We designers are a curious bunch — tirelessly seeking and sharing ideas that inspire us and the things we make. UX design trends remain an evergreen topic for team Magnetic. Until we are all delivered unto the promised metaverse, we will continue to interact with the humble web UI on a daily basis. Here are some ways that we’re seeing it evolve.
Here are the top UX/UI trends in 2023 for design leaders.
1. The hover is evolving
Rather than just highlighting additional functionality, the simple hover state is now exploited in ways that excite and entice the user. Hovers can capture our attention by revealing hidden information while getting us to click on that all-important call to action. However you choose to use a hover state — be it to tease a new product, aid navigation, or showcase your brand expression — it should provide a benefit to the user.
2. The power of play
Gamifying content increases engagement and is a great way to educate the user. Businesses are waking up to this. For example, many financial services are now using game-like features to make their content more accessible and increase the financial literacy of their customers. This must be done responsibly, as playful engagement with stocks, shares and cryptocurrencies could result in consumers investing above and beyond their means.
3. It’s good to talk
Voice controlled devices are everywhere. They sit poised to respond to our every request. The more human they sound, the less self-conscious we feel speaking to them. Indeed for many the voice message is replacing the text message— a voice recording is quick and easy to create and provides actual tone of voice that helps reduce misunderstandings. Voice UIs also remove the need to navigate a website or app. So it’s no surprise that voice-enabled shopping assistants are becoming more prevalent in the e-commerce space. We expect to see more and more retailers taking advantage of these conveniant, invisible interfaces.
UX/UI design trend 3: A good read
Typeface legibility is increasingly important as we consume more written content on small screens. Many organisations including The Guardian, BBC, Apple and Amazon have responded to this by introducing their own digitally optimised fonts. They improve our reading experience by solving accessibility issues caused by fonts that were designed for print, not screen. Plus they convey their own distinctive personality which helps embed their product brand.
4. We’re moved by motion
5. We’re dimming the lights
There’s nothing new about the dark mode, per se, but users are adopting it more and more. It’s not just a style choice. A darker screen is easier on the eyes, reducing strain on those who spend long hours gazing into backlit content. It also conserves battery life which provides ecological benefits. Since users now expect a choice of light and dark viewing environments in their apps, we anticipate the same functionality being rolled out onto more websites in 2023.
6. From minimal to maximal
As Gen Z enter the workforce, they are being targeted more obviously than ever before. Catching the attention of a user whose thumb was born to scroll requires a design that can stop them in their tracks. Ordered minimal UIs are being replaced with bright, bold imagery and typography that fills every corner of a homepage. Yet such site designs can negatively impact accessibility. Legible typefaces and the ability to pause or mute audio an video playback are essential. Not everyone likes being shouted at.
7. Take a breather
Endless scrolling garners more engagement with content, but it also breeds addictive behaviours. Smart messaging is a great way of short-circuiting this. Encouraging the user to pause their consumption demonstrates a kindness that benefits both them and the brand. UX/UI design trends in 2023 will expect to see a greater focus on personalisation to solidify the relationship between user and product. Good UX writing will help ensure that the relationship is a healthy one.
Whether it’s more playful, darker, more maximal or more accessible, UX/UI design trends in 2023 will continue to see digital products evolve in exciting ways, powered by increasingly more intelligent technology. As designers, we must build these products responsibly and ethically to ensure they are an in-service of a better future, for everyone.