With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, web trends, including UI/UX web design ones, have evolved as we adapt to a new norm, working from home and moving physical events online. Here are some of the trends we observed and our take on it.
1. 3D Graphics, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
As companies move their operations online, 3D graphics and heavy rendering are becoming more popular as they simulate physical experiences for consumers stuck at home. This is especially popular for e-Commerce stores specialising in luxury items such as jewellery, cars, or DIY stationery. This is because it allows shoppers to view the products in 3D, lessening the differences between online and physical shopping to just the element of touch.
A great example would be Apple's Airpods Pro page. As users scroll, the movement of the light reflecting off the AirPods simulates how it would look like in-store when held at different angles to the light source. The sleek transitions of the AirPods as it goes from close-ups to break down of the parts immerses the user and elevates the shopping experience.
Similarly, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are rising in popularity as well, with the efforts to simulate the physical experience online.
2. Shorter loading times
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, consumers are now spending more time at home, and naturally more time online. With increased restlessness and more distractions around, users now typically have a lower attention span and reduced patience. This means that users will be quicker to leave your site, spending less time to find what they want. Thus, the speed and performance of a website have become all the more important.
3. Increased desktop browsing
Increased Work From Home (WFH) culture saw an increment in desktop browsing and slowed the massive takeover of mobile viewership. This is further amplified by how desktop is a much better playground for 3D, Virtual Reality (VR) or Mixed Reality (MR) elements.
4. UI/UX web design trends
Due to the WFH culture, there are also various trends that are becoming apparent in the UI/UX web design field.
a) Animated Illustrations
The first UI/UX web design trend as a result of the WFH culture is animated illustrations. This includes motion graphics and effects. Animated illustrations can attract the attention of users and keep them interested in your content and what you have to offer. Paired with an engaging narrative, animated illustrations can be a really powerful tool you won’t want to miss out on.
The second emerging UI/UX web design trend is micro-interactions. According to UX Collective, micro-interactions are used to communicate meaningful feedback to users. This is because a user has to constantly know what happens when an action is performed. It’s a human tendency to expect something to happen when you click a button, scroll a page, add an item to the cart, left swipe a card. Examples of micro-interactions are buttons with little animated sparks, changing cursors or hover effects.
c) Context-based UX
Thirdly, we have context-based UX as a UI/UX web design trend. This is especially so with regards to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data. One such example can be seen in Google’s search engine. If you search something generic like "fish", the tabs are All-Images-Maps-Videos-Shopping. If you search something more related to media like "Michael Buble Christmas", the tabs are "All-Videos-Images-News-Shopping". If you search for something more location-related, the tabs are "All-Maps-Images-News-Videos". According to one’s search, Google reorders its tabs to try to deliver results that are closest to what the user is looking for.
d) Web 3.0 Designs
The last UI/UX web design trend as a result of WFH culture is Web 3.0 designs. Web 3.0 designs include asymmetry, split screens, blended compositions, typographic overlaps and non-grid designs. These have evolved from the traditional symmetrical grid designs, and are a fresh, out-of-the-norm take on UI/UX web design.
Keeping up with these trends
It’s clear that COVID-19 and the WFH culture have impacted web trends, even UI/UX web design ones. The only way to move forward is to acknowledge these trends and cater to the ever-changing needs of web users all around. There are various blogs and tutorials on the web where one can learn about these new web trends and how to implement them to their own website. Alternatively, here at Oangle, we are well-versed in all things web, such as UI/UX web design and interactive web development. If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can enhance your website to keep up with growing web trends, drop us a line and we’d be happy to chat!