5 DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2017

Add UI Animations to Create Delightful Moments

UI animation is an emerging trend that adds a dash of vibrancy to otherwise dull user interactions. A simple animation can make something as mundane as closing a tab or tapping a button much more delightful. This should be a top priority for software-focused businesses. It’s an inexpensive way to add small but memorable moments to the user experience that your site visitors won’t soon forget.

Another tactic you can include is “micro-interactions” in your designs. These work particularly well on mobile screens where small interactions – such as closing a tab – can be turned into a delightful experience.

Design for Digital Novices

Poor computer skills combined with millions of new users means that you have to design your products for digital novices.

Essentially, this means your user-experience journey maps should focus on failure by default – users who can’t understand what to do or how to do something on your site or app.

A simple example of this would be the password selection process during sign-up. A “design for failure” would assume that users don’t know how to select a secure password. It would summarily reject weak passwords and/or offer hints to select better passwords.

Use Age-responsive Design and Personalization

The idea behind age-responsive design is simple: people of different ages use websites differently. A 7-year-old who has been playing with an iPad since she was 3 has a very different level of comfort with digital content than a 70-year-old who picked up a smartphone last year.

Offering both these demographics the same responsive design experience makes for a bad user experience. Your website can track on-site user action and combine it with demographics data to estimate your user’s age group. You can then use that information to craft age-specific experiences.  For example, you might use larger fonts and larger line spacing for older users.

For younger people, you might collapse the navigation menu and remove visual cues since this age group is already comfortable with digital interfaces.

Design for Trust

Trust is an essential component of design. You might even say that building trust is the entire purpose of good design.

A design of this nature revolves around communicating your site’s trustworthiness and fulfills Jakob Nielsen’s “4 credibility factors”:

  • Design quality: Quite simply, good design is deemed more trustworthy. This is particularly true in industries marred by fraud or spam such as fitness and nutrition/diet.
  • Upfront disclosure: Disclose key terms like shipping policies and offer details upfront with your design. Your users should have no ambiguity as to what your business does and what service level agreements it adheres to.
  • Comprehensive and current: Your users shouldn’t have to search elsewhere for answers to key questions. Include an FAQ, ample documentation and helpful resources to assist site visitors.
  • Connected to the rest of the web: Your site shouldn’t be a silo; outgoing links indicate that you are a part of the web. While there are certain exceptions (such as checkout or landing pages), your site should feel like it is a part of the web, not an isolated experience.

How you do this is an open matter, but being transparent with your users and focusing on better design is a good place to start.

Use Design as a Storytelling Tool

One way to add storytelling to your marketing mix is through design.

Product-focused businesses don’t have to take the content route to tell stories; they can also use design to show users how their product works.

Strong design turns a conventional product demo into a compelling visual story. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it also gives users a real-world use-case for the product.

Consider ditching conventional product demos and doing something similarly vibrant for your product.

Great design is not only visually pleasing, it is also a compelling marketing tool. Start by experimenting with these 6 design tactics in 2017. Clever use of animations, parallax scrolling and trust elements can make your site look better and improve conversion rates.

At the same time, adopt a design-first philosophy to compete with the “Slack-ification” of enterprise apps. While you’re at it, focus on creating “failure-proof” designs that help your least technically skilled users get what they want.

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