UI/UX Trends to Watch in 2019

Technology is rapidly evolving and that is the reason why trends don’t last long in the digital landscape.

Because of the rapid transitions in the digital landscape, companies must keep their eyes on recent trends in order to stay relevant and to stay ahead of the competition.

If you are a business owner hoping to gain more exposure from your website or a software developer who wants to create a successful app, here are the UI and UX trends to watch out for in 2019.

Design that Works on Multiple Devices

It’s no secret that you need to optimize your business for mobile users. This is because 52% of all website traffic was generated through mobile phones in 2018. If your business is not optimized for mobile, you risk losing customers. Simply put, mobile is the way to go.

However, mobile optimization alone won’t cut it in 2019.

More and more people are using smartwatches and a steadily increasing number of homes are becoming “smarter” with smart technology. This means you need to adapt to this change to create a dynamic multi-device experience for your audience or customers.

A great example of a business that has adapted to this change is Uber. Customers can book their ride through the Uber app which they can install in their mobile phone or in their smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home. This is important because speech recognition technology is rapidly evolving and has made a big splash in the mainstream market in recent years. In fact, 43 million Americans own a smart speaker and 50% of them own two or more of these devices.

 

Putting Attention to Details through Micro-animations

Micro-animations are small, preferably functional animations that support the user by giving visual feedback and displaying changes more clearly. These features are very valuable to designers as they depend heavily on them to bring the user interface to life.

However, the integration of micro-animations in the UI can be quite tricky. They need to be noticeable enough to enhance the user experience yet subtle enough to keep them from being distracting.

“You wouldn’t make every sentence of a document into a heading. The same principle applies to animation,” explains Sophie Paxton in Your UI Isn’t a Disney Movie. “Consider every animated element in your UI to be the equivalent of a heading in a written document. It should be used to signal the importance of an element.”

Improve your UI with micro-animations this year if you still haven’t.

 

Darkness, Vibrant Colors, and Gradients

Color has a great influence on the success of a business and the same concept applies to UI design. Every color needs to be relevant to the brand and needs to fit together like pieces of a puzzle to create a great experience for its users.

It’s a good thing, then, that our screens are more than capable of picking up a vast ensemble of colors. This means that this is going to be a fantastic year for incorporating gradients and vibrant hues in your UI.

A gradient is the blending and gradual shifting of colors from one color to another, which is commonly used to add depth to a design. For a long time, solid colors were the kings of UI. But in recent years, and especially in 2018, there was a slight resurgence of gradients. When Instagram changed their logo to what it is today, everyone definitely noticed. Now, gradients are slowly becoming a popular choice among creatives.

Another color trend that resurfaced last year the appearance of dark themes, which featured vibrant colors against a dark background. Businesses used to avoid dark themes like the plague. Now, darker themes are a thing as users seek to diminish the amount of blue light to which their eyes are subject. App giants like Facebook Messenger and Twitter now allow their users to switch to dark themes. Other apps have since followed suit as they allow users to view their apps in night mode.

 

3D Graphics and Deep Flat

Using 3D in UI would definitely make any business stand out. But not a lot of companies make use of this art style. That is because 3D costs a lot to make and takes a long time to load. And as attention spans grow shorter and the collective patience growing thin, this isn’t a good thing.

Despite all the negative press surrounding 3D graphics, they still managed to reach this year’s trends to watch. This is due to the workaround created by designers that allows them to simulate 3D elements on flat images. This faux-3D style of art is called the “Layered Image Still Effect.”

Deep flat, also known as the “Flat Design 2.0”, is another trend that you need to keep tabs on. It is an emerging favorite among designers because it provides more depth and direction by adding small details and visual cues on the graphic while still focusing on the simplicity of flat design.

To illustrate the difference, here are examples of traditional flat graphics (referred to as Flat Design 1.0 in the graphic) and deep flat (referred to as Flat Design 2.0 in the graphic).

Source: Blue Compass

In 2019, add depth and dimension to your UI by incorporating 3D and deep flat design elements.

 

Make it Personal

The web is oversaturated with businesses. Consumers see ads no matter where the click and every website seem to be selling them something. In 2019, you can’t create “one-size-fits-all” content and the “create it and they will come” adage now means nothing.

Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses now have to capacity to take a personalized approach in serving their customers. Once you know what your audience or customers are interested in, you can now start creating campaigns that speak to them.

Businesses that run storytelling marketing campaigns have been seen success in the past and this trend will continue this year. This is because, in this highly digitized world, humans crave to feel – well human. Storytelling campaigns make people feel something and the more emotional connection they have on a product, the less skeptical they’ll be towards it.

And once skepticism is stripped away, it is only then that they are ready to buy.

How to Build a Lean MVP

Developers and business strategists aren’t always on the same page and rarely speak the same language. One person’s pub idea and business plan might be an incredibly complex and expensive exercise when given to a developer. Likewise, a developer’s ideas might be considered too elaborate to scale once looked at in an economic perspective.

It can be incredibly difficult to form ideas to improve an organization when there are differing viewpoints – even when they’re two sides to the same coin. So with this in mind, we put together some quick tips to building your MVP.

 

Create a Detailed Brief

 

A product brief is a document that provides critical information about the product’s attributes and goals and will serve as the central source of information before, during and after the product launch. Many businesses, big or small, consider the product brief as one of the most important elements in doing a project as it helps minimize unexpected errors.
Spend twice as long on the brief as you need. Put a little more effort in throwing it together even if that means you have to pull in outside help to write your brief. Your product vision is golden and if done right, this document will help keep it that way all throughout its launch and execution.

  • Introduction to your company
  • Product name
  • Release date
  • Product description
  • Target audience
  • Customer value proposition
  • Launch plan
  • Timetable of important events
  • Sales talking points
  • Customer service talking points
  • Pricing
  • Resources

 

Have a Roadmap

 

A product roadmap is a live document (meaning it can be subjected to changes) of your vision to where your product is headed. Since an MVP is a full-blown enterprise software ready for sales and marketing, it makes sense that you figure out what you want it to accomplish in the future and put it into writing. Making a roadmap for your MVP will have the following benefits:

  • Describe the vision and strategy of your product to everyone in your company as well as your first few customers
  • Serves as a guiding document that will put your product’s vision into focus
  • Manages overall product backlog

Additionally, the following are the best practices in creating a product roadmap:

Be visual – Don’t just ‘tell’, make your roadmap a visual representation of your plans.

Have different versions – Each department in your company has a unique role which means that every department should focus on something different. For example, the Sales department will want the details about when the product ready for customers or when new features will be released. On the other hand, the Marketing department will want to focus on how product features will look and behave so they can market it properly. Usually, the sales team will use the same roadmap that all the other teams are using which risk them aggressively committing to unreleased features to win the deal without consulting the developers on timing and probability. This is why Google Developer Expert Shrinath V advises making a different version of your product roadmap for your sales department to prevent your roadmap from being hijacked.

 

Make it flexible – When you maintain flexibility in your timeline, you and your team will be able to react to roadblocks calmly and adapt your product strategy to fit changing needs. In fact, Todd Olson, the Founder, and CEO of Pendo recommends that you write “SUBJECT TO CHANGE” on all of your product roadmaps.

 

Don’t include dates – Additionally, it is not advised put dates in your internal and external roadmaps. Dates make the document less flexible because you are constricted to release your features on a certain date. Your timeline should have the broadest scope possible to make room for future modifications. “Don’t fall into the trap of specifying dates for anything that’s not already a work-in-progress or that isn’t well defined and well understood. Any attempt to set a date for something that’s outside the 1-3 month time horizon is not only a mistake but is bound to fail,” says Cliff Gilley, technologist, and product manager of The Clever PM.

 

Continually edit and update – As stated above, your roadmaps are live documents that change as your company grows. Make sure to set aside 10 minutes of your time a week to review them and make the necessary alterations if there are any updates on the features of your product.

 

Do a Quick Focus Group

 

When it comes to selling your app, there is no point in spending the money on the application if you do not make the money back in the service it offers. Therefore, assess the market a bit before you dive in. 90% of applications are to solve your own pain, but are there thousands of people out there like you and are 100% willing to pay for it to make it a viable investment.

Remember the following points when you conduct your first customer focus group.

  • Make sure participants represent your target market. It would be completely pointless if the people in your focus group is not even from your market of interest.
  • Keep them few – in fact, it is advised to keep the number of participants under ten. This way, you will get to interview them properly and every person will have a chance to share their insights.
  • Ask probing questions like “What do you mean?” and “Why is that?” to help the participants expound and clarify their points.
  • Audio record the sessions so you don’t have to take notes.

 

Be Open to Pricing Model Change

 

Coming up with a pricing strategy is a challenging task for any business. Your product’s price needs to be high enough to cover its costs so it can generate profit but it also needs to be within the range of what customers are willing to pay. After all, the price is one of the most important factors customers consider when choosing between different products and services.
One thing to keep in mind is that pricing always changes due to the constant shifts in supply and demand.

Be open to changes to your pricing model. This will allow you to adjust the price of your products to adapt to accommodate a changing business climate.

Should I be using Live Chat on my website?

Live chat is still a relatively new way of letting your customers to converse with your support team in real-time. It can be used to to ask questions, get guidance or just enhance customer confidence while making a purchase.

With services like Crisp, Drift, Intercom.io, and ConvertFox  it’s easier than ever to add a human touch to your website or platform whilst conveying your brand story and resolving customer issues in realtime and simultaneously.

The American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer reports that almost 33% of Americans consider taking their business elsewhere after just a single instance of inadequate customer service. You don’t need a degree in Marketing to know that high-quality customer service is critical to the long-term success and growth of your organization.

 

Catering to every question, concern and comment of your existing and potential customers can be time-consuming and a drain on your resources. Take a look at 5 ways in which you can use live chat to offer a hassle-free customer support for your business:

 

Provide answers fast and in real time:


According to a recent Forrester research, 44% of frequent online shoppers agreed that having someone immediately respond to their queries through live chat influences their purchasing decision and is one of the most important features a platform could offer. Not only this, almost 55% of customers abandon their cart midway if they don’t find a quick answer to their questions, which proves that while live chat can be a convenient way to provide on-demand support, it also improves conversion rates for your business.

When you communicate with your customers directly from your platform’s product page, you are able to address their concerns faster, as they don’t have to rely on email, phone or FAQs to get help. Drift, a conversational marketing platform, conducted a study involving 433 sales teamsto learn how fast they were responding to inquiries from new customers, and if their response time actually affected the overall lead generation. They reported a 10x decrease in your chances of getting in touch with a lead that has been left without a response for 5 minutes.

In the fast-paced world of today, where thousands of businesses out there are providing the same product or service as you, why would a customer wait 48 hours for your support team to assist them? Acknowledging a potential customer right away gives a better impression, and live chat helps you do just that.

Integrate with your CRM:


Imagine you’re the owner of a fairly popular restaurant, with several repeat customers, like, that woman who always requests for gluten-free food, or the man who orders the same drink every time. In an ideal scenario, you’d recognize them and cater to their requirements accordingly, however,  in this instance, you have no idea what “same as always” or “the usual” means when they place an order. Eventually, the customers stop returning because you fail to build a rapport with them.

Storing your customer’s information helps you serve them better when they get in touch with you. Live chats can be easily integrated with your CRM, where you can efficiently collect and store details of all the customers you talk to. When your support team receives a message on live chat, any customer data like name, IP address, social media accounts, phone, and email, are captured by the CRM.

Next time, when you speak to the same customer, you can make use of tools like Lead DNA by Tubular to pull all the information you have on them from the CRM to provide a more personalized support experience. With a CRM integrated live chat, your team can finally spend less time looking up customer data in the admin dashboard and more time pursuing hot leads.

 

Create friendly greetings:


Most live chats have an ‘auto trigger’ functionality that greets customers based on pre-defined criteria, such as, time, location, first-time customer, referral customer, etc. For example, when a customer has been on the pricing page for a while, your live chat can automatically pop up with a message saying, ‘Hi, do you have any specific questions regarding our pricing?’ On a similar note, if a customer is browsing the ‘shoes’ category on your eCommerce store, you can push them to make a purchase by saying, ‘Hey, we’re offering 10% OFF on all shoes purchased today. Interested?’

Live chat greetings can be a great way to emphasize the tone of your brand. Do you prefer to keep it professional and to-the-point or would rather take the conversational, quirky approach? Regardless of your choice, remember to come across as approachable, so the customer is comfortable bringing their questions and concerns to your table. Since you already have information about where the customer is from, you can also customize your greeting to their local language. To give it a more ‘human’ touch, add a picture of your support team member or a friendly avatar to the live chat that shows alongside your messages, including the greeting.

Have Templates answers ready:


Templates or ‘canned responses’ shorten the response time for your support team, allowing them to communicate with more customers. Create a ‘canned response’ sheet by compiling answers to the most commonly asked questions, which can then be used during a live chat or even when you’re responding to tickets. You can save URLs, common experiences, lengthy instructions, foreign names, complex addresses, and essentially anything that you find yourself typing repeatedly.

A lot of platforms allow you to save canned responses in the live chat itself to save you the back and forth of referring to a separate document. This can especially come in handy when your support team is busy or is not able to give their full attention to the customer at any given moment.

You can also choose to include a line or two about an ongoing promotional offer, discount or coupon in your canned responses, as well. For maximum impact, make sure your templates are personalized, friendly, conversational and have a ‘human’ touch to them.

 

Help people when you are asleep:


When you have a customer base spanning different time zones, you might not be able to respond to their queries outside of your business hours. In today’s fast-paced world, where the internet is always ‘on’, you might miss out on potential customers and leads while you sleep. Luckily, with live chat, you can engage with customers 24/7 by automating it to capture vital information like customer’s name, email, and their question while you’re away.

Once you’re online again, you can use this information to get back to the customer and assist them with the issue they are facing with your platform.

According to Econsultancy, 79% of customers said they prefer live chat over other forms of communication to get their questions answered. With live chat, you not only get a better customer experience using, more conversions, and a higher average order value from customers engaging with your business online.

If your interested in building a workflow to capture leads on your website then click in the chat tab in the bottom right hand corner to chat to one of the team.

 

3 Cool Social Media Marketing Tools

When you are growing a business, you often don’t have a lot of human power behind your social media so it’s always nice to look for ways you can reduce the time it takes to create engaging content.

Here’s a new tool called Shout, its an app for creating colourful animated GIFS from images and text and it runs in your browser. You can create small, simple GIFS in seconds.

 

 

Another excellent GIF service is GIFS.com, which allows you to upload a YouTube video ( or someone else’s Youtube video) and trim the video to the section you want to add captions and save an animated GIF for you to use. You can get some excellent results in very little time.

Remeber: People’s attention spans are low, and they usually click on something that is moving, so you need to grab their attention on social media.

 

 

Now meet , We’ve loved finding out about Mailport, in a nutshell, it allows you to create a MailChimp style campaigns but for facebook messenger. The best part is that it’s free for up to 1000
Facebook messenger subscribers. These great offerings give you a chance to deep dive into a tool before you start paying for it.

 

 

You may have heard of Buffer, but later.com‘s USP is that they allow you to schedule your posts visually. Instagram is such a visual platform that it makes sense to be able to schedule your posts visually and differently than you may do a Tweet.


Have you come across any cool social media tools lately ? If you have please reach out and let us know, we love trying out new tools.