Tech advances rapidly. This particularly holds true in web design and user experience (UX.) If you want to stay competitive in today’s fast-moving world, you’d better tap into the trends and respond accordingly.
To inspire you, here are five web design and UX trends that you should know about:
1. Chat as interface
The way customers talk to businesses and the way we talk to each other has changed along with technology – snail mail to phones to the first online orders and emails, for example. Messenger platforms like WhatsApp have recently overtaken social media and these new apps are big opportunities for businesses to change their user interfaces. Chat as interface may mean that customer services and social networking blend into one another.
This will give customers more control over their experience and will force businesses to up their game as every interaction and every snippet of feedback will be recorded and used by algorithms. Any company not offering good customer service will fall down the ranks with almost no effort from dissatisfied clients.
2. Machine learning
Open source programmes like TensorFlow will mean that machine learning will become a central part of the online environment. It can be used to find out how individual people use language and think, and also how websites can be adapted to offer a personalised experience for each user.
3. Customer experience will become king
With the advent of wearables, changes in customer expectations and behaviour and the internet of things, websites will be an integral part of the customer experience. Company websites will need to focus on what each individual customer needs and what their experiences are, rather than on the hard sell, as companies will want to create and foster long-term client relationships.
4. Businesses need connected customers
More than two-thirds of UK adults have smartphones, with numbers set to rise. Around 90% of the 16-24 year-old age group owns a smartphone and even half of the older generation has one. However, retailers and service providers have been somewhat tardy in capitalising on this huge social change and this enormous market.
Retailers could start using beacons that read the browsing and shopping history of customers’ phones and push products, offers and discounts their way, as well as guiding them to the right shelves. It seems that Minority Report-style shopping isn’t too far away after all.
5. Adobe Comet will be the Next Big Thing
Lots of design teams fell in love with Sketch in 2015. Sketch is a design package that worked perfectly in the field of responsive design; it allowed designers the freedom to think about the audience rather than perfecting textures and cropping images. It was the next big step for anyone working on UI and UX. However, Sketch is only for the Mac, and not everyone loves the Mac.
Enter Adobe’s Project Comet, which promises to be just as useful and intuitive as Sketch. By using packages like these, designers have more time to think holistically and to concentrate on the wider world beyond the page itself to make sure that the websites that they’re working on are as immersive and personalised as they can be.
Now over to you
There are obviously more trends to watch out and respond upon. As a business owner, it’s your choice, really; do you want to stay current in today’s world by responding to the trends, or are you stay conservative by adopting what’s proven, even if it’s not technologically advanced? Please share your opinion.