UI Trends That Will Not Be Going Away Any Time Soon

Your user interface (UI) can make or break your website or app. It only makes sense that developers constantly try new tactics to improve experience. Trends have a tendency to come and go, but some stand the test of time and stick around for years.

What Is the Future of UI Design?

Although UI design has changed drastically in the past five to 10 years, there are still some workflow issues that need to be addressed. For example, code and design sometimes don’t work together as well as they should, slowing down developers and creating design snafus.

Zippia estimates there are around 7,714 UI designers in the United States. As more people throw their hat in the ring, new trends emerge. Knowing which ones to stick with and which ones are passing trends isn’t always easy.

Here are some that just make sense for UI design and won’t be going away any time soon:

1. Dark Mode

Dark mode has been around for years now, but it keeps gaining popularity. The darker design not only is visually appealing but it reduces drain on the battery. Since many people use their mobile devices to browse the internet, it’s vital to offer little things that create a better user experience through the UI. Dark mode accomplishes improvements in battery life and viewing.

Even if you don’t love the look of dark mode, you may want to embrace this trend for the improved UI.

2. Drag and Drop

One area a lot of developers run into trouble with is drag and drop zones and creating a workable UI. For example, if it isn’t clear what can be dragged and dropped, then the user may feel uncertain about working in the environment of any software you create.

Let’s say you have lists with movable parts. How does the end-user know which parts are going to move into which columns? You can do things such as color-code boxes with where they can be dropped. Drag and drop isn’t going away anytime soon, but there are still a lot of limitations in creating them and a lot of bugs you’ll need to work through.

3. Micro-Interactions

Engaging site visitors is vitally important in a crowded marketplace. Advanced micro-interactions add high value to a website or app because they pull the user in and have them complete tasks that keep them engaged along the way. Think of adding features such as slideshows, buttons that change color as the cursor hovers over them and so on.

4. Mobile First

Already, mobile traffic accounts for more than 50% of all internet browsing around the world. If you aren’t designing for mobile first, you may miss out on a lot of opportunities to engage users. The way an interface works on mobile can vary greatly from the way it works on a desktop due to size and responsiveness.

You want to ensure buttons are easy to click, forms simple to fill out and any other interactions will work on a small screen.

5. Metaverse

Something we expect to see more and more websites embrace in coming months is the metaverse. This is a virtual reality world where users engage on headsets. However, expect phones to become more and more capable of offering virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.

Your UI must be ready to jump onto this trend, particularly if you’re in the e-commerce stratosphere.

More UI Trends on the Way

As technology changes and trends come and go, pay attention to the ones that make the most sense for your industry. Which ones are beneficial to your customers? Focus on building a highly usable, pleasing experience and you’ll gain customers and loyal fans for your efforts.

Author Bio:

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

The Top Underrated Digital Marketing Opportunities Most Businesses Overlook

It seems as though every brand has a strong presence online. Therefore, standing out from the crowd can be highly difficult.

With social media feeds updated every second and news articles published constantly, gaining some traction is a success for most.

However, you might be thinking of other ways to boost your visibility. Rising above others is one way to get noticed, but how can you diversify your marketing efforts?

Sometimes the best way is to apply an overlooked digital marketing technique.

Here are some of the most underrated digital marketing opportunities to improve your brand awareness.

1. Featured Snippets

Many businesses often ignore the steps of claiming the prized spot of a featured snippet.

Featured snippets are relatively new to the Google results page. They are small excerpts lifted from pages. Normally, they appear near the top of the SERP (search engine results page) — and they show up in response to an information request.

Google implemented these excerpts to resolve a user’s problem without the need to load a hosted website. Featured snippets significantly enhance the user experience. Plus, it builds trust and credibility for the site source.

Take into account that featured snippets aren’t always in the first spot of the results page. Instead, it acknowledges the language and concept of the excerpt, the page’s authority, formatting — and the most relevant answer.

Take advantage of the featured snippet by optimizing your content in natural language and identifying the context of that language. You could also consider using Schema markup to help search engines understand your content and obtain a higher chance of getting featured.

2. Offline Marketing Channels

Most businesses often don’t think about creating a strong digital marketing strategy offline. They separate digital marketing from the traditional methods because they believe it’s the only way.

With traditional marketing, you might think of having a beautifully-designed sign to attract customers outside your store. Or, maybe you’d spend time sending mail-outs to promote your brand.

Yet, it’s possible to give your traditional marketing strategies a digital twist. You’ve most likely seen standard approaches like leveraging Snapchat to offer coupons. Other methods also include QR codes or app pairing — where an app brings up online reviews instantly when you tap a phone against a product plate, for example.

Plus, paper can also do wonders for your digital marketing strategy. For instance, if you’ve created a blog post you’re proud of, you could print it out and post it at local coffee shops.

Just be sure you’ve got a URL labeled clearly, so it leads back to your website or social media profiles.

3. Virtual Reality Video Content

Of course, video conquers when telling a brand story. People connect more deeply with engaging content than the posts you see on social media feeds.

However, why not give your audience something more to experience? With the tools available at the hands of businesses, most overlook the opportunity to market with VR (virtual reality) video.

360 degrees-video is an emerging technology that businesses have the potential to use for sharing brand moments and connecting with customers.

With it being available on YouTube and Facebook, businesses can expand their content to 360 degrees-video — bringing a new depth that photos can’t capture.

If your business is all about connecting with your audience, consider posting VR-compatible video content to enhance your interaction.

4. Voice Search

Voice search is one of the most recent top investments of Google and for a good reason. The rise of mobile devices largely spurs virtual assistant technology. Therefore, voice search is becoming more commonplace for users.

With that in mind, many businesses often overlook content optimization for voice search. However, it only calls for small restructuring in your content.

For instance, you’ll need to shift your keywords in favor of longer phrases and include direct answers to queries rather than simple restatements.

Consider using the “People Also Ask” section in a Google search to find keywords and phrases to improve your search engine rankings.

You may also see other changes in the future. These might include improved natural language processing where the algorithm can dissect sarcasm, background information, intonation, etc.

For instance, an intonation could deliver optimistic content versus pessimistic according to a specific topic.

Therefore, you’ll need to understand your audience more efficiently than ever to take advantage of this digital marketing opportunity.

5. Gamification

Gamification is a gaming technique used to improve customer engagement. If you’re thinking of ways to connect with more prospects, build brand awareness and increase conversions, gamification is it.

You can gamify practically any stage of the customer journey. Contests, incentives and scoring systems are a great way to interact with potential customers. Yet, it helps to consider your goal and audience interests before building an entire campaign.

Once you have those ideas in place, you can develop a gamification approach and its incentives.

Remember, it’s always best to keep things simple. Too often, you’ll see a great campaign, but too many rules and conditions apply to participation.

6. Native Advertising

The native advertising market is rapidly growing, and now is the time to take advantage of it. According to ADYOULIKE, native advertising spending will jump by 372% from 2020 and be worth over $400 billion by 2025.

Native advertising is a paid form of advertising involving a seamless ad design on the platform they appear. Unlike banner ads, native ads are less intrusive and don’t affect the user experience.

However, many businesses are missing the opportunity to improve their content output.

Native ads are typically on social feeds, below articles and eCommerce sites. While building an effective native ad campaign takes time, the effort is worth it. These ads have higher click-through rates and are often more engaged by consumers.

To optimize your native ads for the best results, ensure you establish clear goals, choose the right advertising platform — and align the campaign content with your goals.

Own Your Digital Marketing Endeavors

While these are the most underrated digital marketing opportunities, there’s also no one-size-fits-all solution to growing your brand. Often business owners use social media as their go-to digital marketing strategy.

However, you have plenty of ways to drive great results. Consider testing different approaches and running campaigns others haven’t thought of yet. Your marketing efforts won’t go unnoticed as you stand out from the crowd.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.