The UX industry is constantly changing, often in response to the endless array of new platforms, technologies, and products that require user experience professionals. At Clear Point, we keep a close eye on the trends and overall direction of the industry to best help our candidates and companies find the perfect match for their respective needs.
Here are a few of the latest trends we’ve spotted in the industry and expect to continue to be important in the months ahead:
Responsive design will remain vital.
There’s no doubt that we’ve entered a fertile period for devices of all different sizes, capabilities, and functionalities. From the Apple Watch to the Google Pixel to the iPad, we now consume content and interact with apps at all different screen sizes.
This means that responsive design (layouts and design elements that resize depending on the device being used) will become a standard component of both web and UX design.
UX designers will need to consider how users navigate and interact with websites and apps on multiple different screen sizes, from desktop monitors to mini-computers on their wrists, and ensure that the functionality does not suffer no matter the size.
Mobile design will become the standard.
For much of the history of the web, designers created sites and applications designed to function on a standard computer screen. That’s increasingly changed with the advent of smartphones and, now, a whole galaxy of related devices that display content at many different sizes (see above.)
But one trend that’s clearly here to stay is the mobile revolution, and UX designers will likely begin to default to mobile design as the standard, with desktop design increasingly being seen as less popular.
We certainly haven’t abandoned the desktop interface yet, but there’s no denying that mobile browsing and usage is only growing and will one day soon become our standard means of using technology.
Designers will research more than ever.
Even as technological power increases exponentially, designers will increasingly utilize key findings from design research, many which have served the industry well for decades. In an era where technology is growing increasingly complicated, it’s more important than ever that users understand how to operate complicated tools with the smallest possible learning curve, and that means undertaking in-depth research about what users need—or using findings from past interfaces that have worked well.
Good user research helps designers create simple interfaces for even the most complex software programs, apps, and computer interfaces. In some cases, these interfaces might resemble analog tools we’re already used to using (such as Adobe Photoshop’s icons or the switches and toggles in Apple’s GarageBand audio editing software.)
In other cases, they may create entirely new interfaces out of simple, easy-to-understand elements, such as lines and basic shapes like circles and squares. Or they may do away with visual interfaces altogether and enter the world of voice interactivity, such as the Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
Whatever the approach, designers will make use of user-focused research findings to help them make smart decisions that assist users in navigating increasingly complicated technology.
One trend that most users want—and that’s reflected in research—is a renewed interest in keeping interfaces simple and easy-to-use. After all, that’s the special magic of successful UX design—the interface is so intuitive you hardly notice it at all.