Last year saw several technology breakthroughs becoming more mainstream, with artificial intelligence becoming more human-sounding, voice-first gadgets numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and virtual reality becoming accessible to nearly everyone. This change continues into 2018 and is shaping user experience trends for designers. Find out how to design user-friendly experiences on mobile devices.
Continued Development of Voice Technologies
At the end of 2017, devices that used voice as the primary means of interaction were in an estimated 30 million homes. As technology develops, the way we use it will continue to change.
A voice-user interface makes sense for mobile. When people are on the go, they are less able to use their hands and eyes, but speech is still accessible.
When designing voice interaction for mobile users, the objective isn’t to replace conversation with humans, but to make life easier. Start by setting aside the technology and analyzing the conversation itself. Create a visual that shows the dialogue flow.
What do successful interactions look like between your clients and a customer service agent or company representative? What types of communication problems typically occur? What are all the ways a customer might express their most common needs? Sketch out how conversations might branch off and identify when people need to talk to a human representative.
Test some voice-controlled options with employees first. They know the conversations that frequently take place and can point out flaws and areas that need improvement. Provide users with clear information about what their options are at each stage and keep things as simple as possible.
Simplify User Journeys
When users interact with their mobile devices, they’re viewing information on a small screen, often while they’re in motion or focused on another task. Business owners and website designers can make it easier for users to achieve their goals in the following ways:
• Embrace linear design. Each user journey should have a distinct beginning, middle, and end with each portion only requiring them to do one thing to progress to the next level. Uber does an excellent job of helping users order a ride one step at a time. Each screen asks the user to make only one choice or input one bit of data. Users know how long each step will take and progress smoothly to their destinations.
• Reveal progressions gradually. If users need to take several steps to reach their goal, don’t overwhelm them by showing all the required actions at once. Use progressive disclosure to walk them through things one step at a time.
Visual Elements That Make an Impact
Overlapping effects are big in 2018. Designers layer fonts, colors, and graphics on top of each other to make page elements more visually appealing and provide more space. Designers use this overlap to repeat design elements or layer them with shadow to create depth.
Color is a powerful tool, and a color gradient can make logos and backgrounds richer and more engaging. A product’s visual appearance is one of the key factors buyers weigh when making a purchasing decision, and color gradients enhance that appearance on small mobile screens.
Designers are also using opacity to create contrast, making some elements stand out while others appear to fade into the background. When designing for mobile, experiment with the transparency levels of key components for added visual appeal.
Use stark color contrast for fonts and backgrounds. This makes key information stand out and text easy to read. Choose simple curves and geometric shapes over busy patterns for buttons, animations, and menus. Designers are also adding animation to icons, photos, and buttons to emphasize the next step, drive users to conversion points, and provide additional user delight.
Some Things Never Change
There are some mobile design best practices that will always be useful. Most people have experienced the frustration of trying to push a button on mobile that’s too small or not being able to see what an image contains and being unable to resize. When it comes to mobile, make sure screen size doesn’t take away from the user’s experience.
Set the font for mobile sites to at least 14px. That way viewers don’t have to resize pages to read them. Make buttons 44px by 44px or larger so users don’t mistakenly make the wrong choice or experience friction when they have trouble indicating their selection.
It’s harder to input text on mobile than it is with a keyboard. Make sure the mobile version of your website doesn’t ask for any more typing than is necessary. If possible, use checklists and drop-down menus instead.
Simplify your website design so users don’t struggle with navigation. Chunk pages in manageable portions and remove content that isn’t top priority.
Thee Design offers award-winning design for every type of device. Contact us learn how we can help you start reaching more mobile users today.