Updated on January 11, 2019.
What Is User Experience?
User Experience—or UX—refers to how the user feels when they interact with your digital product. Good user experiences are created by putting the users first. Understanding your user base takes research, patience and empathy for every archetype that has a touchpoint with your product. Today, a great user experience can take your digital product to the next level as it is essential to building and maintaining brand loyalty.
Your users are the source of truth and are the ones that will interact with your app the most, not you. Understanding who your users are is one of the most important factors of design. Soliciting user feedback and planning regular improvements allows for more informed decision making and builds trust with your customers.
Interacting with your brand should not be a chore—it should be effortless. A designer has to be tuned in to the first impression the user will have. Beyond just being accessible and easy-to-use, your site or app has to be functional. It should contain what the user expects to see, or even exceed those expectations. A positive user experience instills a sense of connection, trust and reliability between the user and your brand.
User Experience Trends Of 2018
The field of UX is constantly evolving, and it’s important to repeatedly ask ourselves, “What is the user experience we are providing?” Users are becoming more and more demanding of the apps and sites they interact with—it’s essential to deliver a positive experience at every step of the way. Let’s take a look at some of the user experience trends of 2018:
Personalized User Experience
This means that you deliver an experience customized to the specific needs and preferences of your user. This approach can range anywhere from having different landing pages for different client types (i.e., business and personal) to having a unique experience for each individual user (think Spotify’s personalized playlists). When the user feels personally involved, they are more apt to deeply connect with your brand.
Time-saving features are essential to keeping a user engaged with your product. The user should find what they’re looking for within a matter of seconds. The trick is to balance time-saving features—which can quickly turn into clutter in the form of shortcut buttons—with a spacious aesthetic feel. It’s about balancing efficiency with aesthetic beauty. When your app is effortless and pleasurable to use, this balance has been struck.
Minimizing distractions helps users stay focused on the essence of your brand. It’s crucial to keep the user’s attention engaged, but this can be done in a subtle way, not over-the-top flashiness. Avoid prompting the users for things that are irrelevant to their desired outcome. Help them keep their eyes on the prize.
What to Expect in 2019
Voice-command will take over searches
The days of typing short keyword phrases into Google may soon be numbered. In 2016, Google announced that 20% of people conduct their mobile searches by voice. ComScore predicts that number will continue to grow to 50% by 2020. Now that users are becoming more reliant on their digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, they will be expecting voice-command to be incorporated into their user experience. In 2019 as we see its popularity continue to grow, website and mobile app development will need to be geared towards responding to voice commands from users. The rise of voice-command will also have an impact on search engine optimization.
With each passing year, the list of smart devices available to us grows longer. As that list expands, your user experience design will need to be device-agnostic. A user expects to have a seamless experience with your website or mobile app, regardless if they are viewing it on their watch, phone or computer. Failing to incorporate device-agnostic design in your strategy could result in the loss of important users.
A user experience trend that we will be seeing much more of in 2019 is anticipatory design. Through the use of marketing automation platforms, mobile apps will begin to predict the next move of the user, making their experience more simple and personalized. Minimizing the number of decisions a user may have to make will help to better prioritize the time they spend on your website or app.
Content-focused design is a concept that every designer should be using in 2019, if not already. Each digital interaction with your website is an experience for the user. These experiences should tell a story to captivate your users and inspire them to keep exploring your website or mobile app. Think of each layer or page of your website as a new page in the story you want to tell through your design.
Personalized user experience
You should aim to create a user experience that is personalized to each user. Your users are individuals and should be treated as such. Our smart devices have access to a lot of our information, making UX personalization easy. Even small personalizations help to create an overall more positive experience for your users. An example of this user experience trend is employing split screen layouts. This idea saves time and effort for the user as they are easily directed to the information that specifically interests them.
Cashless payments are becoming increasingly popular and that popularity will continue to prosper in 2019. Users are expecting to have the option of using Apple Pay or Android Pay when purchasing on mobile apps or websites. Consider the last time you were making an online purchase and had to run to get your wallet before it was completed. That takes time and effort that may not always be worth it. The ability for users to purchase your product or service with just the touch of their fingertip instantly boosts their user experience.
Augmented reality goes far beyond gaming. You should incorporate AR into your websites and mobile apps to further the user experience in 2019. The filters on Snapchat are a perfect example of this user experience trend. When you add AR features to your website or app, you immediately make the experience more meaningful.
In today’s modern mobile environment, it’s essential to have a seamless user experience. Users have come to expect ease-of-use and frictionless workflows in the digital products they interact with. Intuition is the driving force behind a positive user experience—your app or website should unfold naturally without imposing a sense of effort onto the user. Similar to how someone may craft their view of a company based on a customer service experience, your app or website user experience can determine the perception of your brand as a whole. This is why it’s essential to work with an experienced UX design team.
Seamgen works to truly understand your business needs and your users in order to craft the most positive user experience possible. Our proven model for user experience design means that users will be able to interact with your brand in a seamless way while eliminating some of the roadblocks between your product and the user. When you combine vision, creativity, and experience, you get Seamgen. Contact us today, firstname.lastname@example.org.