It must be acknowledged that User Experience design best practices and principles undergo relatively little change year over year. And 2017 has pretty much the same UI/UX mobile design practices.
This is primarily because the goal of user experience design stays the same – make users happy when using your product and get a desirable action. Users still have two hands, ten fingers, two thumbs and pretty much the same level of tech endurance. That is why previous UX practices are still relevant and applicable this year.
Video backgrounds, shiny colors, dynamic transitions, parallax & motion effects will be widely popular in 2017. Keep in mind that minimal iOS user interface guidelines and Google human interface guidelines are still on the table.
Nevertheless, there are new tech trends and mobile industries that will push the boundaries of UX. Those trends are chatbots, virtual reality, mobile health.
Conversational Interfaces and Chatbots
Aristotle once said, “Man is by nature a social animal”. Meaning, communication is one of our top priorities and there is no wonder that messengers stand among TOP 3 most used apps in smartphones. While the specific kind of messenger greatly depends on the user’s individual preferences a trend is obvious.
Taking into account this statistics the obvious move for a mobile developer is to make a better experience of communication through devices.
In 2017 the focus is shifted to the optimization of conversational elements used in communication with chatbots. The chatbots are by now one of the most respected industries which have its own UX requirements (primarily regarded to communication) we’ve covered in our previous article.
Age-Responsiveness for Mobile Health
Nielsen study shows that about 97% of audience aged between 18 to 44 have already adopted smartphones. In the same time, the numbers site only 68% smartphone adoption among a 65+ audience.
While the fight for those who already in the mobile world is getting tougher, the cost for acquisition of unspoiled 65+ audience is relatively low. That is where a set of UX practices called “age-responsive design” сomes in handy.
Age-responsiveness requires the individual adoption of layout to a person or audience age group. In the case of the 65+ audience, it means leaving all aggressive colors and quick motion element behind.
If you’re targeting older audience use your creativity for making things simple. Take you time adding prompt tips and tutorials for your features. Use UI best practices to make mobile app element distinctive and clear.
Tip: Do not hesitate to educate your users even if they are “too old for this”. Use pop-up tips for on-boarding of elder audience instead of over-simplifying your app unless you want them to miss all the best it has to offer.
Animation & Motion in VR
The picture above is a great example of motion design for mobile devices. And while such fluid animation looks great on 2D screens, the same kind of effect will trigger motion sickness in virtual reality.
A new challenge for UX is to make VR animation that will be accepted by human vestibular apparatus. In addition, user experience in VR should precisely imitate physics and motion of real world in order to make virtual space comfortable and acceptable by our brains.
It’s all about personalization nowadays. The tailored-to-your-needs services and products are valued more than ever. So how to deliver that personal user experience?
Rule #1: Don’t overwhelm user by tons of question in order to customize the app. Just show users a tab with blank fields, give some hints and explain the purpose of answering personal questions. But let the user decide where and when to fill in all those fields.
Rule #2: Use data like a ninja. Netflix spent a lot of effort on creating customized movie search, that seamlessly adapts to user’s tastes without their input. You can make something similar by just using activity and geo-targeting data. Just don’t forget to market this feature as a unique value proposition, like Apple did with Genius Search.
Rule #3: Give recommendations out of a binary system, prompt more than two options. Providing users with more freedom gives you an opportunity to learn something unexpected about how they actually use your product. If you have simple radial questions, leave an optional field for custom answers.
Filter Bubbles: Brexit and U.S. presidential election in 2016 showed that the personalized search algorithm can mislead users and serve one-sided or even biased information in their feeds. While you definitely should optimize your UX for users’ interests, there is still a room for WOW-effect.
Time Saving & Mobile App Navigation Design
Adjust study shows that the average time user spend in-app per 1 session is ranged from 4 to 6 minutes (excluding Games). This fact should stimulate you to value their time, is you haven’t started yet. Keep in mind this 4 minutes benchmark while designing your app.
Tip: The user journey inside your product should be designed in such a way that he/she could get what’s needed from your mobile app in 5 minutes.
It happens that a pleasant Good Bye is more efficient in getting back to your app than an intrusive invitation. Find a way to sum up all materials covered during the training course, or give users an exclusive achievement for a productive workout. Those practices are still catching users in 2017.
Tip: Interconnect your achievement with social medias. Let users share their results with friends in order to get a higher viral effect and make new app downloads.
Bottom Line in UX
The first touch screens were invented long before iPhone. Multi-touch has been around since 90’s. What made iPhone so unique and revolutionary is a user experience that stands behind the touch screen. It was low latency and gave that feeling of real-life motion, which really sells the illusion of direct manipulation.
Almost a decade past the first iPhone presentation the purpose of UX stays the same – keep the illusion alive. As for the 2017 UX best practices – just keep making mobile apps for people!
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