Software development is on the rise. Companies decide to create tech solutions with the goal of meeting their business needs better, occupying a free niche and capitalising on it, and even changing the world for the better by creating projects with outstanding innovations at the heart. Software development outsourcing has long been a popular business model, however, it also comes with a risk.
Will someone be able to create a technically powerful solution with an awesome user interface and rich user experience, staying on the same page with a business owner? And how to do it right? Get started by discovering UI/UX design trends and best practices to follow during your application development. This article will help you.
The Difference Between UI and UX
Before proceeding with UI/UX design trends and best practices, let’s define these concepts and catch the difference between them. UI or user interface is a future solution prototype that highlights how the app’s sections, features and content will be located. User experience, in turn, is the way the users feel when interacting with your app.
UI answers the question “what”, while UX answers the question “how”. This is just the main difference between UX and UI design, however, user interface and user experience are deeply interconnected and even dependent on each other. There can be no outstanding user experience without an awesome UI.
So, the user interface comes first for engaging UX, and to deliver it, you have to follow both UI/UX design trends and best practices. Let’s take a deeper look at them.
UI/UX Design Trends in Software Projects for 2022
Below are the main trends in modern app UI/UX design. While it may be not necessary to follow them all, keeping them in mind is essential to add your future solution a modern touch, meet the users’ expectations and create a competitive edge.
The dark mode isn’t a new design and development trend, however, it is still relevant in 2022. The dark mode is an especially winning idea for apps with a touch of privacy – for example, instant or corporate messengers, social media, or the apps the users spend a lot of time with. The matter is that it is easier for the human eye to perceive a dark mode compared to a usual one, plus this option allows for saving battery power.
3D and animations
3D and animations are other trends worth considering this year. Both of the visual elements are here to stay. 3D is a great design option for B2C businesses, for example, hotels, restaurants and beauty salons since 3D allow for showcasing the atmosphere of the establishment in such a close-to-life way as possible. In addition, 3D visuals and short videos work wonders for evoking the necessary emotions and making users consider the business as a worth-visiting place.
Simple animations, in turn, are good for capturing the users’ attention and driving engagement. For these goals, they work much better compared to static images. When created in a single style, they also work well for reinforcing brand image, plus, some of the animations can be downloaded from the public domain. Even creating them on your own isn’t as difficult as may seem.
An effective user interface shouldn’t be complex. However, it shouldn’t be poor as well. When creating a simple yet effective UI, you have to find the middle ground between visual aesthetics, the specifics of the users’ perception and modern design trends. One of the best ways to do it is to take a look at the competitive solutions, research the users’ feedback, find out what they like and dislike about the design (along with the other features) and suggest a better UI/UX design idea.
Also, keep simplicity in mind when designing a Minimum Viable Product. The core idea of the MVP is just that it should come with essential features only. As for the design, it can be semi-custom at this stage but still reflect your brand identity.
Recently, data visualization was one of the best practices for enterprise-level solutions development. For such apps, visualizing business data is as important as gathering, analyzing and storing it securely. Now, this trend can also be used when creating software for other industries.
For example, mobile banking apps usually come with data visualization potential so that the users can simply track their budgets, analyze different spending shares and find the correlation between the sum earnt and spent. So, if you have to create a data visualization feature, try to do it in an engaging way, providing the users with only essential dashboards, using different colors for better highlighting and leaving room for user experience customization.
The concept of sustainable design may sound more applicable for physical product development, however, now it finds its place in web development as well. From this perspective, sustainable design refers to the solutions that come with environmental protection or improvement potential. Usually, they are built with virtual or augmented reality, plus artificial intelligence technology.
However, even the simplest website can become better sustainable if you take website carbon footprint into account. Every time the users visit your web page, it produces 1,7 grams of CO2 on average. To reduce this figure to the possible minimum by:
- Choosing a green host;
- Optimizing website performance by using lightweight images and fonts;
- Reducing the amount of video to critical and best-converting ones and using no auto-play;
- Improving your SEO performance with the goal of reducing bounce rate;
- Keeping your code clean;
- Considering PWA technology if your business needs meet the specifics of this technology.
How to Create Awesome UI/UX
There are a lot of UX for developers tips to list since the development process is usually complex, while the user experience largely determines the success of a future app. Below are the most important practices to follow when creating software solutions.
Choose the right tool
Angular, in turn, is a JS development framework that is better suitable for apps with complex architecture, for example, for eCommerce projects. There are also simpler solutions that allow for creating awesome frontends with no coding skills, for example, Tilda. At this stage, the task is to choose the one that suits your business best.
Hire professional designers
Also, consider hiring professional designers and developers. They would be able to suggest battle-proven design solutions and help you avoid costly pitfalls. Another benefit of hiring a professional software development company is that you can outsource this process completely, access the tech skills you need and still win because of the salary gap between the outsourcing destination and your homeland.
Test your prototype with the target audience
One of the best practices of lean and agile development is that every idea should be carefully tested and validated before pushing it to the production stage. Your UI prototype is no exception. That’s why testing it with your target audience makes a lot of sense. Showcase your prototypes, ask them to choose the most appealing ones and share their feedback on the strong and weak points of your design.
Don’t follow the trends blindly
In the section above, we have listed UI/UX design trends that modern solutions follow. However, don’t follow trends for the sake of trends. Instead, employ only the most effective, competitive and suitable ones. For example, using dark mode makes no sense for enterprise software design since most users use them during the daytime. Adding complexity with 3D elements and other visuals makes no sense in this case as well.
Employ effective UI/UX writing
You can create an awesome user interface with great user experience potential but reinforcing it with effective UI writing is a must. Below are some essential rules for creating effective UI writing captures:
- Keep them short. UI writing elements rarely exceed five words;
- Don’t sound obtrusive and impolite. This is a proven way to decrease the conversion but increase the bounce rate;
- Take the sales funnel stage into account. When creating conversion-driving elements, always keep the user intent in mind and the sales funnel stage. For example, it makes no sense to offer to make a purchase if the user has visited your site for the first time and knows nothing about your products or services.
Following the best UI/UX practices and creating a technically powerful solution isn’t as challenging as it seems to first-time startup initiators. The main thing is to partner with a reliable website design company, clarify and discuss your software requirements specifications in advance, and stay engaged in the development process from the initial idea to the product launch.