Top UI/UX Practices to Adopt in 2021
Future is Now for Users
Since the onset of the pandemic, adults spend more than 16 hours a day online. With 200 million active websites vying for attention, brands must incorporate effective UI/UX practices to rise above the crowd.
While a slow roll out of vaccinations provides hope for a post-COVID-19 world, the reality is this virus will continually impact the way people live and use the internet for months (and possibly years) to come. Thus, website designs that make an impression and are user-centric not only become indispensable but can help distinguish brands.
If you’re updating your website, it’s helpful to employ some trends that once seemed futurist, including:
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Motion effects
- Retro aesthetics
- Increased speed for 5G
Virtual reality (VR)
With live music, events, and entertainment on hold, people are seeking new realities online. Two-dimensional screens are quickly becoming tiresome. VR is no longer a tool only limited to gaming. Many brands are thinking out of the box and coming up with ways to engage the consumer using VR so that “business as usual” can come back in a new form.
For example, many tourism venues are shifting toward interactive VR apps that allow users to have the experience of exploring museums or historic sites. They are also using VR for educational games. Additionally, stores that have lost foot traffic are incorporating VR and augmented reality (AR) to provide consumers a way to see how they might look in clothing or how furniture would work in their living space.
Consumers become captivated with animation. We’re not talking cartoons, but animated elements that help move the customer journey along with stories and through screens.
Adding appropriate motion effects can tell a brand story better than plain text and static images. Animation also assists in humanizing serious subject matters (such as health issues), making the user experience less stressful and more engaging than via extensive text.
With as stressful as 2020 was and 2021 continues to be, people are desperate for “simpler” times of the past. There’s a retro resurgence as perms make a comeback, beloved cereals return, and an array of throwback sneakers hit the market.
UI/UX design is no exception to this trend and brands now seek a vintage look that makes users feel comfortable and nostalgic. For example, the website for the Harvard Film Archive, one of the largest and most significant university-based motion picture collections in the United States, and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (where it the archive is located), have designs that hearken back to days when you’d get great info via a flier on campus. Yet they also use modern scrolling and animation that makes for a 2021 user experience.
Other examples include Super Fat Rice Mart, a specialty cooking store with a wide variety of Asian pantry items. It dials back to the 1980s by incorporating video game fonts and images. The Villa Rosa Pizza website also goes back a few generations with vintage-looking images and old-school fonts while incorporating modern hover-over navigation that keeps the user in the 21st century.
Increased speed for 5G
Experts say 2021 is the year of 5G. With the advent of high-speed internet, comes the need for websites to have a UX that allows for fast load times. As design elements often mean a reduction in speed, it’s important to evaluate what’s most important and what needs to be modified.
Studies show users expect pages to load in two seconds, and after three seconds, up to 40% of them will abandon your website. E-commerce sites that freeze, crash, or take too long to load not only lose the visitor, but more than 75% of online shoppers say they do not return to ever buy from that brand’s website.
Now is the time to review your company website and keep the elements that provide the most value to the end user without hampering load times.
Ready to evolve your business?
To make your website most relevant for today’s customers, it’s important to think about how your target audience uses your product or service, and then how your website will make that interaction easier.
If these trends got you thinking about ways to improve your website, here are 10 steps to get you started. If you need further insight or assistance on how improved UI/UX practices can help you grow your business and meet your goals, contact us for a free consultation.
The team at T.E. Digital knows how to incorporate effective UI/UX practices to dramatically change the way you acquire and serve your customers. Just give us a call.