10 February 2023
The Month That Was January 2023
Ready to design your website? Great news! However, before you dive straight into the nitty gritty of web design and development, it’s important to consider what’s new in the world of UX in 2023, and what trends were just sooo last year.
Design trends come and go in the blink of an eye, and the world of design is evolving at an accelerated rate – and you need to keep up as to not get left behind. We’re living in an age where consumers are always on the lookout for the next best thing, product or service, and they want it quickly with minimal effort. And if your site’s user experience isn’t up to scratch, then well, you won’t get very far…
From (hyper)personalisation to artificial intelligence to scrollytelling, there’s plenty of stuff to keep your eye on this year. So, without further ado, let’s dive into some of our favourites…
Inherently, the human experience revolves around our emotional responses, and our gut reaction, decision-making processes tend to rely on emotions rather than logic – or, our heart over our head. With that in mind, it’s important to apply this to our designs to meet the emotional expectations of website users.
The concept of personalisation – or, (hyper)personalisation in this case – is nothing new, and neither is emotional design. However, in 2023, it’s expected that both will be used more and more within user interfaces (UIs) to push the ‘bespoke’ experience users can enjoy on both apps and the web.
So, let’s start with (hyper)personalisation. Personalised web experiences have been at the forefront of design innovations for many years now. However, with competition emerging from every corner of the web, it’s a tough competition to grab a user’s attention. Nowadays, a slightly personalised experience just won’t cut it. Instead of catering for a large group of people all at once, you need to work towards a hyper-personalised user experience that users think was made for them, and them only.
The rise of chatbots are a good example of this, offering what feels like a truly personalised experience to every customer that visits your site. Additionally, you can drive more advanced, personalised experiences by leveraging customer data to offer dynamic content like product recommendations, tailored copy variations and engaging, varying images.
The idea that a brand is going out of its way to offer a totally tailored, unique experience evokes a joyful feeling along the lines of: “Aww, you were thinking about me!”. Which leads us onto our next, (and similar) point: emotional design.
Emotional design comes as a natural part of the parcel of the personalised experience, as stated above. The idea revolves around the fact that a product, service or in this case, a website, must not only be functional, but must also elicit a positive feeling from the user. This is the combination that’ll keep a user returning to your product time and time again.
Realistically, we have an emotional response to everything. We all know the strong sense of frustration and anger when we’re using a website that doesn’t work as seamlessly as you’d hope.
If you’re looking to design a website, it’s important to conduct some deeper research into your audience: who are they, what do they like, and what makes them tick? With this research to hand, you can begin creating a design that strikes the balance between aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Entice your audience with fun animations, striking imagery, meaningful copy, and an all-round exciting experience. That way, you’ll form that quick “love at first sight” emotional bond right from the get-go. After all, first impressions count. This positive reaction is the exact ingredient that ensures users keep coming back.
Scrolling can become a totally passive action, it’s easy to head onto your phone to check ‘just one little thing’ and then before you know it your screen time is totting up and you can’t even remember what you’ve just consumed.
‘Scrollytelling’, on the other hand, is a way of making a passive action an active one, using the scroll function on our phones or computer devices in a much more dynamic way. Rather than scrolling through a static page, scrollytelling enables a narrative to unfold as the user heads down the page.
Whether this be copy sliding onto the screen, images materialising or animated videos, this trend is all about the transition. It’s a fun, immersive way to bring an otherwise dull landing page, infographic or article to life to make the information more digestible and stimulating and give your brand more personality.
As our world continues to advance, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Who has the time (or patience) to read through an entire website? It needs to be fun to keep us interested. Gone are the days of strict boundaries and blocks in web design, we want to be told a story.
Storytelling in its typical format can be hard, especially when a customer knows that you’re only telling it with one ultimate goal in mind: to sell your product. But allowing the narrative to unfold in a more stimulating way enables a more emotionally-led user experience, (hinting back to the emotional design point we spoke about above).
It’s no secret that the use of AR and VR is on the rise across several industries, but its use is developing significantly in the wonderful world of e-commerce. Companies are increasingly utilising AR to allow customers to ‘see’ how a product might work in action.
For instance, IKEA, our reliable Swedish furniture giants, launched the IKEA Place mobile app, allowing users to get an idea about how pieces of IKEA furniture will look in their space. With the true-to-size, 3D view, users can see if the piece fits with their tastes and space requirements. It’s kind of like a “try before you buy” approach, giving customers greater confidence in their purchases – it’s the perfect sales tactic for pushing customers over to the ‘Checkout’ button.
We even see VR as an artistic choice trend within web design, where an entire site has its own environment architecture where site users navigate the site by ‘physically’ moving around ‘within’ the site matrix (like a game). Whether this catches on as a reason to navigate a site is still up for debate.
“Currently, I think this feels like a little bit of a gimmick, but there’s no denying that it can be quite fun” Zoe
“Currently, I think this feels like a little bit of a gimmick, but there’s no denying that it can be quite fun”
Intentional UX choices like this keep people interested, and the impression it makes is a memorable one.
In today’s online world, people can access the internet from all sorts of devices. This poses a tough challenge for UX designers, as it means that one singular site now needs to be coherent and seamless across a much wider range of devices, applications and platforms.
App or website, mobile or desktop, iOS or Android…and well, we could go on. With all these considerations to factor in, it can feel like there’s a million hoops to jump through to tick off a user-friendly experience that suits everyone, and to put things simply, it can be pretty overwhelming.
Knowing how and where you should display products or information is a minefield in itself, a task that requires a large degree of preliminary research into where you should best focus your efforts.
Stats show that browsing behaviour on both mobile and desktop is pretty 50/50, highlighting the need for this type of cross-device flexibility, which is now becoming not just an impressive feature, but more like an expectation from users. With that in mind, cross-device experiences are not something to push to the backburner – you need to adapt.
So, did you get all that? Like we say, trends in the world of UX and web design are changing as we speak, and keeping up can be tough – so let us help!
Keeping up with (and starting) trends is what we do best with our graphic design services, as well as designing killer websites that don’t just look the part, but sell your service too.
10 February 2023
The Month That Was January 2023
Still the same great data driven services, but now with a different nameGot It