7 UX/UI design trends in 2022 for better customer experience
Being on top of the latest UI and UX trends is vital in order to capture your audience’s attention. Check out the top 2022 UI/UX Design Trends to follow in 2022.
The preceding year seems to have solidified several ongoing UI/UX design trends and amplified their importance. None of these trends are, technically, new to anyone who has been following the UI/UX design industry for the past few years. Though they may not be new or insanely popular, this does not mean they haven’t developed and taken on new forms to grab attention.
Reviewing the various visual UI/UX design trends over the last year, we’ve created a list of those that have stood out the most to us.
The UX/UI trends listed below have impressed us with their ability to capture our attention and imagination, build visually rich and appealing stories with personalized experiences, and showcase products or landing pages in creative ways with a memorable impression. This year’s user experience design trends that we think merit the most attention include:
- 3D design elements
- Animated illustrations
- Dark mode
- Augmented reality
- Unusual and futuristic color combinations
- Oversized and bold typography
Want to know more about our picks for UI/UX design trends that deliver a better customer experience? Keep reading!
Interactive storytelling about planetary prospectors by Google
Storytelling is maybe the most common and preferred UX/UI design trend by both designers and users.
Stories have existed long before recorded history, and they have always fascinated humankind. Although their forms have changed from cave paintings, fairy tales, fables to novels, movies, audiobooks, and even influencer stories, the desire to tell and listen to stories has remained unchanged.
The ability to tell stories effectively and memorably was and will always be a very valuable skill, especially in our busy digital lives full of information overload on mobile phones and different social media platforms.
When reinforced with the correct visual elements, stories can be so powerful that they can cut through the clutter, get the message across, and influence people. The purpose of storytelling when it comes to user experience is to help keep users engaged, bringing them closer to you and helping them shift their perspective by making them part of the story that is being told.
А excellent example of this is the brand Patagonia that tells us the story about sustainability in clothes production and why it matters in an intriguing and provoking way while keeping the users curious.
Sustainability storytelling by Patagonia
The purpose of storytelling for user experience is to help bring users closer to you and help them shift their perspective by making them part of the story that is being told.
2. 3D design elements
3D design animation by tubik
Yes, 3D isn’t exactly new, but a whole new generation of 3D design elements is about to take place as the next UX design trend. With technological improvements that allow even lower-end devices to handle complex models, increased internet speed, and new software capabilities such as Adobe XD, 3D designing has a significant advantage and is also gaining popularity.
3D elements by Zajno
In the upcoming year, we expect that designers will use 3D design elements with realistic textures to help the user navigate websites, keep their attention, and direct them toward essential points of interaction with personalized experiences.
This will result in hyper-realistic 3D visuals that may take up as much as a whole page. And with the rise of AR and VR (virtual reality) technologies, an interplay between such visuals and these technologies doesn’t seem to be too far down the line.
3. Animated illustrations
If 3D elements do not fit your brand, animated illustrations are the perfect UX trend that is visually appealing and engaging. It not only makes products more usable but also makes them more visually appealing for the end-user. Designers are using motion design and illustrations in order to add a natural feel and an inviting environment for every user. This UX/UI trend is an essential ingredient of modern digital products as it brings the user interface to life.
When animated, illustrations are efficiently utilized to explain a company’s products or services as well as to create depth intuitively and straightforwardly with only a minimum of text. They also add their personality to the brand.
For example, this bike animation is not only motion animation, but it is also interactive. If you move your cursor left or right, the cyclist pedals faster or slower. This is an excellent illustration of a highly effective micro-interaction and engaging UX trend used as a design concept.
Animated illustration for Bycyklen
By creating custom and personalized characters as part of their brand, businesses can become more memorable and answer their business needs. Characters are central elements of the story that a company is telling and something that users will begin to recognize and identify with.
Homepage animation by Species in pieces
Homepage animation by Plink
4. Dark mode
Dark mode by Eleken
After the debut of dark mode in recent years, it has been claimed that it may help increase the focus and productivity of the user or that it may help save their devices’ battery power. While offering an additional rationale for its use, these claims seem to be unfounded.
Yet, even without them, the dark mode has its own merits, and its rise is a testament to that in many mobile apps.
For one, depending on the screen size, it is better for users’ eyes, especially if the mobile applications’ user interface contains complicated data or is being used in low-light environments. It also increases the contrast ratio, which means that crucial elements of the design, such as icons or typography, can be made to stand out more.
As such, it can help support the visual hierarchy and data visualization in a simple yet very efficient way. Finally, it offers a refreshing change and can effectively be pulled off by any whose brand colors allow such a transition.
For all of these reasons, dark mode remains a stylish and functional design decision and will likely be at play in combination with other design elements as a big trend over the upcoming year.
5. Augmented reality
With the stable release of Google’s ARCore in January and Apple’s ARKit 4 released as part of iOS 14 in September of last year, augmented reality (AR) is picking up as a new UX trend. AR development will likely increase gradually this year, as design and development standards are primarily still developed.
Yet, UX designers can expect an increased interest in this technology, in particular in the context of the continuing lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this situation, a growing number of businesses that rely on offering physical or in-person experiences will turn to AR as a way to create the possibility for interactions that are being missed due to the current conditions while also using UX/UI design elements for modernization with responsive design, artificial intelligence, and even voice control. As AR is growing bigger and bigger, it is also transforming businesses such as the gaming industry, where it uses UX/UI to represent user’s environment in real-time in an online world.
We have picked a few interesting examples of AR to watch here:
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Augmented Reality | Aircards Watch Video
Zappar | Connected Packaging 2020 Watch Video
6. Unusual and futuristic color combinations
Website design by Toyfight
Colour combinations by Spotify
Colour combinations by Unleashed
Undoubtedly, colors are among the most important and impactful UI/UX design elements. It is also used for better data visualization in bar charts or pie charts. The ’90s are back with a bang, and this year we expect to see an increase in the use of futuristic color combinations - fluorescent colors, neon-glowing shades in abstract shapes, and more. We may even see a type of nod in the direction of an old-school web design style that uses large color blocks without gradients. Designers are using the latter as an efficient yet simple way of creating a good visual hierarchy, particularly with unusual color combinations.
Website design by Sarah Drasner
This UX design trend choice presents itself as a counterpoint to clean and minimalistic or even flat design that reigned in UX over the last 5 years. Now, a more flamboyant type of expression is coming up as a way to win over the attention of the user and give them an immersive experience.
7. Oversized and bold typography
Typography by USSR Design Almanac
In the same vein as above, catchy typography, much resembling the varied typographic landscape of the ’90s, is also making a comeback in the latest UI trends. Oversized and bold typography increasingly appears on websites, sometimes paired with a minimalistic design.
Typography by https://themarcus.com/
Bold typography is now frequently being used as a substitute for images as the main design element and in particular as a webpage heading. Through its boldness, it anchors the attention of the user and helps create emphasis and orient them, resulting in a personalized experience. When designers used it creatively, they can enhance usability, readability, clarity, accessibility, and hierarchy within an interface design. These new details are frequently used as a signifier of the quality of the products or services that are being offered.
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With the vast amount of content on the internet, more websites personalize their experience to a single user using storytelling, 3D design elements, animated illustrations, dark mode, augmented reality, unusual and futuristic color combinations, and bold typography.
Virtual Reality. Virtual and augmented reality are now far more than just an option. This technological innovation is one of the most significant trends within the UX industry and will remain so throughout the future.
A trend that will be influential in the future is that businesses will begin adopting the aesthetic of larger font sizes.
UX professionals have become a worldwide market. The LinkedIn profile lists UX designers among the top 5 in-demand talents based on their skills. This trend is expected to continue until UX is added to the Google rankings, which will make companies have to focus on their UX to stay competitive.