2020 brought many new UX methods, including the rise of chatbots. The year is likely to bring more innovative UX methods and techniques, changing the way users interact with software.
As with any field, the world of UX design continues to evolve. Designers constantly develop new UX methods and strategies to deliver a better user experience.
Here are five of the newest UX methods and trends that everyone will be talking about in 2021.
1. Voice Control User Interfaces
Voice control has already entered millions of homes, thanks to digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa. As people become more comfortable using voice-activated controls, consumers may start to expect more products to include voice user interfaces (VUIs).
As with some of the best UX methods, adding voice control gives users more flexibility. A VUI can simplify common functions and interactions, increasing the overall user experience of the product.
Properly implementing voice input and control requires additional planning. If the software provides audio feedback for voice queries, you need to determine the amount of information to present in the audio format. For example, the audio may provide a summary of the data or a detailed description.
Another way to implement voice control is to include voice commands for key functions.
Allowing users to navigate the menus and the interface using simple voice commands improves the overall usability of the design. However, if the voice-driven features become too complex, users may not enjoy the experience.
2. Device Synchronization
Current UX methods already involve the creation of multiple interfaces for different devices. In 2021, expect more products to include synchronization for multiple devices.
Synchronization allows users to complete actions or operations across more than one device or platform. For example, a user may initiate a feature through a web interface on a desktop computer and access the results on a smartphone or tablet.
The Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smart home appliances provide examples of device synchronization. A product may allow a homeowner to view security cameras or home sensors remotely on a mobile device, desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or other internet-connected device.
Device synchronization UX methods can benefit almost any product designed for multiple platforms, as more people now have access to multiple devices in their homes and workplaces. This gives users the freedom to use the device that is most convenient at any given moment.
Whether the user is commuting to work, sitting at the office, or relaxing at home — they have access to the same features.
3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two UX methods that will become even more common in 2021. In fact, close to half of retailers plan on integrating AR or VR in the coming year.
While the tech world has discussed AR and VR for many years, the technologies are becoming more accessible for designers. Using these technologies as part of your UX methods provides the opportunity to implement innovative features for your end-users.
AR and VR may also improve the accessibility of your UX design. For example, we may use these technologies to provide a simple interface for those with disabilities or enhance the function of existing features.
AR and VR technologies can be used for a variety of UX methods and strategies. This may include adding gesture controls, such as allowing a user to navigate menus with a wave of the hand. It also gives designers new ways to present information.
With AR, we add digital elements to what users see in the real world. This is useful for applications that interact with tangible items. AR is already used in UX methods for applications designed for the manufacturing industry, providing workers with detailed diagnostics of equipment in real-time.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
As with AR and VR, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide innovative UX methods that designers are fully embracing. While AR and VR help to improve accessibility and usability, AI and machine learning provide greater personalization.
UX methods often include personalization options in the user interface. AI allows for more effective personalization. The AI can keep track of different user inputs and interactions to predict the needs and interests of the user.
Programs that employ machine learning interpret observed behavior and user data. Some of the information used to personalize content includes the user location and the frequency of interactions.
For example, if a user frequently accesses a specific data set, the program may bring that data to the home screen of the user dashboard.
Chatbots are another example of AI that is already used for UX methods and strategies. UX designers use chatbots for a variety of use cases. You can use chatbots to direct users to specific features or provide answers for frequently asked questions.
Adding chatbots also increases customer engagement and support. The chatbot can help resolve technical issues. This provides a way to offer instant feedback to user inquiries and reduces the need for direct conversation with support staff. Chatbots can also be used for navigation and search features.
5. More Minimalism in UX Methods
Minimalism will likely continue to dominate UX methods and trends for years to come. Designing an effective interface requires UX methods that help guide users to the functions and features that they need most. Minimalism helps with this step.
UX methods that rely on minimalism tend to deliver a streamlined interface and simple features that users can grasp quickly. This results in fewer user errors and greater overall satisfaction with the product.
The basic goal of minimalist UX methods is to ensure that every element is deliberately added and provides a specific function. Each image, button, and block of text needs to serve a clear purpose.
One of the risks of minimal design is creating an interface that is too sparse. If the screen contains too much white space, it becomes bland and boring to browse.
Here are a few best practices for adopting minimalism:
Choose a single focal point
Remove all extra elements
Select a simple color scheme
Each screen should have a central focal point instead of multiple areas vying for attention. This helps deliver a clearer message and allows users to quickly scan the contents of the page.
To create a sleek, streamlined UX, only include elements when completely necessary. If the message or feature becomes too complicated, you create confusion and limit the user experience.
Using a simple color scheme also helps with a minimalist design. Limiting the number of colors used in the design does not require monochromatic colors. Simply avoid using a wide range of colors.
Simple color schemes tend to have one or two main colors and an accent color to help create contrast.
Along with these UX methods, continue to explore the latest trends and strategies. Embrace innovative technologies and find ways to deliver a better experience to your users.
An entrepreneur who's lived, studied and traveled around the world.
Launched over 250 products; working closely with startups and Fortune 500 companies to meet their goals. International keynote speaker passionate about culture and community.