When you think about website design trends, you probably call to mind such trends as monochromatic layouts, mixed typography, and minimalism. These design trends certainly have their place – they collectively form the visual representation of your brand, the first impression you make on visitors to your site. More important, however, is how your visitors respond to the design elements you employ.
User experience design (UX) refers to the intentionality of the website designer and their team to create a comfortable and intuitive experience for users surfing online and offline. It is not a single component of the brand; rather, it is the collection of how users feel when they engage/interact with your company and brand.
In this article, we highlight four essential UX trends to help your business improve communication and engagement with your users.
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With the proliferation of viral misinformation and fake news, internet users have become cynical about the veracity of whatever content they consume online. Consequently, companies must change the way they communicate with audiences in order to be believable.
Even though you do not have complete control over the way you are perceived within your audience, you can change how you present yourself. Work on being helpful and gaining audience trust.
The inbound strategy naturally builds trust with your audience and prospects: rather than advertising and selling your products to anyone that bites, businesses are now using the inbound method to offer value to potential clients. So you teach users the benefits of your product and provide helpful information to help users determine whether their solution is the right fit for them.
Working as a Team
Website design should never be a one-man job; companies should onboard more points of view during the creative process and be more collaborative. This means expanding beyond designers to include other creatives and end-users to give feedback during the design process.
End-users are just people; they are not designers. If you have only designers on the creative team, you will not get an accurate picture of how end-users, i.e. you customers, will interact and respond to your site. By working with different people in the design process, you will benefit from their various perspectives to create a better product.
Even so, ensure that you have guardrails around your creative and collaborative process. Otherwise, you will create spiraling feedback loops that become more unhelpful than they are productive to your creative process.
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Emphasize Design Leadership
UX design is now an accepted part of digital marketing; it is no longer the new kid on the block. Most businesses and marketers admit to the importance of including UX in website design. However, you have an opportunity to grow with regard to establishing thought leadership within the UX design space.
Being a design leader in the UX field is hardly about being the best designer that ever lived. Rather, it is about the ability to ask the right questions and raise the quality of discourse in the whole group instead of simply focusing on individual output.
All businesses should have design leaders who are capable of pushing past the current trends and who will rally their teams to find the best ways to communicate with users.
Narrative design is a concept that is borrowed from the video-gaming industry. In gaming, there are narrative designers who develop the story that players will experience when playing. They also define how the stories will be delivered while the game continues.
The practice of using storytelling to guide users through their buyer’s journey has become more widespread in marketing. Narrative design is not only essential to content development and bespoke customer conversion paths.
Rather, it should feature in every aspect of the process: from design and user experience to storytelling and content development. All these should be combined to deliver the greatest user value and create a clear, deliberate, and consistent brand narrative.
Businesses that are able to truly connect with users and immerse them in their brand narrative while providing solutions to their problem are well placed for the future. Such companies are well on their way to beating their competitors and creating a lasting impression in users’ minds.
Design is all about communication. The way you present an idea – its art, its format, and the content – these aspects should work together to communicate a single message to the audience.
Specific hot trends in design may change from year to year, but communication is a singular, never-ending thread – always present, and always reaching out to your consumers. Therefore, rather than mulling over how to implement the latest trends or incorporate the latest tech innovations, focus on strong design that elevates effective communication with your audience and consumers.