In today’s saturated online world, an amazing user experience is no longer just a nice-to-have, it’s expected. If you think back to some of the websites you have visited over the past few months, there will probably be a handful that you found particularly user-friendly. 2018 is the year where that level of user experience becomes the norm, where ego is replaced by accessibility and website design finally becomes all about the user.
In our recent guide to creating effective websites, we touched upon the evolving role of UX, but now we’re going to dig much deeper to reveal some of the top user experience trends for 2018…
1. The year of the footer
Traditionally, the website footer has been one of the most underused pieces of website real estate. 2018 is the year when all that changes. Until now, footers have been used to provide contact information or a signup form, but they are transitioning into a space that includes additional elements of the homepage and becomes a valuable addition to the overall design.
When designing a great footer, stick to clean elements, give yourself plenty of space and organise with purpose. Avoiding clutter and thinking carefully about which elements will live there and why they need to be there is the key to creating a usable space.
2. User journey simplification
Good user experience design is all about making it as simple as possible for a visitor to achieve their goals. Usually, the less effort required to achieve a goal, the better the overall experience. The key is to create a linear user flow by stripping back your website to have a specific beginning, middle and end that allows users to complete a single action with each step.
Having a non-linear process can confuse and intimidate users and can cause them to leave your site. While sticking to a linear process may seem like strikingly obvious advice, many businesses inadvertently create complicated journeys and fail to guide their users along the way.
3. Creating content-centred experiences
One of the biggest challenges in mobile UX design is creating apps that are full of content but are still appealing to their users. Removing visual clutter and putting content first through the use of clear visual language can help users focus on the core message you are trying to communicate. Having a uniform way to present user interface elements can make content comprehension easier, with strong visual signifiers used to direct users to essential information.
4. Making the most of those big screens
One of the drivers behind some of the latest trends in mobile UX design is the increasing size of the screens. The release of the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S8 with their frameless screens have given UX designers more screen space than they have ever had before. The quality of your online assets will have a direct impact on the user’s experience, so it’s essential you deliver HD images and videos that do not appear pixelated on those great big screens.
5. The next step in advanced personalization
Personalized user experience design is a trend that first emerged in 2017 and this looks set to continue into 2018. The current focus is all about how websites and apps can provide content that is relevant to the user’s geolocation by offering services that are responsive to the environment around them. However, in 2018, this hyper-personalization is set to go one step further with tailored user interface design. By tracking how users interact with a website or an app, it is possible to introduce personalization options such as larger fonts for users with poor eyesight and layouts that suit particular preferences. Algorithms will also be able to decide what content is displayed based on the previous interaction history and the behaviour on the website of any given visitor. The result is a truly personalized experience.
More convenient, connected and accessible
2018 is the year UX design makes websites and mobile apps more convenient, connected and accessible than ever before. While some of the UX trends involve cutting-edge technology, other changes you can make simply and quickly to create frictionless journeys for your users.