Predictions! We all enjoy predicting the future, don’t we?
It’s an innate trait. We enjoy prepping for the possibilities of the new year.
In the UI/UX space, prepping for the future can either mean setting up for success or falling behind your competitors. Many would opt for the prior.
Therefore, we delved into the 2024 forecast of the UI/UX field to help you better sow the seeds of your future designs. Drawing insights from our second podcast episode, here are the 5 UI/UX Trends of 2024.
Listen to the full episode here.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Just as Taylor Swift was the 2023 Person Of The Year, AI was THE tech topic of the year. Dominating almost every facet of our digital experience, and definitely will continue in 2024.
For UI/UX, AI tools with sophisticated machine learning systems have revolutionized the creative process.
AI has emerged as an efficient research assistant, not by data collection, but by suggesting pertinent questions for users to answer during interviews. This leads to more organized and meaningful insights.
Gone are the days of extensive reading and manually screening interview questions.
Moreover, AI’s capabilities are now refined enough to streamline the brainstorming, wireframing, and even prototyping process. AI image generators have made it easy for designers to visualize and structure essential elements that might have gone unnoticed.
Thus, expediting the duration needed to move a project from design to development.
2. Mixed Realities
With mixed realities, a new era of design creativity is entering as the physical world merges with digital.
For context, traditional UI/UX designs focus on 2D and 3D graphical interfaces on a static, flat screen. But, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) transcend previously constricted experiences.
With the anticipated release of the Apple Vision Pro, VR and AR plunge users into crafted digital realms or superimpose digital elements onto the real world. Thereby orchestrating captivating and immersive experiences.
This experience-rich digital realm opens a whole new canvas for designers to explore. Ushering designers into an environment that challenges their skills and creativity.
The ultimate goal of personalization is not just functional efficiency but an emotional resonance — the kind that makes users appreciate the interface and forge a lasting connection with it. If users find what resonates with them, they are more likely to engage deeply, linger longer, and make return visits.
Consider Spotify as an exemplary case study. The implementation of features such as Spotify Wrapped stands as a testament to their mastery in fostering user loyalty. The adept integration of personalized experiences across their entire application underscores Spotify’s strategic prowess in user experience.
And with AI, creating designs that emulate this scenario becomes probable.
AI, driven by sophisticated algorithms and user interaction data, excels at providing relevant design results based on user prompts. AI results help UIUX designers create a dynamic and adaptive design approach to match the expectations of the users as reflected.
As designers, you must master balancing AI-generated design with your own. AI is your point of reference (on the surface level, at least) of your user’s behaviors and preferences. So, leverage it as best as you can in 2024.
In line with the rise of personalization, an emphasis on microinteractions is expected in 2024. Microinteractions serve a dual purpose: to make interactions more engaging and to imbue the interface with warmth and approachability. Those subtle yet impactful animations play a profound role in creating a delightful and user-centric design.
Many companies are recognizing the importance of microinteraction in transforming a user experience into an emotional journey.
Microinteractions function as the silent storytellers of an interface. Whether it’s a subtle bounce of a pressed button or a pop-up upon completion of a task, it communicates with users on an innate level.
Hence, integrating microinteractions (in moderation) into your designs is the way to go in 2024.
Microinteractions to experiment
- Mouse over effect
- Tap-and-hold effect
- Branded text highlighting
- Gamified animations
- Haptic feedback
5. Ethical Design
One innovation after another, ethicality, has been a resounding and imperative theme in the digital realm. Not escaping the conversation is digital design and its impact. Knowing the ripple effect of their designs beyond users, a few issues are being acknowledged in 2024:
Data Privacy and Transparency
Although this issue goes beyond a designer’s expertise, as a designer, you must advocate for social responsibility by addressing issues such as clear data privacy policies and transparent consent forms.
The goal is to empower users with a sense of control over their data by fostering an environment where ethical design becomes synonymous with caring for users.
Have you ever skipped the terms and conditions of a service and ticked the agree option without reading it? Congratulations, you’ve been “Dark UX”- ed!
In UI/UX terms, this scenario is called Privacy Zuckering. Dark UX involves deliberately creating interfaces that manipulate or deceive users. Manipulation tactics like this are so embedded into many aspects of a digital product that we, as users, have grown accustomed to.
In the example above, it becomes an ethical issue because oftentimes, these terms and conditions agreements are vaguely termed and overly complicated. Who wants to read pages of jargon-filled terms? When users start to become confused about what is being prompted to them, that’s when ethics is questioned.
As designers, you must avoid unethical UI practices when designing. You’re not doing your users any favor by doing them. They are now more observant of these tactics that push them into actions or choices they are hesitant about.
In the New Year, the call for designers to advocate for users against these deceptive strategies is taking center stage. This entails championing clarity, transparency, and user empowerment in the face of deceptive design practices.
Moving forward, designers are challenged to integrate considerations for people with disabilities from the inception of their projects. In other words, accessibility is a must from the get-go.
For instance, incorporating features like text-to-speech and alt text ensures the experience is inclusive and eliminates potential barriers. The focus moving forward is on understanding and acknowledging who might be left out in the design process and working to create experiences that cater to diverse user needs.
5 Basic Elements (Accessibility)
- Color & Contrast
- Privacy & Security
Acknowledging that apps and websites contribute to energy consumption, designers are urged to champion sustainability. Environmentally conscious practices such as reducing energy usage, streamlining designs for faster loading, and considering features like default dark mode are actively placed to minimize energy consumption.
However, the sustainable design process goes beyond the product itself; it involves considering the energy spent in the development and design phases, making them future-ready and scalable without the need for resource-intensive reiterations
Simple, you have to start crafting immersive and purposeful user experiences that transcend the boundaries of conventional design marching ahead. As a designer, you need to actively educate yourself and upskill in alignment with the present design tools and demands.
Continuous self-improvement should be an innate trait.
For the most part, staying abreast of the tools that you use is crucial. A standout example is Figma variables—a powerful tool that has made its way to designers in a recent update to streamline design processes; it significantly shortens the time required for designing.
Apart from that, practicing mindful observations of new changes in digital products and your users is also imperative in making your designs more intuitive and user-centric. Paying meticulous attention to the intricacies of user behavior—what users are using, why they make specific choices, how they interact, and the emotional responses elicited—is akin to honing a designer’s sixth sense.
It helps you better understand user needs and preferences, transcending assumptions.
Get Ahead of Your Competitors!
As we’ve entered the early months of 2024, the UI/UX landscape beckons us into an era where emerging technologies intertwine seamlessly with user-focused principles.
Consider these predictions as your game plan, guiding your focus and actions through the intricate terrain of UI/UX design. Let the mix between technology and humanity be the driving force toward a future where design is not just functional but profoundly resonant with your users.
However, if it becomes too challenging to keep up with all of these trends in your digital growth — reach out to us!
Our seasoned designers are not only aligned with current trends but also anticipate those not explicitly mentioned here. And they’re ready to adeptly curate and tailor your design needs accordingly.