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5 UX and Design Predictions for 2017

Updated on December 15, 2016

Tiny Micro-Interactions and Animations

Micro-interactions and animations have been a major trend since 2015, but they seem to be here to stay for awhile. These tiny, barely noticeable interactions are what makes the difference between a “just a good app” and an app that you love.

These interactions make the user experience fun and exciting, and make an application feel more alive. Also, as time goes on, prototyping tools are becoming more sophisticated, allowing for these small animations and interactions in their initial prototypes and wireframes.

In 2017, designers will continue using subtle, but effective interactions in their design to engage their potential users.


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Use of Colors and Gradients

In 2013, ‘flat design’ was trending in the design world, and it sure was popular. While flat design still hold a lot of value in the UX and design industry, designers are starting to steer away from it, and focus on what makes a brand who they are; personality, and culture.

Experimenting with non-muted colors can really bring out life and personality in a brand, and so can using gradient colors. This really showed when Instagram rebranded their logo this year. Their new logo uses bright, vivid and exciting gradient colorways.

Whether you like the use of gradients and bright colors or not, expect to see a lot more of this in 2017.

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Haptic Technology and Feedback

To start with, what does “Haptic” mean? Generally, the word Haptic refers to the sense of touch in a user interface. On the iPhone (if the correct settings are turned on) when you are typing, a slight vibration occurs when you click on the keyboard. This is what Haptic Feedback is.

When the iPhone 7 launched, new haptic feedback was introduced. When a user tries to unlock their phone via their fingerprint, if it is not their fingerprint, the device gives you haptic feedback, a slight vibration on the back of the phone. This only occurs on the iPhone 7.

As new interfaces, and new technology launches in the upcoming year, we will be seeing more and more of this. Haptic feedback increases the chance of your customer having an overall better user experience on your app or website.

Customized Icons and Illustrations

Sleek-looking illustrations can look really great on a website’s design. The below illustrations are from Dropbox’s marketing website, and really speak to their brand and products. While some brands can use illustrations to show a sophisticated and modern look, some others can use them to show their playful and lively side.

Having customized icons and illustrations offers your users a sense of trust and personality. Crafting unique icons and illustrations is what will set your brand apart. With traditional photography and standard icons, your brand’s character really does not show.

Kick off the new year with newly crafted illustrations and iconography to set your brand apart from the rest.

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The Death of the Hamburger Menu

The hamburger menu has been a very controversial subject in the design industry for some time now.

We are predicting that in 2017, no new technologies will be built with the hamburger menu. Also, web and mobile apps that do use the hamburger menu, will probably change to a new navigation.

Earlier this year, two major players in the mobile app space, Spotify and Facebook both got rid of their hamburger menu in the mobile application.

Spotify switched from having a hamburger menu in the top left corner of the app, to having their navigation on a bar across the bottom of the app. The menu items ‘home’, ‘browse’, ‘search’, ‘radio’, and ‘your library,’ are now visible at all times. The same goes for Facebook’s new app design.

Why are companies switching this navigation style? The hamburger menu was very clean on a user interface, and was such a simple concept for navigation.

However, many companies found that it was harder for the user to discover new and additional app functions, and that the hamburger menu caused a decrease in user engagement. Justinmind reported that Spotify saw a 30% increase in clicks on navigation items after they dropped their hamburger icon. Facebook also reported that their engagement metrics rose up after dropping the hamburger navigation.

Although the hamburger menu has been a popular choice for navigation, many people may not know what the little hamburger icon is, making them not fully engage with the app. This burger navi gives the user absolutely no idea what kind of functions are hiding behind it.

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