The year 2021 showed promise when it came to user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. In fact, 99Firms reports that 85% of adults prefer a mobile site over a desktop version. Therefore, it’s no wonder that UI and UX see a surgency, even as 2022 rolls up.
In just 2021 alone, there were many trends that sprouted from these technological advances. But now that 2021 is over, will UI and UX see any promise in the year 2022?
The answer is… YES!
From amazing web designs to making technology and life easier for consumers, there are still more trends from UI and UX design as we enter 2022.
So, what exactly are UI and UX design?
First, let’s talk about UI design. Let’s use a house, for example. Imagine there is nothing in the home – no furniture, no paint or pictures on the walls, and nobody inside. The place would look barren, right?
However, what if that particular home had no foundation. It wouldn’t be able to stand, right? That would be where UX design should come in.
In that case, UX design would be the foundation for the “house,” while UI design is what you put into the house like furniture, pictures, people, etc. Keep in mind though: what you put inside must be worthwhile and not cause discord in the home, meaning good furniture, great decorations and paint on the walls, and a happy family. And, the house needs “features” like stairs, a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, etc.
As you can tell, especially by this diagram above, UI needs UX to be the stable foundation. In turn, UX needs UI to help it look amazing. In short, UI serves as the interactive part of a website or app, while UX serves as the foundation for said website or app.
Most Notable UI/UX Trends
So, now that you know the importance of UI and UX design in today’s tech-savvy world, it’s time to delve into the trends that one might expect in 2022! While there are many trends that will rise up in the new year, there are still ones to take note of right now.
Here are 12 of the most notable trends to date:
1. More Personalization
First, people want to be able to customize the look and feel of their technology these days. From having their favorite wallpapers on their smartphones to having their favorite playlist on streaming services like Netflix, to keeping things organized on their computer, personalization is a must in today’s world.
As a result, companies have already started collecting consumer data to learn more about what their customers are into these days. This helps them stay on the ball when it comes to trends, consumer behaviors, etc. With the use of artificial intelligence (AI), this process is made easier.
Once consumers’ opinions and behaviors are studied by AI solutions, web and or app designers can look into improving the UI and UX. UX design will see that consumers gain access to their customized playlist or layout while UI makes the customization “look pretty” while allowing for smooth user interaction.
Nowadays, people want things quick and easy. In other words, if they want, say, a cup of coffee right away, then they would want to use something – like an app – to provide quick service, where they place an order from a smartphone and then pick it up from the store. This is definitely an ongoing trend that will continue into 2022 because, for example, restaurant apps have already been rolled out to better cater to the busy crowd of consumers who want to have a meal, snack, or pick-me-up without having to physically wait in line to place their orders.
Such apps are made possible by both UI and UX design. How? By simplifying the process of browsing a menu, entering payment information, and placing an order. Simple and minimal interfaces (thanks to UI), and the fact that it can be a downloadable app for mobile devices (thanks to UX) have made it possible to simplify the process of meeting all consumer needs.
You may have heard about storytelling. But have you heard about “scrollytelling”?
Nowadays, users don’t want to be bothered by having to scroll up or down on a website or app. They probably don’t have the time to read a lot of text or scroll to read all that text. So, instead of having users scroll for content, make the content attractive with scrollytelling.
Scrollytelling involves using visuals to make the text and visuals more attractive to the reader. The eye-catching text and visuals will be doing the “storytelling” part. And, as the reader scrolls up or down, the text and visuals will reveal something through smooth animations, GIFs, etc. This entices the reader to keep scrolling to reach the end – or the “surprise.” So, instead of boring the reader with a bunch of information, the UI and UX design can transform the scrolling experience by making it immersive and interactive.
Where do UI and UX design fall into this trend?
UI makes the text and visuals… well, attractive by making them interactive and pretty for the user. UX, on the other hand, allows for the text and visuals to work properly as the user scrolls up or down the screen. In short, UI and UX make scrolling more engaging for all users.
4. Use Of Aurora
Color is everything in today’s world, being especially prominent in tech products.
Believe it or not, Aurora backgrounds made their way into UI and UX design last year. Aurora possessed splashes of color that were purposefully blurred with its subtle appearance on screens and backgrounds to create an ambient vision for the viewer. This offered an organic, as well as friendly, option for those looking for something calming to look at. Thus, many people found these backgrounds attractive, which caught the attention of multiple companies looking to change up the UI and UX in their products.
So, will Aurora be present in 2022? Of course!
With a consumer need for more simplicity and organic vibes, companies will be sure to make some of their products cater to the Aurora look.
You heard about this all the time last year. “Mobile-friendly,” “mobile-friendless,” and so on… However, mobile friendliness will be just as important in 2022.
Believe it or not, there are 5.31 billion unique mobile users worldwide, and that number is expected to grow at a rate of 1.8 percent. Mobile users do the following on mobile devices:
- Downloading apps
- Streaming (music, video, etc.)
- Social media viewing and posting
- Using ordering apps
- Internet browsing
- Using map/GPS features
- Texting or instant messaging
- Calling (voice or video), etc.
There’s a need for websites and apps to be mobile-friendly, especially since more and more people are on mobile devices (and counting). It’s no longer enough to design websites that are only effective and beautiful to look at on a desktop because you might lose customers and clients that way.
Luckily, UI and UX design will help you create a unique mobile experience for your website. UI takes care of the features needed for the site to work on mobile. UX allows the site to either have a mobile-friendly equivalent of itself or, even better, lets the site convert into an app. This way, you’ll make your website mobile-friendly.
This great example from Backlinko shows how mobile-friendliness is key when designing a website or app for a smartphone.
6. More Data, Please!
Data is the lifeblood of technology. Consumers want information right away. Companies want to learn more about their customer base in order to cater to them better. For both parties, data is a necessity. No longer is data only reserved for the data professionals.
In 2022, UI and UX will step it up further by making data easier to access for all.
One example has an app that helps consumers track their energy levels, heart rate, and so on. Such apps can be found on mobile devices, especially wearables like Apple Watch. These apps can add to the personal data that shows the user how well they’re doing, or what needs to be taken into consideration.
Another example has a website and app that allows companies to track consumer information like sales, preferences, cart abandonment rates, etc. With this data, companies can learn how to improve their marketing strategies, and better cater to consumers.
These examples show data visualization at work. Data visualization is when you make data more visual to behold, thus telling a story. Rather than drowning in numbers and text, the visuals are powerful in showing the user the information that they most care about.
7. Going Dark
Screens are no longer subject to the white background. In fact, there has been a surge in a different option: Dark Mode.
Dark Mode refers to making one’s screen “dark” when viewing a website. This allows for a website or app to be viewed in two different ways: white background or dark background (light mode or dark mode).
Now, this trend is nothing new. With apps like Google, YouTube, etc., the “dark mode” option exists for users wanting a darker color palette for the background. In the dark mode, there is light text to contrast the dark background, rather than the usual dark text to contrast the light background. The dark colors alone make the site or app more elegant and professional in appearance. Plus, the colors make for a calming appearance for users, even if they’re tired of staring at bright screens. And, dark screen mode won’t reflect light like a white screen would, so users can read better.
Plus, if you want to create a website on your own, you can make your site appear in dark mode – make it the default, or an option for your visitors.
8. More Advanced 3D Designing Tools
3D designing is everything, especially when it comes to UI and UX design. As you can see, 3D design is no longer for movies and shows. In reality, 3D designing is used in many industries:
- Social media
- Education, etc.
This is especially important for UI and UX design because 3D designing needs both in order to function and give users the best experience possible. By making the 3D design responsive (UX design at work), and by making it attractive to users (UI design at work), 3D designing will work out better than it did years ago. And in 2022, 3D designing will continue to make waves, thanks to both UI and UX design.
9. Glass Effect
As mentioned, calming visuals are a thing, especially in 2021. The glass effect – a phenomenon that swept the year 2021 off its feet with its unique design and appearance. In fact, there’s a name for it: glassmorphism.
For some reason, many consumers loved the glass effect in their products. Like Aurora colors, glassmorphism offers something calming and unique to look at. This effect can be used in the following scenarios:
- Wallpaper (on desktop or mobile)
- Physical or digital products
- Unique architecture
- Fonts, graphics, etc.
Glassmorphism offers a semi-transparent, watercolor-like appearance, thus creating a blurry and subtle look. The good news is that UI and UX design will make this glass-inspired effect more amazing in 2022.
10. AR And VR
Over the recent years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have made their mark in the gaming industry. Now, AR and VR have expanded into different industries and there is no sign of them stopping.
For example, the healthcare industry has already put AR and VR to work, when it comes to job training and simulations. Up-and-coming surgeons can practice operating on a patient before officially stepping into the operating room. Doctors can better educate patients with an interactive presentation of their diagnosis.
Another example comes from the education industry. Schools are always looking for ways to educate their students better. AR and VR allow teachers to hold lectures using 3D models and other visuals that allow for a more interactive school session. In addition, students can benefit from this technology by using models and visuals in school projects, collaborations, etc.
In any case, think of AR and VR as a “playground” or “sandbox” for all. For all creative people, medical staff, various professionals, geeks, marketers, and so on. No matter who you are, AR and VR will be there for everyone in 2022!
11. More Polished UI
The truth is, UI and UX can’t work on their own – they need each other. That’s why the UI, especially, will continue to improve. Just because you have a website with a good UX design, doesn’t mean that the UI part of your site will be just as good.
- Easier to read
- Easier to interact with
If the goal of improving UI is to make it more attractive, then go for it. If the goal is to make a site or app more responsive to user interactions (i.e., tapping, scrolling, swiping, etc.), then that can work as well. The ultimate goal here is to make the UI clearer for users.
12. Gamers’ Paradise
Finally, let’s not forget the gamers!
Video games are a booming business, with users buying games and DLC features for gaming consoles from Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo. This was especially the trend back in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, and people were forced to stay home. And, with the demand for video games and gaming consoles, there was also a need for good games and products.
UI and UX design will transform video games in the following ways:
- UI and UX design will ensure better graphics in video games. While UX design is responsible for making a video game playable on various platforms, UI design will make sure that the graphics are wonderful to look at and easy to navigate.
- UI and UX design promise better console menus, e-shop storefronts (for buying games and microtransactions), etc. If users are able to navigate through the menus with little to no problems, then the UI and UX have succeeded in providing an effective interface and gamer experience.
- UI and UX design will make PC gaming more immersive and user-friendly. With many PC gamers playing online, PC games have made it a point to make their graphics better and bug-free so that people can play online without having to worry about the bugs. While lagging is still an issue to address, UI and UX design will work to ensure a better gaming experience on PC.
So, there you have it!
As you can tell by this extensive overview, 2022 looks very promising for UI and UX designs to continue to thrive. With the trends listed above, there’s no denying that UI and UX will make strides with even more trends. With technological advances on the horizon, UI and UX will be improved and utilized in products, services, etc.
With these 12 trends, 2022 will be a year where UI and UX design continues to thrive and will do so for many years to come.
Emily Henry is a writer at Essay Writing Services. As a content writer, she writes articles about UI/UX Design and coding.
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