The UI creates a virtual bridge between the user and the software. A well-designed user interface should allow intuitive interaction and provide ease of access to the application’s complete functionality.
UI Development Throughout The Years
In the past few decades, the graphical user interface has changed tremendously. It started out as a simplified bitmapped screen and further evolved into a multi-panel system. When the cursor-driven GUI first appeared on the NLS in 1960, the development of the digital interaction system started the worldwide commercialisation of computers.
Early Stages of Development
This is when the user interface truly stepped into the forefront. The need for a simplified method for using complex software led to the creation of various graphic user interfaces. Inspired by the hand-eye coordination system used by children in their early development, the user interface began to develop as an intuitive system. The implementation of a cursor-based system allowed users to experience the virtual reality through a point-and-click technique rather than the use of command languages.
With the development of smartphones and tablets, graphic user interfaces followed an inevitable change . Contemporary UI gives users the opportunity to browse through multi-panel screens and use multi-touch to control their devices while visualising page and menu transitions with sleek animation.
This article will focus on some of the hottest trends in user experience development and UI animation. Let’s see what 2016 has in store for us!
The Hamburger Menu
A menu that resembles a hamburger? No wonder this menu type has taken over the Web so quickly.
Its sleek appearance and intuitive look actually aim to resemble a minimalist page icon, yet, the name it acquired did most a lot of the work for making this UI element so famous among users and web developers. The main purpose of this menu is to fit all screen resolutions that come with the constant development of mobile phones and tablets that use various resolution types.
Side-Scrolling Web Design
MySpace didn’t really hit the jackpot with this one and we get that it may seem like a ridiculous idea, but this web design technique is the natural step forward for web development.
Mobile devices focus on the implementation of portrait-oriented screens as a leading screen type. Yet, some people forget that they can actually hold their phone or tablet horizontally as well as vertically. The horizontal scroll presents an intriguing method for web browsing and while users still don’t seem to get it, it will inevitably become a popular web design method in the upcoming years.
Mobile screens provide less and less space for UI, resulting in the creation of smartly developed expandable buttons and menus.
Adding a social button such as the example above provides a clean, minimalist web design without making compromises on the user experience. At first, it may appear too simplified, but with the click of a mouse, it expands to reveal a whole new set of sharing options to choose from. This button type will become part of most of 2016’s web design projects for presenting a great look and a clever solution for usability.
UI Flip Animation
What a better way can there be to display multi-panel applications than using flip card animation?
While we’ve seen this one many times before, it will certainly become a popular choice for the mobile user interface. Believe it or not, endless scrolling is becoming outdated and while it is still widely used in apps and websites all around the Web, it’s rather clumsy and is thought to reduce the quality of user experience. Flip UI animation, on the other hand, provides a great alternative for handling multiple windows by virtually expanding the app in depth rather than creating a flat 2D experience for users.
UI Gestures Animation
Microsoft’s Kinect did a pretty good job implementing gestures in both browsing and gaming, and many other developers are following their example.
Now, more than anything, the use of gestures has taken over the user interface sector. The need of a proper multi-touch handling and a way of transferring the hand gesture experience into the 3D world has created many devices such as Wii and Kinect, that recognize shapes and identify movements. Even though gestures are not the first thing when it comes to our mind when we think of UI animation, it will inevitably become part of users’ everyday web browsing experience.