As a Mobile or Web developer, you may have heard the new buzzword in the industry- Experience Design (XD). You may have even wondered what Experience Designers really do? Like most users, you may have noticed that they do make software products noticeably easier and fun to use. But is that all? And what does it mean for you, the folks that develop these products?
So, first, let’s look into what XD really is.
Experience Design is the process of creating products, processes, services, environments, etc. centered on the quality of the user experience. The complexity of this practice lies in the fact that a single design discipline does not drive experience design. Therefore, the job of a UX designer is nowhere close to being easy.
Now coming to development, how do you build products with fantastic usability? Your role, for long, has been to translate the product’s features into a working product using your experience and coding skills. To that extent, designing for an optimum user experience may involve looking at this is a feature to be implemented. But it involves more than that. It demands that you put the user as the focus of your efforts. Let the user experience you wish to deliver define the coding choices you make today. And, as you can imagine, that means thinking like a UX designer.
How do you think like a UX designer? What must you be aware of? To make this easier for you, here’s a list of UX trends that every developer will benefit from knowing about:
1. Motion Design and Animation
Motion Design and animation can affect the order in which people take in and process information. Learning both these would be beneficial to developers since they work hand-in-hand with seamless one-page sites and are emerging UX design trends. They are worth learning since appropriately designed animation aids in bringing the user’s attention to explicit elements and can create a specific brand aesthetic.
2. Screen-less Interactions
The need to touch a screen or type is gradually fading. Although a voice user interface (VUI) already exists on most mobile devices, it is still not as dominant as it will be soon. Developers must learn to create ‘screen-less experiences.’ While screen-based devices won’t disappear from our lives, the focus will shift to user flows, efficiency, and visual feedback. What this rising trend means is that preferences will change to voice-based and screen-less interactions.
3. The Use of More Gestures
This trend is mainly applicable for Mobile applications. Developers should learn to use more gestural interactions. This keeps the interface visually clean yet will not hamper functionality. However, close attention must be given to this aspect because hidden gestural interactions (where users have no idea that interaction is available) can be a hindrance as well. Subtle animated signs can be used to point out what interactions are available, to overcome this challenge.
4. Advanced Personalization
Personalization is the opposite of one size fits all. It means delivering a super-personalized and hyper-localized user experience based on several factors. It involves giving users what they desire in a particular moment — in other words, giving them the right things, at the right time, in the right manner. Right for them specifically, that is. Advanced personalization is about giving every user the best experience possible. With the help of AI, companies have already started launching products that provide more deeply personalized experiences. Developers must get ahead of the tech curve and learn how to take advantage of these new technologies to heighten the user experience of software products.
5. Emotion Evoking Design
Everything around us is designed in a seamless manner. And all design conclusively generates an emotion. As humans, we undergo an emotional reaction to our environment. And that reaction changes from moment-by-moment. In today’s tech-centric environment, developers must not forget that ultimately, their users are human, and digital interactions can produce both positive and negative emotions. If you take a close look at the most successful applications, you will realize that they connect with users through storytelling and a more conversational approach. This is most easily viewed in how software products interact with their users today. Where earlier instructions and guides were dry and impersonal, today’s interactions and conversational, humorous, and context-driven. Developers must learn the art of making digital products that feel less digital, more natural, and conversational. Developers must aim to eliminate frustrations and strive to find opportunities that give pleasure to customers through positive emotional experiences.
There’s no doubt that the products that will succeed will present a high-quality user experience. That puts the onus on your ability to design a winning user experience. Keeping up with UX trends will be beneficial for developers as they attempt to do that. In today’s age of constant changes, keeping up with what is current can be a key strength. That will allow developers to create spectacular digital products that meet the high expectations of modern-day users, isn’t that what you want to do?