UX Design Trends – The last decade has seen a massive transformation of the web ‒ it is no longer a one-way, static medium with close to zero user interaction. Today, web-based systems, such as applications and websites, have become more complex as they offer users more engaging and interactive interaction. This advancement has made user experience (UX) design trends even more important, as developers attempt to create user-centered interfaces.
The success of any technological advancement has always revolved around its ease of use. An application or website’s success hinges on how users perceive it as they interact with the product. This is where UX design comes into play. It involves studying user-friendliness of the system and how visitors feel about navigating it.
Take, for instance, UX design practice for an e-commerce website. The current UX design trends involve putting into consideration the types of devices users access the website with, web browsers, as well as their internet connections ‒ all to ensure the site is convenient for everyone.
Whether you are a beginner or expert UX designer, there is always something new to learn. Let’s look at a few tips as you keep up with today’s UX design trends.
1. Define Customer Problems Before Doing Design
No UX design can fit all customer needs ‒ every user has their unique experiences and behaviors. What’s more, a UX design that works on one website can not be replicated on another website.
UX is all about solving customer problems. Hence, you need to define the common struggles of your target audience first. This is only possible if you’ve captured the 1st stage of UX design ‒ empathize. This stage involves researching your customer problems to have a good idea of what they want by collecting user data and analyzing it. Some helpful data collection techniques include: user interviews, user surveys, and competitor audits.
You can structure the data into user personas, user scenarios, and customer journey maps to help you develop a problem statement. Thus, you will identify burning issues and get an idea of the required state of the product.
A meaningful problem statement should:
- Focus on the user
- Be broad to leave enough room for different ideas
- Be manageable to ensure you don’t struggle honing in on the problems’ solutions.
The data you’ve collected allows you to ask the right questions when formulating the problem statement. From this, you can use the four Ws ‒ who, what, where, and why ‒ to identify the most prevalent difficulties and their root causes.
This will help you create a solid UX design that will be appreciated by the target audience.
2. Do Not Redesign
Good UX design is more than just creating a beautiful picture. Most importantly, it addresses customer problems and helps sell a product. In most cases, redesigning ‒ especially of popular sites ‒ fails in this fundamental aspect.
Most beginner UX designers fall into this trap. Reproducing famous websites like Facebook may be tempting, especially if you are trying to build your portfolio, but it doesn’t do you any good. This is similar to fixing something that is not broken.
In most cases, the designers of these websites or apps have done proper user research before coming up with the final variant. Redesigning them and adding them to your portfolio may ruin your professional reputation.
That said, with real user research and maximum analysis, unsolicited redesigning can help you to some extent to build up your portfolio. You can search online for real-world projects and set yourself on a UX mission of identifying user headaches and coming up with solutions before creating case studies. Thus, you can show how your solutions improve the existing website or app.
Remember, redesigning isn’t just about UI; you need to improve the entire user experience.
3. Apply Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is a vital aspect of design. A designer analyzes all the data and ideas they have collected during various stages, considers them from different perspectives before deducing the most viable solution.
You need to confirm all your assumptions as you define user problems to deliver a customer-oriented approach. Critical thinking provides you with vital insight into what the final user experience will look like. As a UX designer, you want to give the right reasoning to each decision you make. Critical thinking strengthens your ability to convince your client that your solution will bring the desired results in practice.
4. Think About the Whole User Flow
A good UX design lets the user browse through the entire system as smoothly and naturally as possible. This is the user flow ‒ a consistent and seamless journey from when they land on a section of a website or app to a successful action or desired outcome.
The user flow is represented visually through flowcharts. They help you model the different situations that an ideal user is likely to find themselves in. Ideally, you need to create it early in the design stage after empathy mapping and defining customer problems.
Your UX design should satisfy the client no matter their situation. The best way to make an effective user flow is to think of it as telling a good story. The storytelling technique helps you avoid dead-end instances.
Storytelling helps create user personas and map the user journey. With this information, you can get your users “in the zone” quickly as they move through your platform free from frustration. Remember, in a good story everything leads to a happy end.
With everything done correctly, a user should purchase your product or subscribe to your mail list (depending on your intentions).
5. Try New Tools
New UX design tools are great avenues of learning new design skills and techniques ‒ from UX copywriting that solve communication tasks to 3D graphic elements that help you visualize the user flow better. As a budding designer, UX design tools allow you to actuate your ideas easily and effectively.
For instance, using a new user research and testing tool should improve your handling of remote user testing sessions. Other tools, such as those offering wireframing packages, provide you with new ways of designing and building wireframes.
The web design industry is moving away from the outdated process of focusing on aesthetics and branding to more user-oriented UX design trends.
Good UX design practice entails leading your target audience to information they need without any disruptions throughout that journey. These tips should help you streamline the user flow, which is the primary goal of any UX designer.
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