Four Easy Ways to Stay Ahead of UX & Graphic Design Trends
In today’s day and age, creating a visual impression and wowing customers during every part of the experience is imperative. This visual greatness is what UX is all about. User Experience is just like a marketing strategy in itself because it deals with every step from the moment people find out about your business to when they complete an order.
But to make matters complicated, the Internet does not remain stagnant! It is changing along with how emerging technology changes online business – it happens all of the time. If you do not follow this example and transform yourself with it, you risk lagging behind industry leaders.
Since UX is detrimental to how customers approach new and present businesses, you need an effective method to define and master such graphic design trends.
This guide will reveal four effective and easy approaches to staying ahead with the latest UX and graphic design trends.
What is UX design?
Before we delve deeper into how you can keep up with all of the latest UX trends, it is vital to establish this.
User experience (UX) is the relationship between a product, a website, and the individual using it. UX design concentrates on creating products that someone can use with ease and enjoy doing so.
How can you stay ahead of UX and graphic design trends?
The Internet moves at a crazy pace. What was popular three years ago is no longer trendy today. With such a short turnover, you need to constantly stand on your toes, ready to snatch opportunities or avert a disaster. During all this, you also need to stay on top of competitors.
This requirement is straightforward, and like many like it, it can be easier said than done. How can you ensure that you are the first to learn about what is happening on the web?
Well, there are four approaches we highly recommend. Let’s take a look at them in further detail:
#1: Follow great design blogs and industry professionals
There’s only one beacon of helpful information when it comes to staying ahead of the UX and graphic design curve: following industry professionals and what they have to say. You can follow their social media outlets or bookmark a reputable design blog.
For example, Alberto Cairo predicted the future of infographics back in 2014 perfectly. A well-respected professor at the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Cairo, who teaches infographics and visualization, stated the following:
“Infographics will have a bright future if the people who design them embrace accuracy, clarity, depth, and service to the public, rather than mere promotion. Infographics are not just a means to make information ‘sexier,’ or to ‘get more eyeballs,’ or to help your message ‘go viral’ (I’m using marketing and PR jargon here). Infographics are tools for understanding. They need to be functional, beautiful, and insightful, they must help audiences discover deep and useful truths that lie hidden behind the world’s complexity.”
We are sure that many people reading this have jumped on the infographics trend, and for a good reason: they are incredibly effective. They enable people to digest complex information visually and easily. They are also highly effective when it comes to delivering impactful statistics that stop and make people think. Like professor Cairo preached, use them to convey a clear message, rather than an accessory to promotion.
You can easily use an infographic maker to create your own, and I highly recommend doing so. Without the input of professionals like Cairo, this trend could have never surfaced when it did. This example gets to show just how much it matters to have trusted experts in the industry express their opinions. By reading their blogs and advice, you can convert their prediction into profit.
Of course, there are so many design blogs and social media accounts to follow so that it can be a little bit overwhelming, and you may feel like you do not know where to begin.
Some of the best and latest graphic design blogs include Women of Graphic Design, Inspiration Gold, Site Point, Creative Bloq, High on Design, AIGA Eye on Design, Canva Design School, and Adobe Creative Magazine.
In terms of UX blogs, some of the most respected out there today include Speckboy, Inside Design, Design Shack, Evanto Tuts+, GoodUI, UX Matters, UX Planet, and Nielsen Norman Group.
We all have our own personal preferences for information format, tone of voice, and so on. So, it makes sense to begin by checking out the sources mentioned above and seeing where it takes you. If you have never developed in the world of experienced designers before, our pick is a great start. For everyone else – they are an excellent addition to their other sources, and some of you might already be familiar with them. Whatever the case, these blogs have pieces of valuable data for any level of UX explorer.
Aside from industry-recognized sources for UX tips, it would be best if you also spend some time on social media looking for UX and graphic design posts that resonate with you. You can try using popular hashtags like #UXDesign and #GraphicDesign. Instagram and Twitter both heavily rely on tags to bring relevant content to users.
Once you have bookmarked some accounts that pique your interest, you will find that relevant information will quickly find your way through recommendations and suggestions within the network. In time, you will naturally build a great set of valuable information available daily.
LinkedIn is another good platform for professionals, and it is easy to find and connect with those in your industry, so this is another medium we recommend checking out.
#2: Continually question interactions to discover how you can do better
User experience is not something you can address once and then forget about it. You need to continually work on this area of your business to get sought-out results.
We recommend that you continue to re-examine all of your interactions and ask yourself how you can improve them. It may sound fundamental, but you would be surprised by just how much of a difference it can make. Even experienced professionals sometimes overlook “standard” elements of a website. They don’t give them a second thought after they complete particular action related to them.
For example, when it comes to website forms, a select element makes sense if you demand users select specific options. Without too much consideration, the developer may conclude that all interaction possibilities are determined and move on to other areas of the application design.
Nevertheless, it would help if you thought about instances whereby a second look could benefit the interaction. If users need to select from a wide range of elements, then offering an input that comes with autocomplete can make life a lot easier for them and the vendor.
Selecting a state in an address form is an excellent example of significant simplification when choices are overwhelming. There is nothing more infuriating than having to scroll down 50 states to find yours. Typing the abbreviation or the state name is much easier, just like most travel websites enable us to do. They learned what’s most convenient for their visitors and turned it into a standard.
To further expand this example, it is worth considering that we can populate the state and city field from the zipcode field alone, which means that the user can fill in one text field rather than three. In a nutshell – you just made the process three times shorter by carefully analyzing the requirements for the input and optimizing it.
Such examples show why it is critical to re-think your decisions all of the time and always consider them from a user’s point of view too. You need to save time for your customers and how customers’ input gets handled on your end.
Trends are changing all of the time, so something that may have not even been possible one year ago may be an option now. However, if you do not re-address your product’s design, it is unlikely that you will consider implementing the fresh new trend. You don’t need to adopt every available strategy or technology, but keeping an open mind will bring more options when choices are inevitable.
Yes, it means that you will need dedicated time to review your website and other products, be it an app or software. However, the more you do it, the easier it will be and the less time it takes to manage it properly. After all, if you don’t review your website for too long, the task of optimizing will have grown exponentially larger. Better get own to it on time and regularly.
#3: Ask your users for their honest opinion
Any remark coming directly from your users/clients is precious. It is one of the best pieces of business advice you can get without having to pay for it dearly. Industry leaders advise that if there’s something wrong with your business, ask the most unhappy customers, and they will tell you all about it. We strongly recommend turning to your users and seeking their opinions. After all, they are the ones who use your platform – if anyone knows how well it works, it’s them.
Sometimes honest feedback does not come automatically. You can’t expect all your problems to go through the form of complaints. It is like having a ship captain who drives recklessly into an iceberg field, trusting the vigilance of the passengers and expecting them to alert him if any danger arises. It can be challenging to get people to give you their time to assess your website and give their feedback. After all, we all lead busy lives, and so when most people see an email that requests them to take part in a survey actively, they typically decline.
We must come up with different ways to entice people to provide feedback. You need their opinions but what you do not need is to spoil their shopping experience in the process. Special deals, discounts, and free items are good options for noninvasive feedback extraction. After all, with the possibility of getting something for free, many people are willing to spare a few precious minutes of their time.
One thing that a lot of businesses do is set up a raffle for all participants. Everyone who takes part in the survey will get entered into the raffle, with a chance to win a grand prize. It is a nice way for you to entice people to take the time and make an effort to answer your survey.
Aside from this, it would help if you made sure that the survey was well-designed and easy to use. If your survey is difficult to navigate or structured in an unattractive manner, people may get frustrated and move on.
For those afraid they cannot build a nice survey on their own devices, the good news is that there are free online survey makers. With tools like Survey Nuts, you can put together an attractive survey without any cost or skill requirements.
#4: Take regular online courses to enhance your knowledge
Last but not least, another option that we recommend to help you stay ahead of the latest graphic design and UX trends is to take regular online courses. You need to create a stunning brand logo? Seek the advice of proven professionals in the field.
Nowadays, it is easier than it ever has been to expand your knowledge due to the many available courses. Many of these courses are fully remote, and they make the most of training videos, interactive modules, and other learning elements to make your experience as fun and effective as possible.
In the design world, new courses are cropping up all of the time to educate people on the industry’s latest trends, and so this is undoubtedly a good way for you to discover what works at the moment and what trends are starting to fade.
Please spend some time searching online and reading up on the different UX courses, as there are many to choose from, and designers prime each of them for various levels of experiences and objectives. So, you will want to make sure that your UX plan aligns with your immediate business goals.
UX courses enable you to discover more about the trends that are going on in the industry at the moment. You will also enhance your career prospects and learn about design trends that are likely to have the most considerable profit potential.
Plus, your customers will be more likely to trust you once they recognize you are on a patch to UX excellence. UX-related efforts never remain unnoticed by your online customers, especially since they are catered to enhance their personal experience.
Many people make the mistake of simply getting a degree and then never making an effort to learn something new again. However, the world changes rapidly, and committing yourself to practice constant re-education can set you apart from generic vendors and grow in the eye of the beholder – your trusted customer.
Of course, taking an online course is not the only way to expand your knowledge. You can read books and listen to podcasts to learn more about graphic and UX design. If you specialize in a particular area of design, you will be able to delve into more profound levels of explanation and training. Alternatively, once you have deeper knowledge and can use it to better place your future decisions, you may decide to expand your learning elsewhere. The choice is yours.
Most would agree that the moment you stop learning is the moment you start to regress. As fast as the design industry changes, it is in your best interest to make sure you continually seek to develop an arsenal of skills without sacrificing your current abilities but instead by complimenting them.
Consumers prefer to digest their news feed online. Therefore the paper-based version of newspapers that used to rule the morning world is in a severe decline. Data exchange today happens mostly under the protective hood of cloud solutions.
Amidst this digitalization craze, some businesses have not yet realized that ones and zeroes are taking over data management and scrambling to leave their own mark online. At the same time, the more innovative companies have already conquered strong positions in online business and continue to build client base. This reality highlights the importance of continuous learning. With fresh market knowledge, you won’t be caught off guard by new tendencies or strange predicaments. Get ready to face every circumstance coming your way.
Aside from reading books and taking courses, there are a lot of great YouTube videos out there covering UX techniques and proven practices. As is the case with anything online today, though, choose your videos with care. Anyone can upload a video, but not everyone has the capacity to educate! Therefore, you need to make sure you take your advice and information from someone who is genuinely knowledgeable and has the right experience.
Final words on staying ahead of the latest UX and graphic design trends
So there you have it: everything that you need to know about staying ahead of the latest graphic design and UX trends.
We hope that this article boosted your grasp of professional design. We have a blog section dedicated to UX and UI design tips and tricks. Please revisit us often to catch up with intricate new developments in the world of UX.