UX &UI designs and new trends for the future
Do you remember the 90s, when we were about to enter a new millennium and the future was bright, minimalist and full of holograms? Fashion was very light and synthetic at that time, but mobile phones… Well, they were still huge, slightly cryptic and a little bit orthopedic. Surely, those phones were not like the future was. They looked more from the 80s and were very basic. But fortunately, more than a decade later, these devices have evolved into the brilliant, extraordinary and sophisticated pieces of technology we have today.
Phones today have a surprising variety of new functions and apps, but all these amazing improvements require some specific efforts by modern web and app designers. They must face the continuous challenge of keeping usability and coherence over a confusing mix of technological innovations and creative trends. And they have to do it wisely and neatly, because certainly they are the future and the future is smart.
Some basic facts to start with: UX & UI
Although the distinction between UX and UI is well known by many people, it’s not a bad idea to briefly recall it. Basically, they are two different working approaches. Both are related to user interfaces and aim to conceptualize and create added value, but each one of them deals with the subject from a different perspective.
UX refers to User Experience Design which is attached to everything that concerns strictly the interaction between an user and an interface in terms of usability, accessibility and satisfaction. UX Designers should gather some knowledge of Information Architecture, Program Management, Content Strategy and Functional Analysis. They must understand the secret needs and motivations of the user and be aware of its experience before, during and after the interaction. An UX optimization is usually contextual and it’s set on the premise of making everything short, easy and attractive.
UI refers, instead, to User Interface Design which means the design of user interfaces for machines and software. Notice, that an UI designer it’s not exactly the same as a graphic designer. UI designers should have some expertise on Graphic Design of course, but also on other fields as Brand Design, Web Design and Frontend Development. These designers seek to make the user’s interaction as smart as possible within a framework of user-centered design. They usually present their works attending to a certain visual aesthetic and also to some other technical parameters in order to represent a navigational map of the interface.
As you imagine, both figures are complementary and absolutely necessary. For example, have you ever considered the simplicity that can be achieved by placing a slider where there was a menu before?
What’s going on in the future? New challenges & trends to be aware
Today the next big thing is undoubtedly wearable devices. Do you remember a couple of month ago when Apple Watches didn’t exist and watches were so from the past? Well. It’s expected that people will get more and more obsessed with these super tiny gadgets in the coming next years, so app designers have to be prepared for developing on smaller screens, although paradoxically the mobile screens are getting bigger. This multiplicity of ecosystems means a serious challenge for both UX and UI designers and will lead to simpler designs with plain and vibrant colors, big and bold fonts and easier and cleaner ways to interact with drop down sub menus and fewer buttons.
On the other hand, social media interaction should be a must on every app. People are willing to share their experiences with their friends and followers. This is a revolution that has started some years ago and seems to be unstoppable. It will be accompanied also by the raise of context aware interfaces. Current mobile devices are now fully integrated with their location, so app designers should consider the use of context in order to provide specific services, suggestions and more efficient ways of interaction for the user.
Our predictions. The bright future we live and imagine
Definitely, Commons staff love these new times. Fortunately, this era is bright and minimalist for real and it comes with a few holograms with it. It’s said that there are more mobile phones these years that toothbrush over the world (some people have taken the trouble to investigate this statement and apparently is true) and some reports have pointed out that the average time spend on mobile Internet by users is about 5 hours a day. That’s a lot!
Considering this crazy amount of people and time, we’re convinced that interface designers have a great responsibility ahead. After all, an impressive number of users spend a large part of their lives interacting with interfaces, so at least they deserve a nice experience. We’ve asked some of our app developers about the most notable design innovations —apart from the already mentioned— that should be expected in the upcoming years. Here’s a brief list:
- Touch-Free Navigation: non-tactile inputs and gesture recognition are going to bring soon sci-fi situations into our daily lives.
- The comeback of Skeuomorphism: it’s a reality. Designs cues taken from the real world are going to make our devices look more vintage.
- Simple Navigation: smarter designs and easier ways of navigate. Keep in mind effective tools for interaction like the storytelling.
- No fear of color: a well-defined color palette enhances brand recognition and makes designs look smarter.
- New ways to scroll: fluidity increase and user engagement can be achieved by reducing the amount of clicks required to navigate.
- More animations: keep your app on the move to get all the user attention!