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18 November 2021

User Experience (UX) Design Trends 2022

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Analyzing design trends allows you to predict future requests. Thus, companies engaged in the development of websites and applications will be able to predict trends in advance and improve the user experience. Experts monitor the trends of past years and use special algorithms to find out what will be trendy in UX next year. Together with professionals from our company, I conducted my own analytics and identified the main trends for 2022. You can learn about earlier UX design trends to improve yourself.

You can read more about why UX design is needed in the business sphere by following the link. This is useful information for programmers and web developers. Having the necessary knowledge and skills will allow you to quickly achieve success, offer customers innovations, original ideas and develop their business. My team and I have prepared TOP trends for the next year.

Consists of UX design trends from the elements listed above on the graph. From year to year, they remain the basis of the project, but they change in functionality and design. I want to talk about this with you in more detail.

A 2022 trend that started developing back in 2020

The first thing to focus on is dark mode. Many app and website developers started implementing it back in 2020. Initially, this process was brought into fashion by the social network Instagram, completely updating the interface of its application. The new theme was introduced in test mode, after which Apple picked up the trend, improving not only phones, but also technology running on MacOS.

Research by our company has shown that ux design trends 2022, almost all mobile games will also offer a dark design as an alternative option. It can be not only black, but also dark green, brown. Foreign developers claim that the design of many user programs will also be modified, and now gadget owners will be able to use the dark blue theme, as I showed it in the image below.

It is reported that the dark design of applications will spread to the PC. Moreover, in 2022, website developers will increasingly create several page options at once, so that the user can independently choose the design that is more suitable for his preference. Some resources, as my analysis has shown, are already adding to the main page a button that allows you to switch the design.

Reasons for the popularity of the dark theme:

Updating the design will give a new look to the existing application. The sudden trend towards the dark theme shows that UX trends is now actively seeking change. Approximately 68% of existing mobile applications by the type of messengers, programs for watching videos and reading books, according to statistics for the last year, have already switched to this trend.

More about 3D elements

The use of 3D in design isn't a hot new thing, but it will be upgraded in 2022. My analysis has shown that over the past 2 years, web developers have been using oversized monotonous 3D inserts that increase time of application launch or page load. Next year, the emphasis will be on small frameworks, as they can reduce the time to open a resource. Looking at the infographic below, 3D elements will help improve usability, make the design more original, and become part of the graphic design of a page or site. This is a useful addition that cannot be excluded when working with user experience design.

In 2022, specialists will use new approaches that will instantly display the content of the site and its graphical 3D additions. The emphasis will be initially on loading the core elements. Such a trend will make a website or mobile application more presentable. Visual effects perfectly attract the attention of a potential audience, fully demonstrate the virtual space. According to statistics for the past year, in the presence of 3D elements, the likelihood that a person will stay on the page and improve indexing increases by 45%.

The popularity of abstract data visualization

It's time for web designers to forget about the lists and tables that "decorate" the pages. These formats began to become obsolete back in 2020, and I saw this for myself when, together with the employees of our company, I was developing a new fashionable project. These units spoil the design of the home page. Using such a conservative approach to working with UX, in the end, will lead to the fact that the information posted on the site will look unattractive and is more likely to tire the reader than induce action.

Benefits of abstract visualization:

In 2022 only an abstract visualization should be used. Already, many developers use special hardware in test mode, which allows you to quickly and efficiently create a new design.

Uncommon designs

Websites and applications, especially those from the B2C segment, use regular illustrations and animation to attract and hold the users' attention. In the modern world, it is hard to create a UX design that will stand out, if you use only vector icons and illustrations. This is the reason the UX designers use creative, artistic, and sometimes even weird elements to impress the users. For instance, Notion, a platform that collects all your working instruments in a single environment. The visuals on their website are all in black and white.

An uncommon platform design by Notion.

It is vital to keep the UX design simple without a lot of redundant illogical elements. Please, remember that the quality of the user experience comes first. If you find it difficult to create a memorizable design, try to make it practical rather than focusing on nonstandard solutions. The best way to make your product unique is to hire a UX design that knows how to combine a creative approach and ease of use to satisfy the users’ needs. 

Virtual and Augmented reality 

COVID-19 has greatly boosted the development of VR and AR in UX design. Many companies use AR in their UX design like they used 3D before. Retail companies use AR solutions to promote the products and help the clients to make a decision. One of the most popular examples of AR in retail is IKEA Place by IKEA. Users can place 3D models of IKEA products in any place in their house to see how it will look like if they buy them. Furthermore, it helps to see whether the particular element will fit the interior, check whether the size will do. 

Moreover, AR can function as a separate concept of your application. Some developers of fitness applications combine innovative AR technologies and the classical functions of training apps. Or else, you can create a product like ‘Zombies, run!’, where AR adds virtual zombies that follow the users in the real world. A thematic soundtrack creates a unique atmosphere. The users hear how zombies creep behind them if they stop. AR objects on the route, later on, might become a base. This type of gamification motivates to run and creates the environment for monetization. 

Virtual Reality will open a lot of opportunities for UX design in 2022. The game industry is the leader in VR development. In recent years, virtual reality has become more advanced. Now we have games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Boneworks, and Half-Life: Alyx. In addition to an engaging plot and enhanced physics in the game, the developers should create a natural and transparent UX design. Since virtual reality is not a widely used technology, no one has developed sophisticated design strategies yet. It is difficult to make the user fall in love with your application in VR. The only correct solution is to experiment and then come up with an ideal solution for your application. 

Current changes

The quick shifts and changes and interaction with the events make the users perceive your design better, creating a deep connection on a subconscious level. There is a lot of competition, so you must provide the best quality if you want to win. 

Keeping your design up with the current trends in the world will benefit you because you'll stand out among the competitors. Minor but noticeable changes in your homepage, logo, background, or blog design due to a particular holiday will make your brand unique. The users will stay longer on the page, paying attention to the details.

Inclusive design

The inclusive design takes into account the needs of different groups of people. Your UX design will be comfortable for older people, children, people with limited abilities, etc.

The best way to do it is to understand what are their needs. You create a product for millions of people worldwide, so every single one of them should find it easy to use. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a great initiative that provides the methods to create an accessible web design. For example, Intercom Messenger follows WCAG and supports applications that voice the text on the screen, usage of keyboard navigation, and a limited color palette.

The other thing you should take into considerations is the users’ points of view. To understand the point of view of each user, you should use abstract notions. Let’s imagine a default avatar in a social network. If the user defines their gender as male, you will probably set the default male avatar, typically a bearded man. But the people are diverse. Some might just not associate them with the picture set.

This is why abstract notions are essential. An insurance company called Lemonade is a vivid example of how to cope with this issue. When the website asks the user about their cohabitants, it never uses pictures of real humans. Instead, the roommates are shown as glasses of beer, the partners as glasses of wine, children — juice boxes. This approach helps to avoid gender stereotypes and relationship stereotypes.

Manual or voice search?

Already in 2021, gadget users are increasingly switching to searching for information using sound, using voice assistants for this. Fewer and fewer people, according to the analytical data of our company, choose to search for information through Google using a smartphone or computer. It is easier to contact the voice assistant, saying its "name" and a key request.

More than 70% of users now choose voice search and smartphone control. This saves time, effort and does not force you to pick up the phone once again if there is a special station with a voice assistant in the room. Next year, the developers plan to improve the functionality of this UX area further.

More on rich animation

Now the use of animation on websites and in applications, according to our company's analytics, is considered negative, since this element quickly affects the user and literally falls out of the spotlight in a few seconds. Because of this, most designers partially or completely abandon the introduction of animation into their development. Next year, the trend will completely change its perspective and will be more common. Currently, work is underway to create interactive animation that is remembered by the user and, at the same time, does not reduce the speed of page loading.

The key purpose of this graphic is to grab the attention of the page visitor. The motion effect can positively affect the reputation of the company and the number of target audience, promotion. My monitoring of trends shows that animation will be ubiquitous in 2022. Elements such as regular text with a list or static image, inserted table will recede into the background this year.

Why is unique microinteraction needed?

Now developers of applications and pages on the Internet actively ignore such a method of organizing communication with the user, as microinteraction. Because of this, the audience grows more slowly, the response decreases. Info product creators stick to the plan outlined in the infographic below.

UX will change noticeably in the next year. Microinteraction will become one of the main trends, and this innovation will improve the field of programming.

Microinteraction consists of such elements:

This is a new approach that will make the interaction with a page or application warmer. Each user will be able to feel an unusual contact with the resource and are more likely to want to stay on it. The presence of microinteractions on the resource will have a beneficial effect on the company's reputation and will definitely be able to interest users.

Will there be new fonts?

As I have noticed, typographic trends change every year, as users have been constantly reading text on resources for many years and everyone is bored with classic fonts. For the past two years, it has been fashionable to use multiple font options when developing the page design, but next year the designers will return to the same style again. At the same time, they will withdraw from minimalism, which has already lost its uniqueness. Too simple fonts have become monotonous and do not add their zest to the site or application. In 2022, web developers will focus on a single stulistics, but will use new interpretations and move away from the classics.

Trend characteristics:

Formal Open Sans will fade into the background. You will have to opt for a more original user interface if the developer wants to stand out and follow trends.
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