As we head strong into 2016 we wanted to take a step back and look at how far the web and technology has grown and been integrated into our daily lives. More and more amazing apps and products are coming out that make our lives easier, keep us connected and more productive. Even more so are options that one may have, all of which do the same function. Let's take a look at what makes the others stand above the rest.
In 2016 we will see a growth in the experiences that are crafted and tailored around the users. Businesses and product owners are beginning to realize how impactful (in value and revenue) personalized experiences are.
Tailoring experiences around users current needs or mood helps to create the emotional involvement that keeps users happy, engaged and returning.
Animations will continue to grow and be utilized in a beautiful and logical way. Rather than over the top, flash animations - we are speaking about subtle and useful ones. Animations are used to help assist the user in their actions as well as to provide instant feedback on a certain action.
Animations are being used in more than just simple hover actions. Designers and developers are now able to create even more fluid experiences that allows the user to navigate through their applications with the use of page transitions, single page applications and AJAX - thus creating a seamless experience across the entirety of the app or product.
As described by Microinteractions.com, a microinteraction is a contained product moment focused around a single task. These small, but crucial interactions, are often the moments that make products stand out against their competitors.
You've most likely encountered a microinteraction today and have not even realized it. Apple's mute toggle, pull to refresh, even automatic faucets, these are all microinteractions. They are unobtrusive and subtle but play a major role in how you interact with these products. When these interactions are done correctly, they will help create a more engaging, fun and memorable experience for the end user.
Pull to Refresh:
Videos are being incorporated more and more into interfaces. While typography is a very strong design element, videos can capture a users attention even quicker some of the time. This medium allows you to convey your message in a much more emotional and captivating way. It's already known that users tend to scan rather than read. Creating a video, tailored to your audience, will help drive that message home quicker than before.
One thing to consider with videos is load times. Mobile usage is steadily increasing every quarter. Following the best practices with compression and fall backs will help to ensure you are using videos to your advantage instead of making it a load burden for your users. Videohive has some great free stock footage if you don't have the equipment to produce your own footage.
Card design has been widely adopted as we are moving more into products and applications. Google has already adopted it in their material design as well as many other companies and frameworks. It's a great way to display multiple types of elements within a contained space.
An example of card design:
Internet of Things
2016 may be the year we see a serious rise in these new technologies that go beyond laptops, computers and mobile devices. TVs, watches, refrigerators, home automation, automobiles... each industry is gaining ground in connecting into our daily lives.
We will begin to step away from designing these interfaces and experiences from a laptop or phone and begin to tackle the new challenge of creating for these industries. Each scenario is drastically different (ie driving in a car vs. putting groceries away). It will be exciting to see how our industry adapts and solves these new interfaces/experiences as the internet of things begins to become more popular.