In the last few months, developers have made great strides at developing and improving on what it’s called transformative UX design. Nowhere have the advances been more impactful than in the hospitality industry. The reason for this is the shift beyond ahead of the focus on mobile trends to embrace sheer context and universal thinking. Here’s a look at the progress in interface and experience design for 2019.
Motion presentation that provides a seamless message and engagement not only creates a beautiful user experience, but it is also helping businesses tap into the imaginative process that leads to conversion. Leveraging animation with purpose, designers are using technologies that interject biological and even psychological elements into the design schema. The discipline known as motion design creates visual concepts, which communicate ideas that inspire us, inform us, and that compel consumers to move forward with their purchases.
Our recent studies reveal a reemergence in the complexity of design that will transport the user emotionally. One example of this trend is the emergence of frameless design accentuated by bold aesthetics. The trend began last year manifested in design that featured high-quality images and videos taking over device screens. Button controls left a couple of years ago, and now users experience immersive content with a function. 2019 will be the year of perfecting the interactive UI. Through motion and transition, businesses can convey a wealth of ideas and emotion, and most importantly, their brands.
Last year we observed designers making use of bolder colours, brilliant typography, illustrations, and micro-animations for completing actions or stories. Using these elements, businesses can convey not only their brand premise but detailed explanations of their offerings without even saying a word. In combination with brand icons, these micro-animations go beyond clinical engagement to create memorable moments, and to provide a more “human-like” interaction. We think 2019 will witness a paradigm shift in the use of animation design. You can expect to see a lot more designs embrace the trend to morphing logos, hide/reveal logos, interactive backgrounds, 3D transitions on typography, and more.
Internet browser advancements may not seem as sexy or as meaningful as flexible screen smart devices, but popular browser speed, performance, and future potential have been drastically improved in the last months. Mozilla has recently reported that their latest streaming compiler has allowed for a 10x to 15x speed enhancement for their famously fast browsers. In addition, many modern browsers support WebGL 2 which allows for a previously unimaginable level of 3D texturing and object rendering, fragment depth, vertex array objects, and etc.
A brief look at recent mobile and desktop browser releases reveals some ordinary updates mixed with some ho-hum usability features. Take Opera Reborn 3, for instance. The browser Ars Technica claims it supports “near perfect” blockchain-secured transactions, a crypto wallet, an all logical functionality that probably should have been in place a year ago. In the speed department, Mozilla released Firefox version 67 promising that the browser is 40 to 80% faster compared to a year ago.
In the UX realm, the most exciting development for us is the recent release of a new browser dubbed Tor 8.5. This fascinating browser ensures security by preventing proxy bypasses. It comes with first-party isolation to protect users from cross-site tracking and fingerprinting defences to prevent digital fingerprinting. Tor for mobile is an experiment in progress, so many reading this may have never heard of the development before. It’s significant for us for its personal security advances.
Finally, at the razor edge of these browser developments, engineers and designers focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) are bridging the gap for sensing, interaction and control capabilities web browsers have not as yet been capable of. This paper entitled “AmbientVR: Blending IoT Interaction Capabilities with Web-based Virtual Reality,” reveals the coming capability of supercharged mobile and web browsers:
“In addition to sensors, AmbientVR can also discover and integrate a broad range of Internet of Things controllers and actuators, making it possible to create hybrid IoT/VR applications that can be deployed without needing to download and install an application.”
The Foldable Avalanche
According to Samsung news, the company has plans to ship 1 million foldable smartphones in 2019. Experts predict that by 2022, the market for foldable devices will exceed 60 million. For those unfamiliar, foldable technology allows the typical smartphone to fold out to double its folded design. This makes your handy phone into an ultra-portable and useful tablet. The reason these developments are important for businesses is that foldable devices will accentuate the need for all the other UI and UX advancements we’re mentioning. Think about the limitations on users that are begin alleviated. The seamless video integration within a webpage will become all the more necessary. Interactive apps and websites that transmit your brand and sell your products and services will expand in importance.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is an amazing development with the user in mind on every corner, but controversial Huawei’s Mate X is remarkable, and not simply for its 11mm folded thickness. The Mate X runs a customized version of Android, which is aware of whether or not the phone is folded or unfolded. The UX is seamless because the UI optimizes the phone to whichever orientation within millionths of a second. The expandable interactive mobile screen avalanche has begun, and UI and UX developers will certainly bring more innovations for business.
This year the trend to develop voice-assisted functionality will dominate UX and UI trends. In 2018, global shipments voice assistants products reached in excess of 60 million units, and some experts say this number will grow to over half a billion by 2012. Samsung’s Bixby assistant is now going into speakers that will make intelligent noise in everything from smart home devices to tablets and other smart devices. Bixby will get stiff competition from the likes of Google and Apple, not to mention Microsoft.
With a veritable arms race of competition in this space inevitable, the good news for consumers is that added intelligence and function will be what differentiates the competitors. This means visual/voice interfaces are probably right around the corner. For a better understanding of how significant voice assistants are for business, this excerpt from a recent Harvard Business Review report will help.:
“Instead of conducting a question and answer with a device on the countertop, we will be able to converse naturally with our virtual assistant that is fully embedded in our physical environment. Through our dialogue and digital breadcrumbs, it will understand our life goals and aspirations, our obligations and limitations. It will seamlessly and automatically help us to budget and save for different life events, so we can spend more time enjoying life’s moments.”
All entrepreneurs counting on the Internet to reach their consumers need to superimpose this rapidly developing technology on top of the customer life experience they want to provide. The author, Theo Lau even goes so far as to pinpoint how a business trip would be more enjoyable and efficient “if your phone could automatically arrange for a ride waiting to pick you up at the airport, based on your travel itinerary, location, and habits.” As he says, there is no end to the possibilities for interactive conversation.
Summing It Up
In 2019, UX and UI must adapt to new technologies while still meeting user expectations. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are already investing in building sites and apps that aim to meet these new challenges. From all the trends, the need to optimize for voice-activated devices is immediate. In addition, UX and UI should be seamless on multiple devices, as Statista forecasts that, by 2020, the number of connected devices per person will be 6.58. Technology is evolving rapidly and every year will bring new, more challenging design trends. Regardless of the challenge, businesses that fail to adopt and adapt will fall behind more resourceful competitors.