Modern UI/UX Design Trends for 2022
The top UI/UX design trends continue to be something of a battleground, with businesses scoring major successes — and suffering major defeats by not employing the latest trends in UX — based on the experience they offer to users. As a result, we’re already seeing big UI/UX changes in 2022 as businesses seek to out-position their competitors in the market. This is influencing some of this year’s key user interface and user experience design trends.
Current UI/UX Design Trends
So, what are these all-important digital product design trends for 2022? To understand more about this area of development, let’s divide the landscape into two distinct categories — the latest UX trends and the latest UI trends.
Latest UX Design Trends for 2022
User experience continues to be paramount as businesses seek to win and retain customers in 2022. Learn more about some of the latest UX design trends for this year below.
1. Personalization Reigns Supreme
In many ways, the Internet has brought us all together, giving people from across the world the opportunity to share information and engage in debate on an unprecedented scale. However, in recent years the latest UX trends have become more focused on personalization — and creating meaningful experiences for the individual, making more effective and memorable connections.
This is one of the key trends in UX for 2022; utilizing data to create highly personalized interactions for users. For example, this may involve using past purchase data to deliver smart recommendations to users — recommendations that they are more likely to engage with than just a random selection of additional products and services. In other instances, geographical data may be used to create regional-specific experiences for website and app users. This can be enhanced further with physical QR codes and proximity-based content — we’ll discuss this later when we cover augmented reality.
The idea is to elevate UX design in 2022 and to achieve genuine connections for users when they use a website or app or a dashboard design. Customers now expect this kind of personal treatment, and it is up to all businesses to deliver a more intelligent, more meaningful user experience. Consumers are 100% more impacted by a new UI/UX design trend when they feel it is built just for them. Imagine if every time you laid down to sleep your bed said “Seems like you had a lot of tossing and turning last night, how about I reduce the mattress stiffness and see if you sleep better tonight?” It’s coming, get ready.
2. Fostering Real Engagements With Data
Data may become a recurring theme as we run through UX best practices for 2022 and beyond. This is because data fuels both sides of the equation — it gives web developers and business owners the understanding that they need to craft meaningful experiences for users and gives these users the insights they crave. It is also driving most of the trends in UX design.
In terms of UX design, businesses need to get more creative with data. They need to present data to customers and users in the way they want it. If you are a Spotify user, you will already have encountered this in action. Each year, Spotify provides users with their Spotify Wrapped feature — a rundown of their favorite music and listening habits from the last 12 months.
Of course, Spotify Wrapped is just a series of numbers and data points — ‘number of listens,’ ‘duration of listens,’ for example. But the presentation of this data elevates it to another level. Users are presented with a visual representation of the tunes they’ve been engaging with throughout the year and are encouraged to share the results. This is just one example of data visualization, but it provides valuable inspiration for businesses considering how they can bring data to life for their users.
3. Democratizing Everything for the User
We’ve already touched on individualism above, but this is one of the most important user experience trends for 2022 and beyond. Basically, users want to have a choice — they want to be able to interact with websites and Internet platforms and services that provide meaningful results in return, allowing their UI/UX design services drive people to engage by selecting options or filters etc.
If users don’t like something, they need to be able to make that displeasure known — not by writing a lengthy complaint email and getting a response in a few days but by clicking a dislike button and voting this way. For example, the Quora platform uses the like and dislike button to train its algorithm, filling its user feeds with content it believes individual users will enjoy.
This latest UI/UX trend takes its cues from social media and the practice of ‘liking’ things on Facebook or Instagram. These likes also feed back into the website’s algorithm, altering the experience for the user. In this sense, the user has direct control over the content they see, and consequently creates modern UX design that perfectly illustrates one of the key drivers of the future of UX design.
4. Gamification is Still Prominent
Gamification is an interesting psychological tool that became a UX best practice long before 2022. The basis of gamification is that users are more likely to engage with something they feel represents a game or a challenge. If, on the other hand, the user is presented with a prosaic set of menu options and inputs, this is not going to excite and energize them on an emotional level. Selling online, especially app sales is one of the most prolific modern UX trends in 2022 and seems to be growing.
Businesses often use gamification to add urgency to the sign-up and subscription process. For example, users sign up for a subscription and then collect points for certain actions — these points can be redeemed for special offers and promotions.
An important 2022 UX trend relates to how businesses capture this sense of purpose within the website or app’s user experience. How users collect, manage, and spend points within the broader context of using the digital property is key to forming a positive user response.
5. Beyond Smartphone and Tablet Experiences
Modern users own a diverse range of devices and are using them to connect with your website and app. Smartphones of various different sizes, desktop computers, and laptops, tablet devices — all these pieces of technology are being used to connect with apps and websites on a daily basis. And then there are the devices of tomorrow — such as the talking bed mentioned earlier. When you think about it, robotization of redundant daily activities, such as getting a haircut or washing the car is like “real world” UI changes that have the potential of giving us more time to do things we actually enjoy.
UX must be responsive. It’s not enough simply to optimize a website for a desktop, a tablet, and a smartphone screen. The structure of the website needs to respond to whatever device is being used to access it so that the UI changes according to the needs of the specific device. Get this right, and the website is essentially future-proofed, maintaining the UX design impact even as users upgrade their hardware in the future.
6. Dynamic Error Messages
Error messages are a fact of life, unfortunately. No matter how much businesses try to avoid these error pages and redirects, they are going to pop up from time to time — when you need to do maintenance, for example, or when a user tries to access a page that does not contain somehow faulty code.
One of the latest UI/UX trends is to add some personalization to these messages. With animation and other images and media, business owners and graphic designers can create a more engaging experience for their users, even when the user’s desired action can’t be carried out. And possibly the most user interface design detail that needs to be included is some kind of option to help guide the user to relevant content based on the missing page. Providing easily reviewed and selected navigational options shows that your organization values your users time and that you understand modern UI design.
Latest UI Design Trends of 2022
A great user experience cannot exist without a similarly great user interface. Explore some of the latest UI best practices for 2022.
1. Advanced Interactions
Animated cursors have been around for decades — and have not always proved popular. Back in the early 2000s, users found these effects to be distracting and imprecise — two things that detracted from, rather than added to, the browsing experience. Twenty years later, these animated cursors made a comeback — and we have seen these animations appearing in 2021 design trends and those of 2022. However, lessons can be learned from their original iteration and not be lumped into the latest trends in user interface design that should be avoided category.
Designers can use animated cursors to highlight key points of the user interface, guiding the user as they explore the website or their web app design. These designers will still need to bear in mind the original purpose of the cursors, which is essential to serve as an extension of the user’s own hands during navigation. Adding subtle elements of animation to the cursor without sacrificing precision and usability will enrich the experience by creating an innovative UX, while still supporting accurate pointing and clicking.
2. Easing User Stress
Research into the harmful effects of screentime suggests that many of us are struggling with stress, disrupted sleep patterns, or other disorders caused by smartphones and other devices. In an effort to combat this, business owners now typically offer applications in “dark mode,” reducing the stress placed on users. Imagine working out on the tarmac at an airport using a digital tablet that doesn’t allow you to toggle between brightness or light and dark mode. We’ve all experienced the battle with glare and light quality, and almost all of the latest UI technologies have employed some kind of screen customization for this very issue.
With dark mode, users can still access all the features they need, but the UI’s color palette is toned down. With a calmer color scheme, businesses are building user interfaces that support the health and well-being of their customers, which is one of the user interface trends that benefits all of us!
3. Interfaces in Three Dimensions
Three-dimensional interfaces are a major graphic design trend for 2022 and beyond, as businesses seek to capture the attention and imagination of their users. Of course, 3D features have been a part of graphic design for quite some time already, but improved data connections and device capabilities are expanding their scope.
When users encounter a three-dimensional image or video, their senses are engaged on a more profound level than with traditional 2D graphics. Thanks to advances in technology, businesses can deploy these graphics more readily without worrying about slowing down the overall user experience, and in some cases, these kinds of graphics are adding several goals at once: gamification, engaging navigational elements, and extremely modern UI styles. This is surely only part of a much longer list.
4. Keeping It Clean but Engaging
The three-dimensional imagery discussed above works best within a simple interface — something that is going to excite users without overloading their senses. In fact, this is a common thread in current UX and UI design trends, and business owners need to strike a careful balance between neat efficiency and engaging imagery.
Neuromorphic design is a useful way to strike this balance, and this trend is becoming very popular among business owners and website operators. This form of the design represents subdued blocks of color in shapes that resemble fluid plastic, providing a crisp, trending UI design approach that remains engaging for the user, and is leading the way in terms of trending the future of UI design.
Read also our article on the transportation app design best practices.
5. AR and VR Interfaces
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are gathering pace as technology improves and more users gain access to VR and AR capabilities. This means UX/UI designers must consider ways to incorporate these concepts into their websites and apps.
The New York Times provided a good example of VR in action by building virtual reality imaging directly into their user interface. Users scroll around the three-dimensional graphic, selecting different elements the same way they would with a standard menu. This could open a whole new world of navigation possibilities for website designers and become one of the most significant web design trends for the next five years or more.
AR may be a little more difficult to implement, but certainly not impossible. Using Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices or geolocation technology, web and app designers can insert virtual elements into the user’s physical environment. While some users have access to AR goggles, this technology is not widespread enough to provide viable AR capabilities. However, smartphone cameras are far more widely used, and customers can utilize smartphone and tablet devices as they explore AR content generated in their own environments.
6. A Hands-Free Approach
Hands-free technology was thrust into the spotlight by the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 onwards, as businesses looked for ways to minimize human contact at the point of sale. However, even beyond the pandemic phase, the additional convenience and security offered by hands-free solutions mean we can expect them to remain popular for years to come. Most restaurants have a QR-Code menu and don’t see why they should invest in printing new ones, given the flexibility of digital menus and the proliferation of smartphones.
Creating new ways for organizations to make UI changes on the fly, and deploying these changes will still allow users a hands-free user experience that will prove crucial to UX/UI design for decades. Customers will soon be able to use biometrics to log into private areas of websites and apps, utilizing iris scans or facial recognition to support high levels of security and ease of use. Users will also be able to interact with websites and apps using voice recognition to log in, verify identity, and converse with the user interface. Machine learning and natural language processing technology will be key here, supporting more intuitive interactions and driving the continuous development of new and better UI design trends that have the ability to positively impact how we work and live.
Understanding the New UI/UX Trends
Customers want interfaces and experiences that leverage the power and capability of their devices, giving them more scope and potential as they browse. We can see this time and time again as we examine trends in UX and UI design. Increased personalization, more opportunities for gamification and engagement, and a more enriching and energizing set of graphics — all these things are supported by powerful smartphone and tablet devices.
As devices grow increasingly powerful, new UX and UI trends will emerge as businesses seek to get the very best out of these pieces of hardware. This will be the future of user interface design, as designers stay ahead of the game by offering UI changes that separate them from their competitors.