UI/UX Trends in 2015
Happy New Year from Milestone! Entering a fresh year always feels like a good time to take stock of and reflect on the evolution of trends in our field. As a creative, brand and digital consulting firm often doing UI/UX work, Milestone Integrated Marketing Solutions focuses on delivering the most up-to-date design features to our clients with the goal of elevating user experiences. Below is a list of the top UI/UX design trends we foresee shaping our work in 2015.
Responsive, the New Norm for Websites
As devices increase in both quantity and variety, design focus must shift away from the device and towards content—not just what that content is, but how it’s organized and delivered. Responsive design certainly isn’t a new concept, but given the surge in mobile and multiple device usage, we will see it emerge as the norm in 2015 for websites.
Responsive design addresses this with functionality and flexibility, incorporating modular elements that scale by percentage rather than specified screen size to deliver uniform experiences.
At Milestone, our focus is on making great responsive experiences, not just responsive experiences. There is a difference.
Continued Evolution of the Scroll
We think we can safely say that a general consensus has been reached in the master debate of scrolling vs. clicking: people scroll. And usability studies long ago showed that scrolling to consume content can be faster than clicking. Web design is just catching up, so this isn’t a fad, but a usability decision. While we still need web pages for informational organization there are certainly pros to clicking for many interactions, such as simplifying forms and sequential informational flow for improved e-commerce experiences, the scroll continues to gain overall popularity for expediency, ease, and flow with consuming content. Bottom line, its faster to consume content than to click through pages.
In 2015, look for more enhanced and dynamic scrolling effects as people combine pages into longer ones. While scrolling has become accepted practice, users still appreciate information hierarchy and intuitive organized design with clear-cut clues that help guide them through a site. It’s important not to be too heavy-handed with scrolling effects. They can require too much page load time and may not function smoothly across all browsers if over-designed.
Building Interactive Stories
Speaking of storytelling in 2015, stories will no longer be told, they will be built—artfully constructed around each user, or so it will seem. Expect story-based pages to be much more interactive, incorporating rich images, embedded video, enhanced infographics and personalized content based on user data.
Web Font Type Diversity
As the availability of free web fonts and reasonably priced font kits grows, and evidence mounts regarding the effectiveness of diverse typeface conversion, text is becoming a more considered and integral element of visual site design. We expect to see custom font usage soar in 2015.
High Impact Imagery
Though design has become more streamlined and simplified in recent years, one element used to great effect these days is large, beautiful images—not just photos, videos too. Hidden or ghost features layer complex functionality on top of this minimalistic approach. Responsive design and image optimization help keep site speed in check. The results can be quite powerful.
Once shunned for their involvement in shameless and aggressive promotion, cookies are redefining themselves through far more nuanced use. When used subtly, cookies generate positive user experiences and develop stronger, more personalized client relationships—less tracking, more getting to know you. Yes, the goal is conversion. Not through standard or generic force-fed content, however. Today’s “yummy” cookies generate suggested content, convenient links, and unique layouts tailored to your specific usage patterns. Providing content that is genuinely of interest to a user is the best way to drive your click rate.
Milestone is excited to see how each of these trends plays out in our work this year.
If you need help incorporating these concepts into your web design to create fresh, engaging, and results driven user experiences, contact us the soonest for a free consultation.