As we draw closer to the end of another year, designers like to look at what trends will continue and what new trends will be emerging in the next year. It’s interesting to see what user experience trends have been left behind with those old, practically unusable, sites that we all know and love to hate. But hey, that’s what keeps us on our toes in trying to come up with better experiences for our customers and users on our sites. You have to go through the bad to get to the good, right? So, finally, lets go over some UX trends that will lead us in 2017.
Let’s start off with the video header backgrounds. Some designers may find these annoying and unnecessary, but a user can really get a sense of your business right when they land on your site. If nicely done, sites have the ability to hook a user and interest them into browsing around the rest of your site because that video excites or agrees with them in some way.
Here are some examples of sites that are using this video background feature:
Every once in a while you’ll visit a site and be greeted with a unique page load animation. Sometimes these animations are related to the site’s brand and other times it’s just a random shape. Mighty Advertising does a great job of it, having their little mighty man, who is all around their site, flexing in different positions and colors as it loads. This takes the boring wait time (literally all of 5 seconds – but we’re impatient) and turns it into something fun that catches our attention. We forget we’re even waiting for the site to load.
The Hamburger Menu
Another trend that has surfaced and will most likely continue into the next year is hamburger menus on desktop sites instead of a normal, listed navigation menu. Now, while I’m sure that younger users who interact with mobile sites on a daily basis are more than comfortable with seeing these on a desktop site, I would be interested to know how older users, who may be more unfamiliar with this icon, interact with it. Anyway, I do think as years go on, we will be finding the desktop hamburger menu on more sites than not.
Here’s another list of examples of websites currently doing this (including our own):
Ultra High-Quality Images
When designing a site we know it’s important to have high-quality images to display products. That’s probably a no-brainer to everyone reading this. However, we also know that sometimes with a small budget, or other various reasons, it’s hard to get those beautifully detailed photos. While looking for examples to show, two really stuck out to me. This Herman Miller redesign, and this Myst website both show their products in such detailed, high-res, photos. Not only does this add quality to the design, but also the customer can really get a sense of the product without being physically in front of it. It will continue to be a battle of load times vs quality images but with time – and with always improving internet speed – quality will eventually be assumed.
Monochromatic Logo Galleries
You’ll see that some sites are using a logo gallery, usually found near the bottom of the homepage. These usually showcase brands that use your products, clients of yours, publications that your products have been in, etc. You might also notice that all of the logos are in one color so nothing clashes with each other or the site colors. Here are some sites that are doing this:
Lastly, I’ve noticed some really great websites that use storytelling to help the user interact with their brand in a fun way. It could be about how they make their product, history about the company, or testimonials from real users to engage the visitor. These two sites do a great job with this feature, so be sure to check them out!
As we all know, UX design features are important to integrate into every website. This post has only a few of the many features that are used throughout websites that could make an appearance in 2017. Having features like these make the experience more meaningful to users, and could generate longer browsing times and multiple purchases from your site. Let’s continue to make websites beautiful and I look forward to what UX features we will come up with in 2017!