5 Website & App User Interface (UI) Building Trends: Predictions for 2017

January 17th, 2017

UI/UX // Zee

User Interface Trends for 2017

Website and app design is inseparable from its usability, which is why user interfaces (UI) practices are one of the trends that have been evolving rapidly and this article is focused on the UI design trends we think are going to be prevalent in 2017. 

UI/UX designers’ main task and goal are to create such design that will take people from point A to point B without them scratching their heads in confusion.

The process should be clear enough for users to think only about one thing: doing what they wanted (be it ordering food delivery, buying a deep-fryer they longed for or reading the latest news about Trump and his Twitter.)

48% of users consider the site/app design as a major factor in determining their level of trust for the business.

What to do in 2017 and what to expect?

On the one hand, many UI trends from the previous year will continue (emphasis on typography, for example). On the contrary, some things will enhance the UX and visual pleasure from using the apps.

Mobile optimization continues to dominate

The process that began a couple of years ago in 2015 as an optional thing becomes a must right now. More people are using mobile devices for much more than just playing games, and conversing on social media.

In regards to your website, this means that you should take into account the peculiarities of interaction with mobile devices.

For example, don’t forget about the font size in your blog, so people can read what you have to say.

E-commerce websites should also pay attention to UX. If your “Add to Cart” button is so tiny only a toddler can tap it, the chances are that your mobile sales won’t be too high.

You can check your website’s “mobility” using Google’s mobile-friendly tools.

Aside note: this mobile trend is great, but don’t swing right into the other extreme and forget about your laptop/desktop users. What should change is the direction you approach designing new features - creating prototypes for mobile devices first and then adapting them for PCs.

Visualize What You Can

“A picture paints a thousand words” remains true today. In the world of user interface design, this is an excellent way to quickly grab the attention of the user.

Videos are even more useful than simple pictures. Because vision is one of the strongest of all human feelings, a video can convey the message in the most efficient and succinct way.

Storytelling and video content became design trends back in 2016, but they continue to dominate the stage.

According to Cisco, over 80% of global traffic will be taken by videos by 2019. In the US, the video advertising market will double.

For a long time, the basis for the project’s design was the static layout. The primary focus was on text and static images, while video and other interactive content were mostly either embedded into the page or inserted as a link.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of situations and ideas that can be more clearly conveyed via videos.

A new car might look sleek and fantastic in a photo, but its main majesty is shown when that car is moving - driving through the woods and taking the passengers for a picnic on a lakeside.

Similarly, videos can help “tell a story” of, for example, a winter recreation site or a new fitness center.

Search engines are beginning to like video content as well, and social networks are working hard on providing more and more tools for sharing that content. Therefore, integrating video into your app/website interface is a great way towards evolving as well.

Storytelling and Long Form Content

Who doesn’t like stories? We have loved them as kids, and as adults, we continue to like to read and listen to them.

What would you trust more? An ad on TV or your friend’s story of how she has used the product from Joseph Joseph and how it has helped her cooking process?

Good stories are visually and emotionally more convincing than traditional advertising.

The stories might be short or long. The latter - so-called long-form content - involves various types of media.

Check out this masterpiece by New York Times about an avalanche in the Tunnel Creek. By masterfully combining text, short videos, photo galleries, and adding great UX to it, the authors created a story you’re compelled to read (even though it’s quite long and consists of several parts!)

Anticipatory Design

The interface is based on the proactive (rather than reactive) approach to the user’s actions is not a novelty for the UX design. Nevertheless, we’re expecting to see it develop more this year.

The idea behind such interface design is to guess what the user might want to do next and simplify the UI so that the person doesn’t even need to think how to make that next step.

The simplest example of anticipatory design - auto-completing forms in browsers - have evolved into more complex solutions such as granting different types of access based on geolocation. For example, if you live in Britain and are planning a trip to Paris, the website/app can automatically convert the prices into British Pounds instead of Euros.

Moreover, anticipatory design can be based on previous choices of this user. For example, it can offer him to purchase similar tickets to what he has chosen before or show the deals at the hotels the person has stayed in before.

When creating such design, the UX developer decides what information to show to the person by the previously collected data, user’s location, their interests, and past choices.

The anticipatory design is a continuation of the User-centered design (UCD), which is based on the interests and desires of the end customers.

Smart Device Design

Besides thinking about designs for smartphones and tablets, UX designers will have to think also about the design for IoT gadgets that are conquering the markets.

Analysts expect that by 2019, there will be over 245 million portable devices in the world. This means that their owners will want to run apps on these devices that are either written specifically for this device or adapted from another one.

Augmented reality, as well as virtual reality, add a whole layer of opportunities, and smart home systems provide a multitude of options of what can be done.

Along with these trends, there will be others that will continue to be popular. Among them - graphic animation, responsive design, active use of parallax effect, and many others.

The first trend, or the principal object, is the user. The user, who, by the way, spends from 4 to 6 seconds to make the decision whether he wants to remain on the website or continue using the app, and in these few seconds, UI/UX design plays a critical role. Therefore, we hope that the user interface design trends we have mentioned here will help you in your business success.

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Author: Zee

Zee is in charge of the Marketing at the APP Solutions/Grossum. Her areas of interest include quantum physics, astronomy, new trends in the web & mobile development (especially in the areas of AI and machine learning) and digital marketing instruments.

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