Top UX Design Trends for 2018 every design should be aware

Great design is driven by simplicity which complicates it for some.

In recent times, design has been heavily driven by technology changes and advancements - 2018 will see much more. As designers it’s time to remain updated about the changes, and sharpen our axes to gear up for the next leap in User experience and User Interface Design. Here’s our list of the biggest UI/UX trends for 2018.

Credits: pixabay

#1 Content Driven Design

It’s an end to the era where users look at design and say - “Its beautiful”, this is an era of utility and functionality. Good design allows the content to be revealed clearly, in proper sequence and does not get in the way of effective communication.

Everything has an intend — design, music, art or anything. Empathy is an integral part of design and every designer should ask themselves a very important question,

“Does the design solve users problem ?”

If the answer is “no” there is no point in adding frills and gradients even though it looks visually appealing.

Tips to visually achieve content driven design

  1. Paper first approach: before starting your machine, take a pen and paper and layout your information on it. Emphasis on layout that helps users navigate easily to achieve the task
  2. Minimalism: Remove unnecessary elements to provide a cleaner, more focused experience. Use more white space and give content more room to breathe.
  3. Typography: Choose type that helps readability over visual appeal.
  4. Read: Design of everyday things by Dan Norman and other books

#2 Design for All Devices

Over 125 million units of wearable devices are expected to ship in 2018. There will be around 600 million connected wearables worldwide by 2018–2019. What does this say ? Designers have to think not only mobile first but be ready for layouts on multiple devices.

Designers have moved from paper to digital, desktop to mobile and its time making the to wearables.

Tip to design for multiple devices:

  1. Context: Designing interfaces should be based on how consumers will use them and not the replicating smartphone or tablet experiences.
  2. Design for Smallest Screen First: this forces you to decide on what matters the most and apply the same approach with careful selection to other devices.
  3. Think Low Power for wearables similar to low memory for web and low ink for print.

#3 No UI is the new UI

We were learning how to interact with computers using punch cards, mechanical inputs, Graphical user interfaces, touch, gesture, and more. Its the end of we learning to interact with computers and now computers are getting trained to interact like humans with self and continuous learning.

So this ushers us to a fundamental question- how do humans interact ? Humans interact with multiple senses, humans converse and learn how to interact differently with different people. We interact with a kid, an adult, a teacher or a priest very differently. Hence we need to design systems that interact with different personas differently as per the context.

Tips to design for No UI:

1: Learn how users naturally live in their environment. Study the user well.

2. Use Natural User Interfaces: Try using gestures, voice, touch, mind recognition.

3. Think conversation: make every interface a conversation between the user and the machine

#4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

We have moved from print to digital, 2D to 3D and the next leap is moving to real like experiences.

At the recent Facebook F8 conference for developers, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that soon all screens will be replaced by lenses for the ultimate AR experience. Considering the efforts of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft in this field, it sounds like a realistic possibility in the next few years. While the dominance of mobile phones won’t change anytime soon, we’ll see dramatic growth in augmented reality apps for mobile devices.

iPhone X Animoji

How to design for AR / VR ?

  1. Learn Physics and Programming: Think and learn from real-life situations when designing an interface in AR. Try replicating the real life situations.
  2. Apply 3D: Design for depth and keep the space around the user in mind.
  3. Consider the environment in which the product will be used, research the environmental conditions in which the app will be used and how it will affect the user.

#5 Personalised Experience

One size fits all doesn't work on any other domain, then why in design?

Unless you’re a social media recluse,you’ve surely noticed how social media platforms recommend you products and services which you searched for or browsed through elsewhere(It’s called Re-targeting)

How do they get to know about your likes and interests? Netflix knows what kind of content you like to watch at what time of day, Google knows what information you’re looking for, Spotify plays musics based on your listening history. With technological advancements products will be able to cater to exact requirements of each individual.

Designing for personalisation is challenging as it involves designing experiences that look and act differently for every single user. This requires a deep understanding of how to create and use design patterns.

Tips to personalise design:

  1. Define personas, create tasks and design for each of them.
  2. Collect Data the users use like search and keywords, device type, Ad clicks, browsing history, location, day and time, click patterns and navigation history, demographics such as age and gender and learn how to provide personalised content as per the usage.
  3. Allow Users to Create Profiles and provide freedom to customise how they want their product to be.


The rapidly changing world of technology is sure to keep everyone on their toes, and help designers design to engage users in brand new UX/UI experiences. In 2018, designers need to design keeping wearables in mind which is the next big thing in devices. Aim for clean and clear seamless experiences. With content marketing trends talking about videos being the top content trending 2018–19,UI/UX designers need to design interfaces which are light and refreshing — low power,low memory, low ink !

Remember business can’t run without great design, it’s high time we designers design with business in mind.

Let us know by sharing and leaving a comment what trends in design you’re looking forward to most or why that particular design will alter your life specifically in the future.

We are DTALE, a UX UI agency from Bangalore. We design digital experiences that tell a story. Here are some interesting UX Tips for your Startup. Download them for free.

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