Optimising customer experience in 2024
The various elements that make up your website create its user interface (UI), while the user experience (UX) is determined by how users interact with the UI and perceive these elements.
Creating an exceptional UX requires strategic planning, optimisation, and an understanding of the latest 2024 UI trends, consumer behaviours and preferences.
In this article, we’ll explore six UI and UX trends that we believe will take centre stage in 2024, offering essential tips for enhancing your website’s performance during the year ahead.
Wait… what are UI and UX?
If you’re not a web designer, software developer, or other techy type, the differences between user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) can be a little confusing to get your head around. So, before we throw ourselves in at the deep end and start discussing emerging UI trends, let’s regroup and differentiate between the terms. First off, the terms UI and UX can be applied to all sorts of technologies, but in this article, we’re primarily discussing UI and UX for websites.
User interface refers to the point of contact between humans and technology. This point of contact could be a screen, keyboard, control pad, application, or website. UI generally concerns how users interact with technology.
When looking at UI for websites, many different elements make up the UI. These include navigational elements, buttons, menus, forms, images, typography, colour schemes, icons, and much more.
User experience (UX), on the other hand, looks at the user’s overall experience when using the UI. When examining website UX, you would consider how the user feels when using the website and whether it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for or achieve their goal. A good UX relies heavily on effective UI design.
What emerging UI/UX trends are expected in 2024?
UI constantly evolves as new trends take centre stage, technology advances, and user habits and expectations change alongside these developments.
Websites that fail to keep up with evolving UI trends risk becoming outdated and losing their competitive edge, so staying ahead of the curve is important!
Some UI trends of previous years have become UI must-haves, including responsive design and fast-loading times. For this article, we’ve looked beyond the essentials to see which UI trends are gaining popularity and look set to change how we interact with and experience businesses online in 2024.
Let’s learn more about the top six emerging UI/UX trends for 2023.
AI is taking the world by storm and shaking up how digital marketers, designers, and developers work. If you’re a UI specialist, don’t worry – we’re not predicting that you’ll be out of a job in 2024! However, as AI-powered tools are becoming increasingly adept at analysing user data and behaviour and providing invaluable insight to help optimise UI design, we think this could be an exciting year for UI. By embracing AI and machine learning algorithms, UI specialists can gain the insight they need to build more powerful and personalised user experiences. AI tools will make hyper-personalisation a reality, enabling interfaces to adapt dynamically in real-time in response to user actions, preferences, and past interactions. Businesses achieving this level of personalisation will be able to develop deeper connections with their audience, boosting customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
We predict gradients will be back with a bang in 2024. In UI design, a gradient is where two or more colours are blended or transition from one colour to another. Gradients are a very versatile design element, as they can be as bold or subtle as needed. If you glance at the icons on your device, how many feature gradients in their design? Instagram and Facebook Messenger both jump out straight away. So why are gradients becoming such a popular UI design feature? The answer is simple – people love how they look! Gradients are eye-catching and can be used to highlight particular UI elements or simply make your design stand out and improve UX. Just make sure you select colours for your gradient carefully – choose similar shades and hues or complimentary colours that work together according to the colour theory. You should also consider colour psychology and the feelings or imagery your colour choice will evoke within your audience.
The bento grid is a modern and aesthetically pleasing way of arranging UI content within a responsive design. The Bento grid is named after the popular Japanese bento boxes, which are boxed meals featuring food arranged in multiple compartments of varying sizes. Similarly, in UI, the bento grid is a layout where various UI elements are organised within a dynamic grid system which seamlessly adapts to different devices and screen sizes.
Get set to delight users in 2024 by injecting the UI with microinteractions. If you’ve not heard of a microinteraction before, they are those little special touches that make users smile, and your website’s UX stand out. A microinteraction usually occurs when a user triggers an action by clicking or hovering over a UI element. They can be used to help guide users through interfaces, display statuses, increase user engagement, acknowledge an action, and more. Examples of microinteractions include:
- Buttons that change colour or jump up and down.
- Images that change when you hover over them.
- Menus that drop down when you hover over them.
- Animated loading screens.
- Animations triggered by hovering.
Microinteractions are designed to delight customers and improve user engagement to boost the overall user experience and help brands make a lasting impression on their audience.
Dark mode is a UI design trend that involves dark backgrounds and light foregrounds or text. Minimalist dark themes can look elegant or powerful but may not be suitable for all brands. Some people feel that dark UIs are easier on the eyes, helping reduce eye strain and relieving tired, screen-fatigued eyes. Whether there is any scientific evidence that backs this is unclear, but there’s no denying that turning down the brightness and contrast on your phone after a long day in front of a screen can feel like a relief. It is also thought that dark mode can help to conserve the battery life of the user’s device. When implementing a dark mode, you do not have to use a black background, but you do have to ensure that the contrast is still strong enough to make text easily legible. Offering users the option to toggle between dark and light modes allows users to personalise their UX and improves accessibility.
In 2024, enhancing website accessibility should be at the forefront of all UI design decisions. Making your website or other digital products accessible means prioritising UI/UX design for diverse users to ensure that people of varying abilities can easily access and interact with it. Prioritising website accessibility makes sense for many reasons. Not only is it ethically the right thing to do, but it also helps your website to reach a wider audience. Incorporating inclusive design strategies can help improve your website’s accessibility.
Simple tips for improving accessibility in UI/UX 2024 include:
- Provide text alternatives – Include audio recordings or make text available to be read on braille devices.
- Provide text captions and transcripts – Include alt text for images and transcriptions for audio recordings.
- Make text content easy to see – Use a large, clear font and comply with minimum colour contrast ratios.
- Offer keyboard accessibility – Make website functionality accessible using a keyboard.
- Offer adaptable content – Allow users to adapt website content to their needs, preferences, and abilities.
Implementing these UI design strategies will help businesses meet their legal accessibility requirements and create a more inclusive and welcoming user experience in 2024.
How will UX design evolve in 2024 with new technologies?
In 2024, UX design will have to evolve to integrate seamlessly with new and developing technologies. Many of these technologies have been making waves in UI design for several years already but will become more prevalent in 2024. These include:
- Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – Many brands will integrate AR and VR into their UX design to provide users with immersive, interactive, and engaging experiences.
- Voice user interfaces (VUIs) – As voice recognition technology becomes more sophisticated, VUIs will feature more heavily in UX design to help enhance accessibility.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning – AI and machine learning will enable brands to create more personalised user experiences. AI-driven user interfaces will learn from user interactions, predict user needs, and provide tailored content or suggestions.
- Internet of Things (IoT) – The expansion of the IoT means more interconnected devices and a greater need for UX designs that focus on improving mobile UI/UX and facilitating seamless interactions across different devices and platforms. UX design evolution 2024 means that UX designers will need to take a more holistic and multi-device approach during the year ahead.
Partner with Create8 to improve UI and UX in 2024
Need help staying updated with UI/UX trends? We can help you integrate any of the trends in this article to supercharge UX in 2024.
At Create8, our UX specialists can help you identify which UI features and UX trends align best with your business and target audience. Our team then uses wireframes to map out website structure and ensure the customer journey is optimised for UX.