The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a significant ‘disruptor’ worldwide. Like many other industries or domains, the pandemic also has led to major transformations in the overall design space at large and for the user interface and user-experience design (UI-UX) in particular. For example, by and large, in the UI-UX space, after Covid, we have seen an increased focus on accessibility alongside ensuring scalability.
However, if we delve deeper and take a closer look, it will be found that two major types of trends have gained prominence after Covid.
The first type is the ones that have come into force with the shift in user behaviour, i.e. due to the rise in remote working and limited accessibility, which has pushed people to adapt to new forms of engagements and interactions.
The second shift we are seeing is due to technological advancements that people and entities made after Covid inevitably forced us to turn our focus and efforts toward a digital-first and tech-led future.
Whether or not the trends in this domain due to user behaviour will or will not continue post-Covid is a verdict that may take more time to be out, but the emerging trends in this space due to technological advancements are, in my opinion, here to stay!
In today’s day and age, we are increasingly hearing words like Web3, Blockchain, NFTs, Metaverse and Cryptocurrencies. But how does design come into the picture in the context of such new-age technological advancements? While Web 1.0 was all about reading and getting information, Web 2.0 was all about reading, writing, and creating. And it was in the era of Web 2.0 when users joined various social/virtual platforms, and these platforms got bigger and more popular with time, thanks to the content created by their users. Web 3.0 – the up-and-coming era of the Internet based on the tenet of decentralization -- is all about reading, writing and owning, and needless to say, all of that can be made easier and more seamless with better designs, aka better UI-UX.
The common aspect with all of the terms mentioned above is that they are so new that people don’t yet thoroughly understand what these platforms are, their future and what users want from or through them. Over time, we will eventually discover the true potential of these platforms and technologies and, more importantly, how users worldwide are adapting to them; this, in turn, will give rise to new design patterns.
Thereafter, these new digital patterns are likely to make the users very sceptical about taking action on these new platforms, and hence it becomes a challenge-turned-opportunity for the UI-UX design space.
Let me explain this with an example.
Today everyone is familiar with social media, digital entertainment, and eCommerce patterns. It is a piece of cake if you have to log in to your Spotify using your Facebook login credentials. But imagine asking this to a user around the year 2000, when the internet was still new. It would have made users sceptical about the platform and, in turn, a huge drop-off.
The same patterns would now evolve in Web3. And it would be the key role of UX-UI designers to bring trust to these platforms with the right balance between design, information and accessibility. As UX-UI designers, we must focus on designing experiences to make the lives of the users easier in an unfamiliar place with familiar features to improve both the usability and usage of the products that are/have been developed using cutting-edge technologies.
Last but not least, the changing lifestyles in the post-pandemic times are undoubtedly leading us to newer patterns of user engagement and attention-to-details and research for designing new and innovative products. Right now, more than ever, new-age organizations have started realizing that their apps and pages need to be streamlined and simplified in terms of information architecture design and navigation. And thus, while it is all the more important now to stay abreast of and experiment with the latest trends in UI-UX, it does not mean we should move away from design fundamentals. To be more specific, though orienting UI-UX towards decluttering and enhancing visual appeal through minimalistic designs needs to be seen as a priority, at the same time, customization of UI-UX as per target demographics, grabbing the users’ attention successfully and then informing users using meaningful and relevant content as well as directing them where you want them to be without undergoing many complexities, are among other key aspects that need to be kept in mind, all while we optimally use technology optimally to our advantage to stand out via optimizing designs and user experiences at large.
Authored by Swati Verma, cofounder Ungrammary. Cited in Times of India