Technology is playing a major role in UI & Webdesigns. In 2019, we can expect latest tech inventions to break new frontiers and expand further into UI designs across websites & products.
1) Voice Based UI
Voice Searches are catching up so fast that it’s almost scary. Research by Gartner finds that by 2020, almost 50% of the searches made on the internet will be by voice. A study by Edit shows that 40% of all smartphone using adults do voice searches at least once per day. By searches, we do not mean only searching for something on the internet. It includes also internal searches on your device like searching for a song or something.
Big tech companies are constantly developing and improving ingenious voice assistants along with their Operating Systems. The popular ones are Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana and Alexa.
If people are getting used to using voice searches on a desktop machine, they most certainly will on a smartphone. As a designer, voice controls reduces the usage of manual controls. It opens up space where a designer must think of something to represent the presence of a control which is not there physically on the app.
Feedback is important here to indicate when the system starts listening and when it shows you the results. It can be anything visual. It can also be even combined with some sound outputs as the user may not necessarily have the device in hand when using voice control. From the UX stand front, it reduces the time taken for typing and seeing multiple results sometimes irrelevant.
2) Artificial Intelligence
UI is not confined within the screen anymore. AR is coming big and we designers need to evolve along with it. An app’s UI is going beyond its horizons and going into the real world environment as well. Initially introduced in the gaming industry, AR is now officially in other sectors as well, especially in retail industries.
Modiface is a tech company which creates AR for cosmetic brands. Now acquired by L’Oreal, Modiface had previously partnered with Sephora in creating it’s Virtual Artist App. It assists you in trying on custom makeovers with the cosmetics available.
Furniture revolutionary, Ikea, has it’s own AR app called ‘IKEA Place’. This app will scan your room or environment first. After that, you can select & place various furniture in your own room (virtually of course) and see how it looks!
As more companies embrace this tech, it’s up to the designers to provide a rich UI coupled with AR. It should work seamlessly to provide a fulfilling experience to the user.
Have you ever seen a password input field shake when you enter the wrong password and click login? Micro Interactions. Yes, these interactions are all about giving you feedback after you do an action. Here, the field shaking indicates that you have entered the wrong password. Surprisingly, micro-interactions are not random animations. It resembles human actions. In the example stated above, when the password field shakes left and right, it resembles the human head shaking left & right to indicate rejection.
Animations which are there to increase the usability of the app are always welcome rather than animations which are there just for the sake of it. It truly makes a difference when animations make the users focus on one thing at a time and guides the user through the app. Animated fields, buttons, and other elements are bound to make the user understand what is happening every step of the way.
Johny Vino, a popular designer on Dribbble is a great advertiser of Micro Interactions. You could explore his profile to find out how he uses micro interactions to engage the user and increase the visual feedback.
We can expect this trend to be explored more and more in the year 2019. It is bound to open up new avenues for the designers to design truly engaging experiences in which the user is always on top of the game.
4) Bold, Vibrant Colors and Gradients
Monitors and device screens are getting more colourful and designers sure are taking advantage of it. Colours are increasingly being used more & more to enhance usability. Colour palettes are getting wider and more diverse every day and it is not just the bright colours. Dark Colors too are coming in all varieties of shades to show depth and feel.
Same can be said for gradients. There is only a certain extent to which you can bring in a variety of colour palettes using only solid colours. Gradients add more to this. With the infinite number of colour combos possible, Gradients are capable of making a product look new, refreshing and unique everytime you mix different colours. Gradients bring a certain feeling of depth and dimensional feel to a surface.
Normally, when you put together more than two contrasting colours next to one another, there is a possibility of the design getting over polluted with colours. But here, though the colours are slightly contrasting, the designer has created a sense of calm by using soft gradients using vibrant colours.
Now, here is another example. Notice how the designer has not used more than 4 colors in this design? That’s right. Just 4 colors belonging to the brand logo and he has created a whole sense of depth and space and also has made the logo stand out while it seems to blend in. Funny right?
Gradients are not just limited to UIs. Take this illustration. Using just a blue gradient the designer has created a feeling of great depth and darkness in which the source of light is a mobile device. Lovely.
5) 3D and Semi Flat Designs
When all things started going digital, skeuomorphic designs were the norm. All the elements in Skeumorphic Designs were hyper-realistic and made to resemble actual elements of the physical world. Later, it shifted to flat design as the people realised that the users are capable of understanding things without the realism factor being added in. Importance shifted to functionality and performance.
But again there came a new problem regarding visual feedbacks and readability in flat designs. Thus, the focus shifted to a new approach called ’Semi-Flat’ Designs. Here, some of the skeuomorphic properties like shadows were re-introduced into these Semi-Flat Design elements. Animations and layers also came into effect.
Material Design by Google is based on these semi-flat designs. Though it is heavily controlled by Google, we can still see the usage of Material Designs on the rise. In 2019, we can expect that Material Design will dominate due to its powerful features like slight skeuomorphism, animations and micro-interactions.
As we shift to design ecosystem with slight realism, we can see 3D designs also being used with the browsers and mobiles becoming more powerful to handle the performance lag in using 3D designs. This is specifically useful for companies which want to bring in a more deeper level of understanding to the users. This is easily accomplished using the 3D rendering of objects.
It is also useful for product companies to showcase their product in 3D which the customer can interact with and then purchase. Computers and smartphones with really powerful chips have made this change possible. We can only expect to see more of 3D designs in this year 2019 and will be a major UI Design Trend.
Typography still reigns supreme. If we take the UI design trends of a few decades and compare, typography would be one of the very few trends which would be present in the trends list of almost all the years. Hitting and bold typography are still favoured by designers and users alike.
Variable fonts is another trend which is fast replacing the trend of using two or more fonts in a single design. When you can use the same font with different weights which ultimately makes it look like different fonts, then what is the need for you to go for different font styles? Not just weight adjustments. Line height and character spacing options are more such options which give you the luxury of modifying the same font in different dimensions and the space available.
Welcome back, Serif! Yes, serif fonts are back and how! The time when almost all the fonts used on the internet were Sans Serif are almost a thing of the past now. Now, designers are mixing it up with a combination of Serif and Sans Serif fonts. Fonts with sharp edges and royal looks are back. Combined with their well rounded and soft-edged pairs, it truly is fascinating.
7) Digital Illustrations and Character Designs
What more you can do to make your product appeal to your end users? Enter Custom Illustrations. Custom Digital Illustrations and Character Designs have a knack of storytelling which is tailor-made to suit each platform or app. It sets the context in the correct manner and makes sure the message is not misunderstood. We feel a connection when the features or the usage of a product is told via character designs through a story manner. What’s more, if you establish a character for a platform (like a mascot), the same character can be used throughout the platform. It can convey different messages at different points throughout the product.
Invision represents the concept of scalability using a digital character illustration which represents scaling a wall. Nicely told!
No explanation needed here. Well done Invision. Again!