2014 UX Reprise &
Yes, this is another look back on what was UX design over the past year and some thoughts on the upcoming one. I think two thousand fourteen was a hell of a year for user experience design and the tools we use — Sketch transitioned from fun app to completely replacing Photoshop & Illustrator for UX / UI design (for me), Google finally revealed Material Design (previously known as QuantumPaper), a whole mess of prototyping utilities went live, Apple started delivering larger phones and continued to play catchup with the Apple Watch, and motion has started to become integral to complete UX design.
Best Of Editorial
I dug through articles, bookmarks and newsletters to compile the best editorial content for 2014:
- Buy Experiences, Not Things
- Design’s North Star
- Relating Systems Thinking and Design I
- Relating Systems Thinking and Design II
- Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design
- UI and the Dream of the ‘90s
- Design to Make Technology Human
- The State of In-Car UX
- Rethink the Airline Boarding Pass
- Developing Design
- The 3 Laws Of Interaction Design
- 8 Shortcuts For Better, Faster Design Research
- Why you should move that button 3px to the left
- Gestalt Principles for Natural Interactions
- Designers Please Think Holistically
- The Anatomy of a Grid
- Contextual UX Design
- Cohesive UX
Movement & Animation
I believe that UX Design is evolving towards Experience Sequence Design — where wireframes essentially operate at keyframes of an experience and we constantly work towards defining the experience sequences between those keyframes. I’m working on a Medium post detailing it all up, below are a few articles from the last year that have helped further expose this evolution.
- Provide Meaning with Motion
- 5 Ways to Animate Responsibly
- The Art of UI Animations
- Motion UI Design Principles
- UI Prototyping with Quartz Composer and Origami
- Improve Payment Experiences with Animations
The resources I found most interesting / helpful this year as well as a few articles about tools I would recommend checking out.
- The State of Interaction Design Tools
- We Should Clone Game Interaction Design Tools
- Getting Started with Sketch 3
- Prototyping with Form
- Your First Prototype with Framer
- Prototyping Tools
- UX Design Weekly <- great newsletter
- UX Project Checklist
- IXD Checklist
Two thousand fifteen is going to be a hell of a year.
Following are a few of my meandering ponderings and observations for where the next year will take us.
I definitely feel that we cannot do the fantastic things based on the real, unless we first know the real. ~Walt Disney
It’s said that nothing feels more unnatural than a sudden change, because sudden change just doesn’t exist in the real world. Too many in our industry focus only on the singular states, designing each view with no thought to what happens between them — creating a whole ecosystem of sudden change. I believe we’ll see UX workflows transitioning towards defining all states of the user experience — defining not just the key frames of an user’s journey, but to creating complete sequences that bring joy and clarified relationships to our users.
The latest Forrester research shows that emotion has a bigger impact on customer loyalty than either ease or effectiveness. With this shift towards motion helping to create effective emotional experiences, expect to see work shift towards agencies that can provide emotional IQ to traditionally left-brained brands.
While motion will continue to capture audiences with delightful interactions and begin to educate with clearer relationships, being able to articulate messages in a clear and meaningful way will trump all.
Card-based UI will continue to see expanded use in 2015. The expanding trend echoes the dependable increase in mobile device usage as well as a corresponding increase in people’s appetite to consume bite-sized chunks of information.
Design in Material
This year Google released their new design guideline — Material Design. This was the culmination of the multi-year project codenamed Quantum Paper.
The concept of layering and motion aren’t new in design, however what Google did with Material Design was build a podium for design language consistency. Defining a design system that uses surface and shadow to establish a physical structure helps clarify what can be touched and what can move. They evolved their UX patterns to not only provide clarity in single views but with the addition of meaningful motion to interface transitions they clarified the relationships between views and UI elements.
We will continue to see brands and platform establish global design languages that incorporate not just explicit patterns for design consistency but motion to help clarify UI relationships.
We will see experience design sinking its hooks deeper into products, platforms, organizations, and the lives of those who interact with them — more then ever before.
Let’s make 2015 the year UX went to work for users.
Good luck out there on this, our latest trip around the sun.