As we hit the halfway mark for 2023, we are seeing that UX trends are continuing to evolve and that a UX-focused strategy is essential if brands want to see more engagement. The design trends we are seeing this year look at creating more imaginative and engaging experiences.
Why is it important to have a UX strategy?
A great UX strategy is more important than ever as customer expectations are high and there is increased competition in the market. It is an essential component of any marketing campaign, and it is key to create products that people love, enjoy and keep coming back to. Essentially, the user experience is a major driving force behind success.
So, here are our Exco UX Designers top 5 trends for 2023:
Individuals have grown to expect and desire “custom” customer experiences. A survey of 1,000 US adults by GBH Insights found that more than 80% want personalisation from retailers. Given this statistic, making a good first impression is vital. For example, Amazon Prime Wardrobe has launched a personal shopping service where customers complete a survey about their style preferences and a team of stylists provide personalised recommendations from more than half a million items. Customers have grown to expect and desire personalised experiences.
UX Designers need to think about how to use personalisation to create experiences that are relevant and engaging for users. Personalisation is key to keeping consumers feeling valued through their user journey. Users want to be able to access things easily and quickly and have some sort of interaction via animations or engagement-based designs.
Increased Mobile Optimisation
Statista found that mobile devices made up about 57 % of all internet traffic in February 2023. There continues to be a significant increase in the number of mobile users across the globe. The market is dominated by the latest smartphone technology and consumers expect brands to create a site experience for mobile browsing. Users are navigating across pages online, saving items to their cart and purchasing on their mobile. Digital Intelligence Briefing stated that 74% of visitors are likely to come back to an organisations site if it has good mobile UX.
A recent study by Australian Communications and Media Authority stated that internet use is spreading across more devices, with almost half of young Australians using 5 or more types of devices to go online in 2023, up from 30% in 2020. The most common device was mobile phones. Usability, functionality, and fast loading sites are essential for the user experience and UX designers need to consider mobile users in strategies.
- More Micro-Interactions:
It’s all about the details when developing a strong UX design strategy! Users may not necessarily always a notice a great UX design, however they will notice a bad design. According to Design Resources, 94% of first impressions for a website are design related. Whether it’s a confusing and lengthy home page or something that takes too many clicks to get to, a bad UX design can lead to losing customers. A study from Missouri University also found that users form a first impression of a web site within 2.6 seconds and users tended to spend more time on sites that have a better first-impression.
These study results prove that it is vital for designers to consider each small site interaction such as how many clicks are needed on a page. Knowing key areas that users will interact with will create customer loyalty and keep customers engaged for longer.
A PwC survey of 15,000 consumers found that one in three consumers will leave a brand they love after one bad experience. There is no denying that storytelling can enhance a company’s brand image and has become a growing ‘experience’ trend that a UX designer can use. Storytelling provides an interaction between users and products and has become a prominent aspect to build connection with customers. Using a narrative and creating personas elevates the content and improves the perception of the brand. Creating these stories allows the design process to be human centric and is one of the best ways to relate with an audience.
Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and equipment label, is a company that is known to protect you while exploring the great outdoors. This centres about their brand story, the company is invested in people, their experience and the outdoors. Patagonia has been able to use storytelling to connect with their socially conscious consumers. They have built a loyal customer base by showing their commitment to environmental sustainability and use taglines to sell eco-friendly apparel.
Augmented Reality (AR)
We have started to see AR being rolled out through companies using this technology to train their employees via realistic simulations and connecting people through virtual games. Companies are also implementing AR so customers can “try on” products at home. Le Specs lets you virtually try on sunglasses by opening your front camera to see yourself in any pair or glasses that fits you. AR is likely to be something that will keep growing in popularity.
Statista claims that the virtual reality market size will be more than $18 billion by the end of 2023. AI makes experiences more visually appealing, improving customer experience. Apple has announced its new AR headset that will launch in 2024, a product that will blend the real world and digital world. This headset has been in the works for years and one of its features includes using spatial audio to arrange FaceTime participants as “video tiles” around the room. You can capture and relive videos with a 3D camera while using the headset. AR will transform how we connect with the world, and it is exciting to see how this will keep developing over the next few years and the possibilities that will come out of it for UX designers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is a form of technology that allows machines to think and complete tasks in a way that humans would – creepy, right? However, UX Designers are using this tool to their advantage by brainstorming layouts, creating graphic elements and using the tool for upscaling images.
Using AI will continue to assist companies all around the world by creating user-centric digital products for customers to enjoy. Wired conducted a survey of 1,300 institutions and found that 57% of managers say their company is either piloting or using AI. UX Designers at Exco are particularly excited to use AI and are using the tool for incredibly innovative ways, including creating original images, such as a Kangaroo holding money for a local Australian Bank customer.
Check out this article to read how AI tools are evolving and how the tool will become essential for any design pipeline: https://excopartners.com/2023/01/06/is-this-the-end-for-ux-designers
The impact of a UX strategy will likely be much bigger if the design is personalised, there is increased mobile optimisation, micro-interactions and if storytelling, AR/AI can be incorporated. These design trends we are seeing in 2023 are proven to create a positive brand experience and it will see more returning customers.