User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are two essential components of web development. As time goes on, the expectations of users shift to match the trends of the time, making an ongoing awareness of UX trends key for freelance web developers. Into 2021, UX and UI are more important than ever, as these features can maximize the success of a web platform for the modern, highly virtual age.
From e-commerce to subscription services, a good UI can make or break your platform. These are some of the important trends in user experience that any freelance developer should know in 2021 and beyond.
Built for Virtual Connections
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re more conscious than ever of the ways we interact with people and systems. Modern UX has to be honed to provide more accessible and safer virtual connections. This includes touchless and even air gesture control of UI within a platform.
AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) gives web developers the tools to structure voice-activated assistants. These assistants can offer a lot in terms of accessibility and ease of use, and in the work-from-home era, the ability to effortlessly run a task through voice can be a great selling point for users.
Additionally, air gestures and haptic feedback are changing the way we interact with interfaces. French car manufacturer DS Automobiles, for example, is integrating air gesture controls into their vehicle interfaces with the claim that these systems enhance safety and overall UX. Integrating touchless connectivity components like these can help freelance web developers wow modern audiences.
Personalization in the UI
Personalization will be another key component of UX throughout and beyond 2021. In the applications we tend to interact with most—like Amazon or Netflix—personalized ads and product recommendations make up a large portion of what we see. This personalization is enabled by data science, an offshoot of business analytics that allows for the mining of customer data towards actionable insights.
Building these data-driven insights into your UI can lead to exceptional revenue opportunities. Over one trillion dollars of market opportunity is available from creating a seamless online shopping experience that consistently caters to individual users.
Data is a great way to support your conversion metrics and user loyalty, with personalization leading to greater engagement. Added personalization is a growing trend of our increasingly digital lives and one savvy web developer will integrate.
Flexibility and Customization
But using customer data to offer personalization isn’t the only way to build customer loyalty through UX. In fact, you can build a loyal customer base by offering accessibility and usability standards from your landing page. Here are some UX items to integrate for broader customer flexibility and customization:
- Captions and transcripts for image and video content
- Simple, easy-to-understand navigation compatible with a screen reader
- Chatbot and virtual assistant integration
- Dark and light modes for user preference
Building user flexibility and customization into your web design is a great way to ensure broader accessibility. Getting there, however, requires innovation of your development strategies. Think outside the box. Web platforms customized from the ground up can help you meet your client’s needs.
Image Source: WIRED
Another trend of the modern UX era is immersion. People long for an engaging experience to take them out of their work-from-home bubbles and monotonous daily chores. Fortunately, developers are better able to provide this immersion through new tools like augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR).
Tech startup Spatial is revolutionizing UX to include virtual meeting opportunities through VR. This level of immersion gives a physical feeling to online engagement, one that all kinds of web development projects should consider. By offering immersion in engaging with UI and other users through AR and VR, your project can truly stand out in a socially distanced world.
Building these immersive experiences takes significant technical effort, however. While building these skills, make use of excellent web design tools to increase the visual and navigational flow of your design.
Image Source: Hello Monday
Finally, one of the most important trends of modern web design is simplicity. Users want a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for all their online needs. From single-step checkouts to one-button registration, UX is trending towards simplicity and flow. Web developers increasingly understand the need for simplicity with online shopping becoming a necessity for older demographics. Single-step processes in which users can visualize the flow of the process help to provide this simplicity.
Simplicity is one of the essential features your web design needs to improve engagement. As beautiful as some of the more artistic landing pages and web flows can be, these can sometimes be difficult for users to navigate, leading to higher bounce rates. Instead, focus on ways to clarify and simplify all elements of your UX.
Winning Freelance Web Development
Understanding and integrating these trends will help you achieve a high-performing web design that can win 2021. Start by enhancing virtual connectivity and check for simplicity at every stage of the process. Modern users require personalization, customization, and ease of use as they navigate their digital lives in conjunction with their working and personal lives. By following these trends, you can boost your client’s success and freelance development opportunities.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. Her areas of expertise and topics she typically covers revolve around web design, UX/UI, and business productivity. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter: @HamiltonJori