User Experience (UX), for those who aren’t sure, is all about enhancing the user’s overall experience using a product. As the year draws to a close, this can be a great time to review top trends, like UX, and see how it can fit into your 2020 content marketing strategy. In the spirit of the festive season, we’re taking a look at 12 UX trends. Happy UXmas!

1. Voice user interfaces (VUIs)

Virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri and Bixby were bigger than ever in 2019. As AI popularity booms, ComScore predicts voice searches will make up 50% of all searches by 2020.

Last year, it could make phone bookings for you. This year it can write emails, do cross-app tasks, reply to messages and find photos to share with friends. These technological advancements all aim to make life easier for the user.

2.  Personal user interfaces (PUIs)

We are now entering the age of personalisation. Digital interfaces are learning the power of personalising the experience for each user.

Netflix leads the charge with showing the power of personalisation for the user experience. Making the decision-making process easier, it caters to your tastes based on previous interactions (i.e. what you’ve watched).

3. Gesture-based navigation

Navigating your mobile phone used to be all about clicks. Now, with many buttonless phones, it’s all about gestures.

One of the most popular examples is tapping on a screen to perform an action, like opening an application.

Other examples include:

  • swiping
  • dragging
  • long pressing.

Gesture-based navigation aims to improve the user experience by making it easier and more intuitive to complete actions or tasks.

4. Virtual assistances and chatbots in messaging platforms

That customer service assistant you interacted with on a company’s Facebook Messenger? It may have been a chatbot. Chatbots are designed to help customers, and they talk and respond to your needs like a human would.

With chatbots, the more natural and conversational the better. Since each conversation you have with a chatbot is based on a word exchange between you and a machine, it must be carefully written by a copywriter. Any message exchange should aim to help the customer like a human would.

5. Micro-interactions

Micro-interactions are small, creative interactions with the aim to engage and welcome the user. In other words: motion for emotion. Micro-interactions include:

  • triggers (user or system-initiated) – triggering a sound or action by making a manual interaction or a system response for reaching certain conditions
    (e.g. the chime you hear when you receive a text)
  • rules ­– determine what happens once a micro-interaction is triggered
    (e.g. when the user reaches X, the results will be Y)
  • feedback – a signal to acknowledge an action
    (e.g. your iPhone vibrating when switched to silent mode)
  • loops and modes – meta-rules of the micro-interaction, such as what happens when conditions change and if micro-interactions need to be repeated
    (e.g. your fridge beeping when open).

They can help make otherwise mundane tasks enjoyable. For example, after completing a job in task-management tool Asana, you will be greeted by a flying unicorn that soars across the screen.

6. Motion design

Motion design has emerged as a fun way to breathe life into digital interfaces.

Unlike UI Animation, it makes the experience more delightful and adds value. Through thoughtful visual effects and animation, otherwise static graphics can be used to engage the user and create a more meaningful experience.

Movement, motion and transitions are being used to aid navigation and usability, as well as tell a captivating brand story. Examples can include:

  • bouncing logos
  • spinning page load graphics

Check out these examples of motion design in action.

7. Cashless payments

Everyday commerce is easier than ever for users using cashless payments. Built on convenience and speed for the customer, some companies are leveraging it to their advantage.

Starbucks is a market leader in this sphere, integrating mobile payments with the company’s loyalty card. Customers can get that instant dopamine hit and Starbucks can build more detailed customer profiles – based on preferences and habits.

8. Emojis and Animojis

We humans are visual creatures, so it’s unsurprising that 56% of brands that use emojis in email subject lines receive higher opening rates.

As face recognition technology develops, animated emojis like Animoji mirror our exact emotions in an emoji form. This enables users to have a more entertaining experience with the platform.

Australian fitness training platform Keep It Cleaner allows users to create a customised emoji of themselves completing exercises in the calendar e.g. logging boxing, running and even rest days. Users can share their top activities for each month – helping them stay motivated and providing an online endorsement for the brand.

9. Custom brand illustrations

This year, many brands are swapping out stale stock imagery for custom brand illustrations. While design-based, this can have a more inclusive effect on UX as it can be race, age and gender neutral.

It can also help brands capture a softer or more playful tone. Firefox, Slack, Airbnb and Shopify have all included custom brand illustrations on their platforms.

10. UX for wearables

UX is not just for websites. With the rise of wearables, such as smartwatches, UX can help to optimise the experience when using these devices. Secure technology, simple language and privacy all need to be considered.

As technology develops, UX principles of use of ease, practicality and convenience will all take centre stage.

11. Augmented reality (AR) experiences

Augmented reality (AR) uses technology to modify reality in some way. Most of us remember Pokémon Go or have seen apps like Snapchat and Instagram use AR face filters to add things like heart eyes.

However, AR is now being applied as a solution to real-life problems. AR Measure on iOS uses AR to measure objects using the screen, without a physical measurement tape.

AR has the potential to make everyday tasks easier for users and shows real potential for what’s to come next.

12. Content-centred experience

Well-written content will always be at the heart of good UX. By applying UX principles to copywriting, you can help declutter, create a clear hierarchy and make life easier for users.

Writing effective copy that balances the user and business’ can be tricky and there are plenty of things to consider. For effective UX-friendly copywriting content for your business, get in touch with the small business copywriting experts at Shuttle Rocket today.