is, essentially, how you (the user) experience chatting with a machine that learns from what you are saying. As the back and forth of messages between you and the machine goes on, the bot learns about what you want and adapts until it finally delivers what you were looking for.
The user should, ideally, not even realise what is going on. The user should not learn anything new to make the interaction successful (commands, for instance). The user should not use anything other than the conversation (text or voice inputs) to make the interaction successful.
As you can imagine, this is no easy feat!
Why conversational UX matters to chatbots
Conversational UX defines the way we build chatbots.
There are infinite ways to reach the end goal of a user interacting with a chatbot, but which one makes the most sense?
Which one is going to make the user feel good about this interaction?
Answering this question requires two types experience.
The first is field experience. Building chatbots and seeing what works versus what doesn’t and in so doing, gaining knowledge you cannot get elsewhere.
The second is experience in developing artificially intelligent chatbots. As we have seen above, conversational UX has a component of learning into it. The chatbot learns from the interaction with the user and adapts to it. That requires AI.
Experimental layouts are getting more popular in 2017.
This trend is interesting and playful. It’s a nice way to add some variety and help art or fashion designs stand out in a sea of tidy layouts. Experimental layouts are not perfectly balanced; the photography, typography or interface are usually not aligned, elements have different paddings and often tend to overlap.
The unbalanced playfulness in a layout can easily interfere with the scannability and discoverability of information in a website, making browsing an overwhelming experience. When the main objective is getting information from a content heavy page, then layout structure is necessary.
Visual hierarchy is also very important guiding users through the content. In experimental layouts, elements often float away from each other, splitting the content in weird and sometimes random, non-hierarchical ways. Other elements might overlap or end-up in less visible areas of the page, making it particularly hard to read, group and process information.
Use experimental layouts, when reading through content is not the main objective.
Use imbalanced layouts as a playful detail between well structured and aligned blocks.
UX as a management practise
Many companies are seeing the benefit and importance of UX design in product and service offerings for their customers. But what will become more prevalent in 2017 – and beyond – is the importance of UX design for companies’ employees. This practice will see leaders putting themselves in the shoes of employees and really going through their user journey: Critically questioning an employee’s experience of what happens when they bring forward ideas, start executing on them, and even what happens if they fail. This experience will have a big impact on motivating employees to bring innovation into all aspects of the business.
Broader UX roles and specialization
As UX designers, our role in our industry is more important today than ever. Our medium is maturing into a broad, multiple-platform, always on, multi-context, center-of-our-universe conduit for information. Our clients and customers are demanding more of us. We’re not just designing web experiences anymore. Our designs have to adapt and respond to a variety of devices with different input methods that are used under very different circumstances where user goals and expectations change as well.
As if that weren’t challenging enough, the technologies we use to build the things we design are becoming more sophisticated, more abstracted, more diverse, and as such, more difficult to keep pace with. But these emerging complexities of our industry are a good thing.
When done well, personalization can enhance an experience by presenting the right information to the right user at the right time.
Personalization is a best guess at what might be helpful to the user based on data analysis, but past behavior does not always predict future actions. For instance, tying a personalized experience too closely to one action or transaction can result in presenting information that is far too specific compared to a user’s broader interests.
As you set up personalization systems, you need to make sure you can provide content relevant to all the roles.
Personalization can — and should — go beyond content. Personalize processes or functionality to streamline users’ experiences.