When it comes to UI/UX, you simply have to follow trends. All it takes is one bad user experience for 88% of users to never come back, with one third even leaving the brand they love. And bad news travels fast and far: 13% of customers will tell people about any bad experience they've had. Looking at those numbers, it seems that designing your site's user experience is full of pitfalls.
Each difficulty, however, is also an opportunity. Only 1% of users say that e-commerce websites meet their expectations, so there's plenty of room to grow and differentiate yourself. And if you do so, 72% of users will share their good experiences with someone. This free marketing boost plus the benefits of user satisfaction make UI/UX a priority. It’s worth mentioning that every dollar invested in UX brings a return of $100.
To start 2021 on the right foot, make sure you are up on the latest trends so keep on reading!
Talking to your interface
Sometimes the best UX means rethinking the UI entirely. For some actions, the easiest thing is to just ask. Any serious business will have human operators on standby if their customers need any help. At the same time, user expectations are rising, and maintaining a solid presence 24/7 is a serious cost. A combination of technological, economic, and social factors conspires to make this the era of the chatbot.
It's not bad news at all—AI chatbots will free up 90% of an operator's time, and they aren't difficult to use at all. It doesn’t take a lot of time to learn how to add a chatbot to a website. Even a relatively simple chatbot can do wonders: you can put customers at ease and automate simple user support tasks.
The one thing to be careful about, however, is how to carefully use the powerful tools at your disposal. Customers in general respond well to chatbots, but they will leave if things are taking too long. Chatbots are no different than any other UI/UX element. Make sure to configure your chatbot so that it takes as little time as possible for the user to describe their problem or query. That way, you can keep a lid on your negative bounce rate and use the chatbot to give the users great experiences.
As a bonus, once you've configured your chatbot, you’re almost at the point of making your site voice-control capable, too. Your users are going to be on the move more and more, and they’re all getting used to talking to one of the eight billion voice assistants out there. A chatbot is the perfect system to take care of any queries and requests Siri, Alexa, or Google might be throwing your way.
Bold new design styles
It's not just fashion: upcoming trends are in many respects just adaptation to changing technologies and circumstances. Dark Mode—once a rarity—is rapidly becoming universal. High-contrast OLED/AMOLED screens not only show this mode in all its splendor—sharp, crisp, and ultra-modern—but they also save on battery life. And once you've implemented a dark mode on your site or app, you can rely on that high-contrast background to make the star-player design and interface elements really pop.
When it comes to star-players, the keyword might be hyperreal. Skeuomorphism—mimicking the look of real-world objects in the interface—is being replaced by neumorphism, a heightened representation of reality somewhere between an icon and the real thing. This kind of design pops better on modern displays and stands out in the now ubiquitous super-flat minimalism. Seamlessly integrated 3D elements can help achieve this hyperreal look, which is often known as collage aesthetics.
This collage look is based on mixed graphics, often hand-drawn, with high-resolution photography and combining it all in a design based on layers, soft shadows, and a general 'floating' look. It lets you draw attention to the interface elements that matter while maintaining a fresh, modern style that's pleasing to the eye.
It is a well-known fact that many users will stop engaging with a site if it takes too long to load. That's a hefty bounce rate even before you've had a chance to interact with the user. In a sense, your loading times, not your landing page, are the very first experience a user has with your site and it’s important that it’s a good one.
Hardware is definitely getting faster but the complex frameworks that needed to get modern web functionality are growing, and so are the pictures to get that crisp look on modern screens. So how fast is 'fast' then? Studies say that users consider anything past two seconds to be too long.
Keeping your website snappy is well worth your time: Pinterest reduced their perceived wait times by 40% and they saw a jump in sign-ups and search engine traffic by 15%. Getting this kind of speedup is worth your money and time.
To make sure you’re ready for 2021, checking your site's performance is a must. Google's PageSpeed Insights gives not only a good idea on how fast your site loads on different platforms, but also an advice on how to improve that speed.