The current building blocks in the UI/UX industry
I am going to talk about “Digital design trends for 2019. Firstly, I’m going to take you through what I’ve found in all of my research. I was just up all night long and was just studying, reading and everything so that you don’t have to. Isn’t that great? So, let’s just get started. The first one that is also I think for me most interesting is the “Minimalism” trend. I think this is really interesting because a lot of times in the past years what has been as the most common kind of issue in product design or something that we’ve been trying to solve is engagement. We want to engage people. We want them to spend a long time on our apps. We want them to know their screen time to increase. And now we’re really making a pretty conscious shift into basically the opposite. So people are talking a lot about making sure that you’re not actually engaged in the user when you don’t need to be, making sure that when you’re asking them for things or when they’re moving through your product, you’re not just like throwing unnecessary notifications at them or pop-ups and all these kind of annoying things, people are even more like anxious and busy and overwhelmed as it is in this modern world. I think it’s important that we as product designers and in this industry are just kind of being mindful of that. Another important thing is about time-saving design features. You want to actually make sure that the time that they spend using your product or your service is for good reason or you’re actually providing value for them.
I just hate the word “pop up” though because I think the world would be a better place with fewer pop-ups but it’s kind of interesting how we need to keep the user in mind a little bit more going forward and what are the common issues that they’re facing in their lives which are very often like anxiety and overwhelm.
People are using an average of 30 apps per month and about 10 a day which is a lot actually and I am positive that 2019 could be the beginning of the end of passwords. Usage of verification codes and not having to think of all these passwords constantly is going to be very helpful. Also, page load times, storage space, transitioning from one device to another and making sure that you’re a cohesive experience for the user. Apple is talking a lot about it. I think Google is also moving towards reducing screen time.
The second one is the Internet of Things, more specifically in that realm is a voice. I know that’s also like a common thing that everybody’s talking about but there’s a huge rise in smart home devices like Google assistant, like Siri, etc. Today, 30% of searches will be done without a keyboard or screen. I think that’s something really to be conscious of. So how can your product or service actually interact with these voice assistance and how can you make that a streamlined process and actually delight your user? It’s about combining voice technology and preset commands so customers can simply ask for what they want and get it. I mean a good great example of this is how Google assistant has actually integrated with Uber. Basically, what they’re doing is you can actually say to your Google assistant, “Order me an Uber to go to work” and Google assistant knows where you work. They know where you live and they can just order it instantly without you having to put in all that extra information. It’s a really good example of integrated voice interfaces so that is definitely going to be a big one.
The third one which is cool for me because I work a lot in this sort of category is content focused experiences. Yeah it’s super interesting that they’re talking about how you need to make sure that the content that you’re actually showing to the user and the way that you’re guiding them through it, is like a delightful experience and isn’t giving them too much, you’re not confusing them, you’re not overwhelming them. So, it’s certainly going to be the biggest trends of this year and it will have the ability to tell compelling stories around a digital experience. I think that’s really important to think about. You’re talking about live video and video ads, and that’s more about the marketing around your product but your product designers should also know a little more about the business, more about the marketing of their products and it’s really important to keep that in mind when you’re building them. Content focused experience ensures that people have a nice pleasant time interacting with your product or your service, be it text, videos, animations, etc. It’s important that you think a lot about it and that shouldn’t be a second step. Even the content writers, the copywriters, etc. should actually be in the development phase. I think that’s going to be very interesting moving forward into 2019.
The next one is about ice down here and its about making personalized experiences for the user. It’s important that through UX, you can actually deliver a personalized experience. It’s going to be pretty big in 2019. Facebook does this beautifully. They do that in the form of a conversation.
Now the next one that is kind of interesting is just more of like an industry focused trend and we’ve talked a little bit about this in the past as an industry and the way that the actual positions are. In today’s climate, what matter is your exposure. A 5-year-experienced designers can be a bad lead and a college intern can be a better lead. So be proud of your league title. But if you consider seniority from their perspective how much impact you’re able to make then you have a better sense of where you are along in your career trajectory. That’s really interesting. Idea sharing, ability to go on to talk about strategy and making sure that you can be a bigger part of the business other than just creating the visual design.
The last trend but certainly not the least is “flat design versus material design”. There are some designers who are predicting that material design is going to take over flat design. I would be really curious to know what you guys think about that. So, it’s like things look like almost like a piece of paper but still in a flat way so it’s doesn’t have that real look either. And people are thinking, that’s actually going to be taking over a little bit more than flat design coming in 2019. So, we’ll see. We’ll see. Be interesting.
And the last thing that I want to talk about before I let you guys go is design trend reports and how it’s kind of useless. Read a bunch of reports and look into these kinds of things because you can never really tell. Determining the trends of next year is like reading a tea leaves, it’s pretending to speculate about what might matter soon but it’s always based on what the authors already know about the now and what you think is just very insightful. I mean there could be a new technology that just jumps up in the next few months and that will just change everything. So, we’ll see.