It is no wonder that we are in the digital age already. Smartphones, laptops and an ever improving AI technology are some of the major things that affect and influence the way we live today.
But there is one major factor that somehow led to us being “more digital” (that is, if we are not yet “more digital”!) – the global pandemic of coronavirus or COVID-19. The lockdowns and other restrictions forced people of all ages to interact with their device more often.
If you need to go grocery shopping or you want to buy some food, you have virtually no choice but to buy it online because the lockdown is either too strict or totally prohibited at all. If you are alone at the house, well, you’re most likely going to spend a good portion of your time on your device as a form of entertainment and communication to your family and friends. Even our elderly, who are mostly known for not interacting with such devices, are starting to learn to adapt to this technology as well because of the pandemic.
As a UX or UI designer, it is important to keep these things in mind. If people are to use devices way more than we do before, then we must find creative solutions to help them use our websites and apps with ease and convenience.
For 2021, here are some of the trends that every UX and UI designer should look out for:
1) AI technology will grow even more
Since we are becoming more digital, it makes sense to say that AI will grow along with our growing digital world.
More and more companies are starting to utilize the power of AI, especially machine learning. Machine learning appears to be beneficial for both the company and its customers because it makes things more efficient for both parties.
A good example of machine learning in action is Netflix’s movie suggestions. As the AI “learns” about your behavior, it “learns” which movies to suggests for you based on you’re the past movies you had watched.
There are many ways to apply AI in our life that is both beneficial for the business and its customers. As long as it streamlines otherwise tiring tasks, it should be good!
2) Responsive design is more important than before
We have already mentioned above responsive design before. We have mentioned its importance and why businesses or content creators should apply it to their websites, – in one word: mobile phones.
Because mobile phones are increasingly used by users, your website should be adaptive to the mobile phone’s small screen and not just to the laptop’s or PC’s big screen.
Of course, laptops and desktop computers won’t go away and there are things that we’d prefer to do on a laptop than a phone, but given the convenience and portability of mobile phones, users sometimes decide to browse the Internet via mobile phone than via laptops or desktop computers.
3) “Dark Mode” could be a trend
On hindsight, dark mode is just that – an alternative for light or bright mode especially during nights. However, there’s an increasing benefits to using dark mode, such as:
- It can help save battery power
- It makes things more visible in low-light conditions (the very purpose of dark mode)
- It can even be used as part of the website or app’s UI design
So, if you are developing a website or app, you may want to consider adding “dark mode” as an option. At the least, it can be helpful for your users, which is a great thing anyway!
4) More people will talk to their device (voice command)
You may or may not be a fan of voice command, but one thing is for sure: voice command is increasingly growing over the past years – and it will in 2021!
Even if you’re not a fan of voice command, perhaps your friend or family member is already using it. For instance, 55% of teenagers are using voice command for their search on a daily basis! On other statistics, according to Google, here’s where people keep their voice-activated speakers:
- 52% – living room
- 25% – bedroom
- 22% – kitchen
Whether or not you’re a fan of voice command, one thing we can say is – this trend will grow over the years. So, if you are developing an app, website or other project, consider adding voice command to it.
5) Content is more important for marketing and media
If you are working for businesses or the media, be sure that your UX and UI is centered on content. In short, allow your content to be emphasized and seen by the audience!
Of course, content creation is done by content marketers or content creators, but your job is to strategically place content in a way that will be noticed, emphasized or subtly.
6) Minimalism will continue to grow
Minimalism will continue to grow because more and more people see the value of sleek, minimal and easy-to-use websites or apps.
Gone are the days where pop-up “surprises” are still a thing (although they’re certainly still here), too colorful designs that can be distract the eyes and too complicated buttons that makes the website experience seem like a maze to the user.
Today, convenience is very important for user experience, and minimalism can just give you that.
Minimalism is not about “reducing” design elements such as color to make it look “minimal”. Minimalism is about identifying which is needed from which isn’t – and which isn’t, is removed!