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.
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.
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.
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.