UI Trends

Some observations from the trenches.

I’ve been utilizing a lot of these types of models within the past 2 years, as I’m sure others’ are, too. Here a few of the models that have been introduced to the masses with little resistance and relatively flat learning curve.

Dashboards : Top tiered navigational or user initiated functions located in a fixed or anchored position within the environment (memory retention)

Less iconography : Text based navigation elements while icons are reserved for second or third tier subsets of functions located within the main content (progression and regression within the environment forces elements to become smaller or larger based on the depth of the interactive experience)

Interstitials and pagination of content : While subtle elements were used for kinetics within interactive experiences that introduce new information are still popular, we’re seeing more content presented in a linear format that is animated in an obvious and recognizable way. This has led to the more open-space design because more content can be served up with less clutter for the user

Device independence : A lot of designs are very neutral in design, development and function because companies have to rebuild and distribute apps across many different platforms. So you want a design that doesn’t require a lot of development, production, and redesign for multiple devices. You want consistency and familiarity across every device

Bandwidth : Clean and subtle designs don’t take up a lot of bandwidth

With these listed as they are, I think it’s also important to mention that Voice and location are playing more important roles in people’s day-to-day lives. Technology is establishing a more passive place in our lives finally, but visual interfaces will be around for a long time.

I also think it’s important to note the influence of gaming, in both education, and inspiration. It will directly shape the next wave of pop-consumer technology.

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