Devon KunkelVP, Technology & Innovation

Categories

design - digital marketing - web design

Our Top UX Design Trends for 2023 and Beyond

Over the last few years brands have seen a growing emphasis on user experience, or UX,  design. As technology continues to advance, audiences continue to expect the companies they interact with to provide smart, seamless, and satisfying digital experiences. And that’s what good UX does.

It puts a user’s needs at the centre of the design and development process – whether it’s for an app, website, piece of software, or otherwise. It’s empathy in action. And while there’s been no shortage of headway made to make brand interactions as smooth, efficient, and pleasing as possible, here are our top picks to watch out for this year and beyond.

The pursuit of personalization

Did Spotify introduce you to your new favourite band? Did LinkedIn find you your latest job? That’s the power of personalization, and it’s no secret that the machines are getting to know us better than we know ourselves.

Beyond creating a more delightful, more convenient user experience, personalization sends a clear message to your target audience that you:

  • value and prioritize them; and 
  • care enough to understand them.

Personalized experiences are expected to be table stakes within the next few years. In other words, if you’re not designing your digital solutions to align with your users’ needs, preferences,  behaviors, and location – to name a few – your customer engagement and retention will likely suffer.

What’s more, as companies continue to harness first-party data, the goal won’t just be engagement or satisfaction. The role of personalization will increasingly be aimed at creating deeper, more meaningful, more emotional user experiences. 

Cross-device personalization

It’s also important to remember that people are constantly switching between their desktops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, and even watches to consume content. Looking forward, UX designers and digital teams will need to pay special attention to how personalization unfolds across multiple devices – in addition to base considerations for a multi-device strategy.

UX and AI – an acronymic match?

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has birthed a number of disruptive tools, and contrary to what you might think, they’re not just for the inexperienced; any professional can (and might be expected to) adopt these emerging technologies in some capacity to help create content, wireframes, design elements, and more.

If nothing else, we can expect to see a stride toward productivity gains, with AI automating some of the more tedious aspects of UX design like research. In theory, this will free up designers to focus more of their energy on soft skills and big thinking.

AI isn’t going anywhere; it’s about how we embrace it while getting better at the things it can’t do. What’s really interesting is how it will affect SEO. While it’s too early to know for sure, the issue’s definitely under examination.

Chatbots are getting smarter

It’s also worth nothing that the chatbot revolution is here. This year is already seeing more bots integrated into apps, platforms, and websites than ever before, as brands strive to fine-tune their customer service with a humanlike approach.

Many of these bots will be powered by AI or machine learning and equipped to solve challenges quickly and effectively and with a strong command of language. The technology behind these large language models is impressive, with use cases extending well beyond customer support.

Minimalism with micro-interactions

Remember when the like button on Facebook blew your mind? That’s a prime example of an early microinteraction. Since, UX designers have continued to push the envelope by adding a little dynamism to otherwise static web environments. Some examples include:

  • gamified animations;
  • progress indicator bars;
  • horizontal scroll buttons;
  • page transitions; and
  • hover reveals.

The list goes on, but the key is to be selective and purposeful. Users appreciate the detail, but they don’t like being bombarded. That’s why the marriage of microinteractions with minimalistic design is such a winning combination.

That’s not to say there’s no room for surprise and delight; in fact, with microinteractions becoming the standard moving forward, it’ll be increasingly important for UX designers to get creative to stand out.

Don’t believe everything you read

Hot tip: don’t forget that what’s true of most users isn’t true of all. Some sources claim that Gen Z, for example, is trending more toward maximalism over minimalism, trading white space for overstimulating design that screams a sense of identity and individualism. It’s a reminder to be mindful of your audience.

Let’s put your users first

Moving forward, user experience design will continue to play a critical role in how organizations build meaningful relationships with their audiences. It’s vital to stay on top of and adopt the latest trends and best practices, or you’ll run the risk of abandonment.

Personalization, artificial intelligence, and microinteractions are but a few baselines brands should integrate into their approach to UX design. At Alphabet®, we consider the whole gamut to keep our clients’ audiences at the forefront of every experience we create.

Ready to talk UX? We’re ready to help. Contact us today.

Devon KunkelVP, Technology & Innovation