It’s easy for people to become stuck in their ways and fail to acknowledge that the way of doing things has changed. If you’re conducting business on the internet, this can be a fatal mistake. For brands to survive online, business owners and web designers must keep abreast of the current trends driving user intent and behaviour. This will help them design better websites that will appeal to the target audience and subsequently result in improved conversions and sales.
This article will prove useful for website owners looking to maintain the market leader position in their niche and new entrants aiming to build a name for themselves online. For the latter, the first step will ideally be to choose a brand name with which your potential audience will be able to internalise. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to do. Before reading any further, search here for a domain name that matches your brand.
One trend in UX design that’s been gaining tremendous grounds recently is Micro-interactions. This is a design style that allows for specific interaction between a website’s users and a particular element on the site. For example, this could be a ‘submit form’ button that invites haptic feedback or vibration on the user’s smartphone when clicked. Experts suggest that functions such as these are just some of the details that make for good user experience. Apart from improving user experience, micro-interactions help developers gain important feedback and this can help when making improvements to UX elements.
The reasoning behind micro-interactions is that it provides users with effective tools to react to content on the website. For instance, the ‘like’ or ‘dislike’, ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down bottom’ made popular by Facebook can be implemented on websites to gain feedback as to the relevance of certain content on that particular site.
Since the emergence of the internet, we have seen different communication programs come and go. From email correspondence to live chats and FAQs that try to predict users’ questions and provide answers. While most of these are still in use, Chatbots that make use of artificial intelligence are the current method for big businesses and online stores to engage with visitors. Chatbots are applications that make use of written or spoken human language to interact with real time website visitors. Previously, a visitor might have to navigate many steps before they can place an order on a website. Now, chatbots make the process simple. These virtual assistants are smarter, quicker and more responsive than regular customer service facilities and can provide solutions within a short timeframe, effectively saving time for both the business and customer. The artificial intelligence that powers these chatbots create personalised experiences, whereby website visitors will actually think they are chatting with a real person.
The place of speed
One major factor that affects user experience today is time. The speed at which content loads on your website and the volume of the content itself is very important. This is why testing for speed is one of the most important tests you should carry out before launching your website. Internet users are looking for information in a hurry, and you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if your website is not designed to meet their expectations for speed.
Voice user interface
Very soon, experts predict that design may no longer be about screens. This is because today’s internet users are becoming more and more mobile. They no longer remain at one single point, accessing content from the internet. It is no longer news that a larger portion of content consumed online is done so via mobile devices and smartphones. While this has its place, designers need to expand their skills to incorporate the ability to create designs that are non visual. This means s that in a very short time, interfaces that recognise voice commands will be one of the requirements for today’s website and UX designers.
Already, virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are increasing in popularity. Voice user interface provides a means for users to access and interact with content in a hands-free manner. Not only will this provide a different way to work with visual controls, it will also help compensate for the difficulties users encounter when accessing content via devices with smaller screens. If the rate at which voice search is taking over search engine is anything to go by, there’s a high chance we will see the need for VUI websites in no time at all.
The place of videos
When attempting to convey a complex message, often regular texts and static images just won’t do the trick. An image of text content might partly explain what a product or item is, but it won’t be able to explain how to use it. This is where video comes into its own. Videos are able to explain any type of content more effectively than any text or image ever will. This is how important videos are. It’s not surprising that we are now seeing videos spring up every day all over the internet – from welcome videos on homepages to explainer videos on product pages. In order to provide a better user experience, your website should feature one video at the very least. This should relate to very important content on your website and should be interesting and interactive enough to cause your visitors to want to share it.
However, the secret is to ensure that you convey your message within the first few minutes of the video itself. Research has found that the attention span of humans is no longer what it used to be, so do all you can to keep your videos short, interesting and straight to the point.
In conclusion, the above trends are steadily becoming indispensable in today’s website design. All in all, they comprise a powerful new way of creating designs that can quickly engage visitors and keep them on your website for longer. If your intention is to remain relevant online, then your next point of action after reading this post should be to take a look at your current setup to see how and where you can immediately implement changes.
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