Written by Nancy Kapoor.
Great “User Experience” isn’t a rocket science to understand and implement. As users’ expectations for a seamless, simple experience continue to grow—especially for products or services with complex functionality—UX becomes an increasingly critical component for success.
You’ll be surprised to know that last year brought to the fore more in the realm of business access via the UX design than ever before. But today’s modern-day discerning consumers demanding more accessibility from their favorite brands so that browsing on the go isn’t just a last minute option, but an everyday occurrence.
From smart phones to internet cafes, the ways to look up products and research companies are expanding at an alarming rate and it’s better to keep up than be left in the dust. This realization has pushed a lot of companies to offer exceptional user design experience.
So, What Trends Will Reign Supreme in 2016?
Let’s check out 5 vital stats and try to get under the roughen surface of UX design industry to understand why are these stats important and what trends you must know to stay ahead in the game in the year ahead.
Fact#1: 48% users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. (Source: MarginMedia.com)
It has been found over the years that most web designers and clients create designs keeping in mind how it will look and work on desktop. They rarely realize the value of making it mobile friendly at the same time. Even with an increasing number of people going mobile, several designers start with the “full size” site.
However, on the other hand, consumers seek for a better mobile experience as most of them use their smartphones to browse the net. There is no denying the fact that few years down the line, majority of people will use only mobile to browse, shop, bank, play and desktop will become a thing of the past. This realization is compelling various designers to go for mobile responsive designs.
Trend#1: Magic of Mobile-First Design – This approach of mobile-first design was outlined by Luke Wroblewski in the year 2009. What we’re talking about here is creating designs for mobile devices such smartphones, tablets, etc. first, and then taking it to desktop, laptop and other bigger screens. Once you’re done with your mobile site, you can add as many features as you want on the desktop version.
Though the concept sounds simple, it isn’t that easy to implement as it requires a change in the entire design process. However, mobile-first design has enough benefits to outdo this fear of changes in the design process.
If you are still apprehensive about the mobile-first design, check out these stats to shun all your apprehensions now:
- In the U.S., 25% of mobile Web users are mobile-only (they rarely use a desktop to access the web.) (Source: smartinsights.com)
- Over 1.2 billion people use mobile devices to access the web and no one screen size has more than 20% of the market share. (Source: Truconversion.com)
- Mobile apps have been downloaded 10.9 billion times. (cmocouncil.org)
- Mobile device sales are increasing across the board with over 85 % of new handsets able to access the mobile Web. (internetretailing.com.au)
Remember, smartphones and mobile devices have made it easy for us to carry the World Wide Web in our pockets these days. And that’s why we’re sure that this trend will only continue to grow in 2016. So, be prepared to take this approach and see the advantages of a mobile-first workflow.
Fact#2: 88% online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. (Source: Econsultancy.com)
While designing your website, keep in mind what your users want and essentially demand you to offer more personalized experiences. This means they wish to see their voice, their taste and their preferences whenever they visit your site. You may design a system with a focus on business goals, special features and with the latest technologies. But if it lacks user-friendliness, it’s not worth it!
There are plenty of platforms you can get user data from such as your website or cookies. Use that data to understand the need of your users and iterate designs accordingly. A product designed according to the user will be able to satisfy their needs, though it may be that it is not very large audience that you can focus on.
Trend#2: User-Centered Design Will Rule The Roost – In simple words, User-centered design (UCD) is a design which is developed focusing on the needs, wants and limitations of the end users. This idea of UCD has grown out of ‘humanism’ which can be traced to ancient Greece and the early Christians, who came to value the differences between individuals.
It’s high time that designers consider the user centered UX design approach as the needs of the customers as well as the technology are changing at a higher speed than ever before. Most companies, small or big, are all convinced that innovation has become extremely elusive.
Do well to establish empathy with the users. Create models to examine complicate business issues. If your UX design model becomes successful, well and good. But even if it doesn’t, tolerate the failure or you may even celebrate it. This will help you seamlessly blend new designs with customer experiences and innovate to differentiate your brand in today’s ever-so-competitive and ever-so-chaotic market.
So, make sure that the final design of your website is user-centered as this is the only key to success in the year ahead.
Fact#3: 48% people consider a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business. (Source: Truconversion.com)
The website of your company or business is often the first interaction of customers to your brand. Therefore, it’s important that it conveys the right kind of message and helps in building trust between customers and the company.
The design of your website plays a big role in drawing traffic to your site. According to Ragingcreations.com, a user takes only 4 to 6 seconds to decide whether they are going to continue browsing your site or not. Therefore, the design of your site should be interactive enough to convert the visitors into buyers. Having a well-designed website is a good way of building is well as engendering trust. A website with outdated technologies and functions gives an impression of the business (or services) being outdated.
Trend#3: The Potential of Layered Flat Design – Of late, designers as well as customers have started preferring flat designs that are simple, clean, colorful and modern. Because of the simple design, being user-friendly and responsive, a flat design lends itself beautifully to any type of use – whether mobile or desktop.
According to an article published in UXmag.com, while flat designs look great when made within the restraints of minimalism, they can also handle a lot more complexity; these designs have a crispness and clarity that can only be achieved by stripping away three dimensional effects.
The popularity of flat design is increasing whether while creating websites or apps. A flat design is simple yet elegant. You don’t necessarily have to use extra effects such as 3D or drop shadows to impress your visitors. Flat is just flat with no added features.
And this trend of flat design is here to stay. Therefore, go for a flat design or try and make a few changes in your website to draw the attention of the people. Who knows what a redesign can bring to you and your business!
Fact#4: 94% of a user’s first impressions are design-related. (Source: conversionxl.com)
According to an article published in conversionxl.com, it takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave. And most of their judgments are design-related. If the design of your website is unique and engaging, people would obviously want to come to your site.
One way of engaging people is through storytelling which can be easily done by the parallax scrolling design on your interface. There is no denying to the fact that scrolling is much easier and enjoyable than clicking. These days all the devices use scrolling be it your smartphone, tablets etc. All you need to do is slide your finger.
Therefore, designers are considering the option of a One Page design with parallax scrolling to provide users with a great and memorable experience.
Trend#4: The Rise of Parallax Scrolling – Having a parallax scrolling functionality will give you a creative edge over others in the market. This hot trend seems to be gaining momentum with each passing day and therefore many designers are seen using it to attract their audience.
Every time they move the mouse, there will be something new for them to know about. This gives an opportunity to business owners to convey their message in an easy manner. You can display your products in 3D which will give a great impression to the visitors. You can also involve them in the entire process of storytelling by making them stop at some points.
One of the biggest benefits of parallax scrolling is that it helps in reducing bounce rate (i.e. the number of visitors who visit the site and press the back button). A parallax website gives user a different kind of experience that compels him to stay on the page for a longer time.
Fact#5: 62% people feel good about a company that delivers custom content. (Source: Truconversion.com)
Though many designers think having visual designs and other graphic elements on the website will increase traffic. However, having high quality and unique content on you site and other platforms may result with better leads. There are traditional marketing methods such as advertising and PR that do quite well in popularizing you as a brand but they are at the same time too costly.
On the other hand, by just writing engaging content, something that visitors will love to read, will generate 3 times as many leads and that too at a much lesser cost.
But make sure that the content you write is proactive, edgy and amusing so that people remember your sites even after years.
Trend#5: Content-focused Design Is the New Oprah – With startups and businesses noticing a surge in their site traffic by simply using a content-focused approach, this trend will make a wave in the UX design industry in 2016. Instead of going the conventional way of designing the website and first and then fitting in content into it, you can try a content-focused design. You can write the content first using the data base of your customers, according to their tastes and needs and later design your site and see the perfect way of displaying all content you have.
A content-focused approach is not only about a content heavy site but minimizing all extra buttons, sidebars and ads so that they don’t interfere while a visitor goes through the content. Remember, organization is the key here. Do well to ensure that your web page is laid out in a way that important elements pop up. For example, your logo design and contact details aren’t buried under the fold. For another, these elements don’t intrude the content on the page.
Having a content heavy site gives an impression to the visitor that selling your product is not your only aim. You want to build trust and relationship with them. Therefore, this trend of having a content-focused design will go a long way in increasing your leads and growing your business. Try using content first and see for yourself that it pays off!
Fact#6: 79% of people scan read, rather than read every single word. (Source: koozai.com)
With the web world full of content, it is difficult and monotonous for readers to go through every single word of each article. In fact, that’s not humanly possible. With so much content being produced out there on the internet, people don’t have time these days to read the entire articles and therefore prefer to just scan through it.
One way of making your content stand out is through interactive storytelling. It is essential that you cut through the noise and whether by creating infographics or cool blog posts.
Trend#6: Enigma of Design Storytelling – Creating content and posting it online is no longer enough. Did you know?
- Every 60 seconds, 700,000 Google searches are performed. (Source: dailymail.co.uk)
- 5.3 trillion ads are shown online each year. (Source: techcrunch.com)
- The average consumer processes100-500 digital words daily. (source: writtent.com)
With so much content already available on the web, it is natural for consumers to sometimes ignore your content (even if they don’t mean to). Therefore, as discussed above, you need to create content that engages the audience. A good way of grabbing their eyeballs is to convey your message in form of stories.
You can develop a tale around your product keeping the customers as the protagonist or by simply involving them. After all, what is the point of putting in so much time and energy in creating content that nobody finds interesting or is able to engage with.
Fact#7: 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. (Hubspot.com)
It has been seen that designers or business owners give a lot of space to ads and other elements on their sites that the users might not like. Though it is practically impossible to design a website that your users will love. But studying user data and observing their behaviors might reduce the number of times people click the Back button on your site.
Having too many ads is not recommended as users might find difficulty in finding the content relevant to them. Therefore, design you website keeping in mind the users and their needs.
Trend#7: User Behavior will Rule Responsive – Having responsive designs is no doubt the priority of the designers. However, this year, we predict that there will be a change in how user behavior will affect responsiveness. Imagine a technology that gets to know about a user the way he uses the site, the way app do, and customize itself accordingly.
It is similar to A/B testing but at a much faster speed, like in seconds. What is the preference of the user with regard to the content, what type of content they clicked on and on which one did they click the back button? The technology allows the site to learn all these and then customize itself accordingly.
This will make the users’ experience more beautiful with the site. So, try and incorporate this trend to give your user what he likes or prefers so that he stays on the site for a longer time.
So, there you have it! We hope that these 7 stats and their impact on user behavior and UX designs will help you create better and memorable experience for your users in the year ahead.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments, if you enjoyed this post share it on twitter, and never hesitate to hit me up with any questions, critiques, or feedback.
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