These past couple of years serve as strong evidence of the constant and fast development happening in the field of UX/UI industry — both in terms of technologies and design trends implemented.
Explorations are unfolding in all sorts of directions, some short-lived, some reimagined and some recurring with a greater focus than ever before. To make your web, app, and product UX look and feel fantastic, there is a need to engage users with key UX elements and track the latest UX trends that continuously evolve.
And when it comes to taking proper leverage of these UX design trends, only an experienced and well-versed UX Design Agency can help. Below we present to you in greater detail some of the explorations that will stick throughout 2022.
1. Password-Less Login
Sometimes passwords can leave you more confused than secure. At least it seems to be the case with many people as suggested by a survey of 2005 Americans commissioned by LastPass last year.
According to the survey, 57% of people forget their passwords immediately after resetting them. 65% feel the need to write their password something so that they don’t forget it the next time. So, we can say that forgetting a password is a customer’s pain point that you need to address.
The real problem lies with password-setting protocols that oblige a user to include special characters, numerals, or upper and lower case characters. Though mandatory for security reasons, these requirements only add to the complexity and lead to users having to reset their passwords frequently.
A simple solution is to transition to “passwordless” logins, i.e., logging through Google, social media accounts, fingerprints, iris scans, or phone unlock patterns. It is one of the emerging UX Design Trends that various big brands are already implementing.
Although it was not as popular as other login forms before 2016, this concept is growing gradually. It is forecasted to overtake passwords as the primary form of login within six years.
Microsoft has worked on removing passwords from Windows 10. Microsoft’s Windows 10 Version 2004 introduced “Windows 10 Hello,” a biometric system to sign in. After turning on the setting, users can sign in using fingerprint, iris scan, face scan, or a pattern. It implies that PCs will use Windows Hello face authentication, fingerprints, or a PIN code.
2. Individual Learning
The internet age is the greatest blessing for learning enthusiasts. It has made sure learning is not confined to classrooms. Instead, anyone who wants to upgrade themselves or pursue a new career path can easily access it. As a result, online learning has become a mainstream trend.
However, one drawback of online learning is that it depends entirely on learners. In the end, they will have to motivate themselves and finish the modules on time.
But UX is changing the scenario. Remote feedback, psychological tests, matchmaking technology, and scheduling tools – it is ensuring learners remain hooked for a long time. They can now even track their progress, set goals, and learn from their mistakes.
We will get to see individual learning becoming more popular in 2022. It will bridge more gaps and replace crowded lectures with a 360-degree, immersive learning experience.
3. Localized User Experience
Using insights from the field of human psychology, as well as usability testing, design research teams have been able to shape interfaces so as to provide utmost satisfaction and a pleasant user experience. This has been at the core of user experience design for a couple of decades now.
With rapid technological advancement, we have seen an unprecedented increase in the fidelity of digital product experiences. This development has also provided a new understanding of the nuanced differences between various user demographics. Differences in age, culture, geography, daily habits, and societal structures (among other things) can lead to significantly different expectations about what constitutes a satisfying user experience. As such, these experiences require, perhaps similar, but certainly not the same design approach.
With the technology and research methodology in place, we are beginning to see multiple variations of a product being launched to cater to separate user demographics at the same time. With many big brands pushing to expand their user audiences, creating localized variants of a product experience will likely become a big trend — if not the standard.
4. UX Writing
Creative and intentionally decorated words do not work anymore, as it only adds to the fluff. People want to hear to-the-point information that will bring them value, which, in turn, will lead to more customer engagement and conversions.
UX writing or aptly a “Microcopy” is all about using short sentences that help users understand where they are, what they need to do, the brand story, and how the brand can help. It is about saying less while expecting to make a more significant impact.
The proper microcopy can build an iconic brand and an unforgettable user experience for your customers, alongside improving conversions anywhere between 14.79% and 166.66%.— Joshua Porter, Father of Microcopy.
For instance, Google analyzed that their potential users are more inclined to browse hotel room options casually and are not in the headspace to make a reservation right away. Thus, they changed their copy “Book a room”—which was not empathetic— to “Check availability”—an appropriate microcopy for the intent at the time—which increased the engagement rate by 17%.
Here are some tips to make your microcopy stand out:
Stick to the point and do not beat around the bush. Provide an objective to the user before they proceed further to explore more. Try and directly address the user by not generalizing things, Incorporate “present tense + active voice” in your microcopy. Using numerals when required is undoubtedly a good practice.
5. Air Gesture
Gesture control is a new mobile design trend that promotes the use of body gestures to perform an action — for instance, a user showing a palm gesture in front of the camera to capture a selfie.
Since the advent of touch screens, a lot has changed, which is evident from the mobile interfaces’ increasing touch screen aspect ratios. Increased aspect ratios mean fewer bezels in the front, which, in turn, means a better gesture experience.
Although Apple initially introduced gesture control technology in iOS, the new UX trend (air gesture) takes this technology to the next level. You can wave your hand or pinch your fingers in the air to make stuff happen on the phone without using touchscreens.
Google has even added facial gesture control features in its Android 12 beta. It means now you can control your phone with facial expressions like smiling, raising eyebrows, or opening your mouth. Want to see the feature in action? Here you go:
Now that we know the possibilities of air gesture, we can say those gesture possibilities showcased in Fifteen Million Merits–one of the most popular episodes of the Black Mirror series–will soon be a reality.
The most significant advantage of using gestures lies in its intuitiveness and sensitivity to touch. Thus, touch gestures will always play their part, no matter how far the ‘Gesture Trend’ goes.
Here’s an example of different touch gestures that should be a part of any UX developer’s to-do list.
6. Material Design
Since the advent of material design in 2014 by Google, user experience design trends have a new facet in the form of responsive animations, 3D icons, light and shading features, transitions, and padding. Material design is a “Design Language System,” which is all about bringing the material to life!
Unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch. — Matias Duarte, VP of Material Design at Google.
Last year, it was “moooi” that bagged the award in the category of Material Theming, thereby changing the face of UX trends for good. Material designs will keep evolving to give better-detailed textures and patterns, personalized User experience, along with increased intuitiveness and an engaging user experience.
7. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality and augmented reality have come a long way from just being a future possibility of real-life implementation. This technological advancement has become one of the latest UX industry trends and will continue to be in the coming years.
The market size of AR is expected to grow at 85.2 CGAR between 2016-2021. – Zion Market Research
We have seen that with the changing times, AR is not just restricted to gaming but has spread its wings to other sectors as well. Some include AR in retail, travel, automobile industry, education, healthcare, and social media platforms.
This year we witnessed a significant movement when neurosurgeons from Johns Hopkins University performed their first AR surgery on patients. You can see the video yourself..
8. Biometric Authentication for Secure UX
Biometric authentication is here to make devices secure and prove to be a significant UI and UX trend of 2021 and beyond. It is one technology that can embrace a security-first approach for both the businesses and the end-users, thus improving User Experience substantially.
The promising biometric authentication market is an innovative technology that has been giving identity to people without being at risk of being impersonated. The projected US biometric market revenue for 2022 is 1.24 billion USD. – Statista
The various innovative biometric technologies blooming in the market include iris scans, facial recognition, voice, and even vein pattern recognition. If your business needs a password for authentication, move on to iris scans next. If you have an iris scan authentication in place, move on to facial recognition next.
The idea is never to stop advancing and keep innovating. Google has been a pioneer in this regard. They added biometric sign-ins to some of their web services. It means that now, one can sign in using fingerprints, PINs, or even usual unlock patterns.You could also go through this video by Google Developers for more information.
9. Advanced App Onboarding
25% of people delete apps only after using them once, and a common reason behind it is that users fail to see any value in them. If it is not clear what your app does and what value users can derive from it, you risk losing them. Hence, onboarding is a crucial aspect of a customer’s journey. Not only does it make customers feel welcomed, but they also get familiar with it.
Keeping this in mind, companies are taking onboarding seriously and combining it with interactive UX design elements that offer users an immersive experience.
Advanced onboarding is a new UX design trend. These days, most apps come with self-explanatory screens on how it works. It has led to good UX and more customer engagement.
10. Bold Typography
In a time when the human attention span has significantly decreased (8 seconds), keeping users hooked on your website/app is a big challenge. That’s why brands are now opting for large, bold typography in 2022.
Here’s how the bold typography helps brands:
- It makes the content scan-able as people on the internet usually don’t read but scan the information.
- Bold Typography helps designers convey information in the most concise manner.
- Bold Typography also captures the audience’s attention and helps them focus on the correct information.
- The approach while using bold typography is to keep the design minimal so that the app/website doesn’t look overcrowded. Brands also use animations to spice up the designs.
- It would be best to consider how different typefaces will respond while leveraging this UX trend. Some typefaces may not look good on some devices and result in adverse impact for users.
11. Immersive 3D Visuals
While 3D visuals have been around for a while, they were not much practically in use as they dump a heavy load on user machines. However, things will change this year as modern front-end frameworks can significantly reduce page load time.
Designers can now keep the 3D objects more detailed and more extensive. They can even include shadows, animations, or layer effects to create depth and dimension in their designs.
We will also see more cool 3D designs and effects on websites/apps, leading to a unique and engaging user experience. From real-life web models to in-depth video/photo illustrations, brands will use all types of immersive 3D experiences to offer in-depth understanding or keep users hooked. They will also leverage the UX design trend for visual storytelling.
12. Blurred, Colorful Backgrounds
The UX trend of using different color gradients has been popular for a long time, and it is still mainstream today.
However, recently we have noticed that gradients are now becoming lighter. At the same time, they are also becoming more colorful. While earlier UX designers used 2-3 colors in linear gradients, they’re using up to ten colors and adding additional overlays on top. It has led to a new UX trend of using blurred, colorful backgrounds.
The blurred, colorful backgrounds are becoming popular because they evoke various emotions. Moreover, they communicate a warm and welcoming feel. Perhaps, that’s why even the most popular brands like Stripe use them on their website.
To make the most out of this UX trend, ensure you choose colors that highlight your brand and look good. You can even mix them with UX trends like glassmorphism to give your website/design a unique feel.
While Neumorphism is still mainstream, another UX trend is amassing massive popularity. It is called glassmorphism. Glassmorphism can be defined as a design that emphasizes light or dark objects placed on colorful backgrounds. You can quickly identify glassmorphic designs with their semi-transparent background featuring sublime shadow and border.
Here are a few other critical characteristics of glassmorphism:
- A frosted glass effect using background blur
- Multi-layered approach with objects floating in space
- Vivid colors that highlight the blurred transparency
- The subtle light border on translucent objects
In glassmorphism, a design looks like a virtual piece of glass with objects placed in multiple layers. Here’s an example:
- Use it on light and colorful backgrounds. The design looks best on them
- Do not overuse glassmorphism. The style works the best when you use it on just one or two elements
- Give a proper dimension and borders to your design elements to give the illusions of floating glass
- Use glassmorphism by keeping the website accessibility in mind. Icons designed in this style are already controversial. Using this trend in the wrong way can do more harm than good.
14. Device Agnostic Experiences
Earlier, Mobile-first used to be a primary approach followed by UX designers. However, as more devices are emerging, the focus is slowly shifting towards device-agnostic experiences. UX designers are now designing experiences keeping all devices in mind.
The primary reason behind this shift is that consumers want freedom and flexibility nowadays. They want to be able to shift between devices without any hassle quickly. Hence, it becomes essential for UX designers to create experiences keeping the complete user journey in mind.
To make the most out of device-agnostic experiences, think of the customer journey as a whole. Think of devices as various checkpoints through which users will interact with your brand. You need to ensure they can complete this journey without any friction.
15. Motion Design
A well-designed motion effect can tell a brand story better than a static image or plain text. People love animations as they can add an exciting element to otherwise boring website designs.
It has led businesses to combine a minimalistic design with engaging & bold animations to create immersive design experiences. As a result, a new trend called motion design has emerged. Such designs keep users hooked and release their tension to prepare them to consume large volumes of professional information.
While scroll animations can be a beautiful addition to any UX design, brands should avoid doing them for decorative purposes alone. Instead, they should solve a problem by explaining something, simplifying a problem, or speeding up the iteration process. Only then can they create a Wow effect.