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UX Design: Contemporary Trends and Tips

UX design has more impact on businesses’ success than ever before. While crafting compelling messaging is crucial, storytelling is only half the battle of effective campaigning in today’s marketplace. In fact, brands’ first impressions are 94% design-related. In this blog, we’ll highlight some contemporary UX design trends and offer a few tips that can help your team capture customers and, equally important, stay relevant in the current competitive marketplace.

 

Think of it As a Conversation

In an era where meeting basic usability requirements is a given, what really differentiates digital products is how relevant and delightful the experience can be. One way that successful brands have adjusted to changing trends is that they’ve focused the majority of their energy on enhancing the interactivity of the user experience – creating a sense of UX “conversation” with users.

As an example, modern brands have begun communicating in visual and verbal elements that mirror today’s popular communication channels — social media and texting. The Drum notes that, “symbols have become more iconic, language more conversational and actions more playful – and brand identities have become more fluid and adaptive than ever before.”

It’s important to remember that every interaction with a customer or prospect is an opportunity to engage in conversation. UX Design notes that “interfaces are quite similar to a conversation — that just happens to manifest as buttons, menus and other interaction patterns.” Successful UX designs offer intuitive interactivity as well as attention to the tiniest details that make experiences feel more relevant, delightful — and therefore more memorable.

When developing the UX strategy for your business, it’s important to invest a good portion of time in developing details that will invite customers to engage – details that they will remember. Utilizing intelligently-placed, intuitive call-to-actions is the ideal way to achieve this. In an evaluation of 200 small business websites, 70% of them didn’t display clear calls-to-action for anything on their home pages, such as specials, email newsletters, how-to guides, demos, and interactive tools.

Call-to-actions should be placed front and center (“above the fold”) to capture users and easily guide them through a desired UX process. The key to CTAs, however, is that they should be used sparingly. The most effective UX designs utilize a single, well-placed CTA that is designed to offer or entice users directly to actions they are visiting to achieve.

It’s also important to create linear designs that save users time. A first-time visitor to your website, for instance, will give you less than 5-seconds to “wow” them before they navigate away, and  88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.  If a customer arrives at your site for the first time and cannot easily find what they need, it is highly likely that they will give up and leave. Your site must therefore be instantly learnable to any new user.

Remember that modern consumers as well as B2B customers desire high-quality, easily digestible content and experiences when interacting with brands, so it’s important to streamline the UX flow to guide users exactly to what they’re looking for, as simply and intuitively as possible.

 

“Good design is good business”

Deliberate, intelligent UX design will differentiate you from your competition, so consider these tips when conceptualizing your design:

  • Take the time to research your target audience demographics to understand their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Then, create user personas to create targeted, personalized users experiences that will appeal to your different audience segments.

 

  • Consider the look and feel of any piece of content to ensure it visually (and experientially) conveys your company’s unique brand and value.

 

  • Visual content has never been more prevalent. While B2C marketers place greater importance on visual UX content than B2B marketers,51% of B2B marketers prioritized creating visual content assets in 2016.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to get creative. Companies that focus on creative design for powerful customer experiences have been shown to enjoy 5x greater market share than others that do not prioritize this aspect. Additionally, users that are enticed by creative UX designs have been shown to spend more time on sites, which reduces bounce rates, improves page ranking, and increases conversion rates).

 

  • Menu categories should be clearly organized without unnecessary overlap.

 

  • Search fields should be prominently displayed, as well as offer filter options and previous-search capabilities (where applicable).

 

  • Simple registration and password authentication processes will mitigate user loss.

 

  • Design user-friendly forms that auto-populate, auto-capitalize, and auto-progress through form fields. Additionally, communicate form errors in real-time, rather than having users re-submit a form after finding out they’ve made an error.

 

  • Optimizing for mobile is paramount. Be sure to integrate and test the palette of scrolls, swipes, taps, and pinches that today’s consumers expect to utilize while interacting with your site.

 

Proper UX design helps your business gain a solid understanding of the many ways that customers engage with your brand. For more information on our customized, strategic design services, be sure to reach out here.

 

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