design

February 25, 2020   |   5min read

UX Design Trends in 2020—Our Take and Predictions

Intro

We are a good two months into 2020, and you’ve probably seen and read all of the articles regarding UX Design Trends. Some of them are boring, some of them are repetitive, and some of them are new and exciting.

So let me add another one to your list and sort things out. But this time, we will briefly talk about design trends from my subjective point of view—what caught my eye and what I think we should pursue in 2020 design-wise. We will talk about tools, design, objects, habits… A big mish-mash of design-related trends. Here are the 5 UX Design Trends worth looking into!

Start with a UX Audit

I feel like design awareness among business people is getting higher. You know that design is something to care about because it can, for example, impact your conversion rates. Simply put, it can help you earn more money. You might be aware of a problem, but you’re not sure what, why, and where. Or maybe you are sure what the problem AND the solution is, but you are not sure about the details?

My advice is—start small. When preparing an offer or talking to your potential client, do not forget to include an audit or initial research. All in all, UX audit can help you find the answers to the questions like:

  1. Why are the conversions so low?
  2. Why is the retention below average?
  3. Why do users not come back to your app?
  4. How to enhance your onboarding process?

It is a perfect way to pinpoint the areas of an already existing product that are not perfect and could use some improvements. This can also help you not only with preparing the timeline or roadmap for the project and identifying the problems, but also with prioritizing the tasks. More and more design agencies add UX audit as an additional service, and it will be more common in 2020. A good way to go!

Not following the cliché UX patterns

We spent so much time analyzing the specific, beaten paths that users follow that we rarely think outside the box. Of course, there are some useful and effective solutions. But is there anything exciting in repeating these all the time? Well, not really.

In 2020, let’s forget about the term “average user” and make designing for specific groups a Real Design Trend. I know that sometimes there is no time for in-depth testing (my heart hurts, but that is true), but there are many specific behaviors for different user groups, and analyzing and tracking them could definitely boost the performance of the product you are working on.

There are many analytics tools like HotJar, MixPanel, Amplitude, or even Google Analytics that can help you transform the average user experience of your product to almost-tailor-made experience. You can check how much time users spend on a given page, how they navigate through it, what information they look for, and many, many more. That way, you will be able to adjust the UX to your target group and make your users’ life easier so they will want to come back.

UX Designer, Product Owner, Creative Director talking

Human [UX] Writing

“Don’t worry about the copy, we will deliver it soon”— how many times have you heard that sentence and stopped yourself from writing the copy yourself?

The importance of the copy is often underestimated because we will have awesome colors, design, and illustrations… Right? Well, not exactly. The product can be beautiful, but without the right words, your user won’t understand it well or will take wrong actions.

That’s why we try to educate your clients about the importance of copy and wording from the very beginning. In Utilo, we put on the timeline when they should deliver to us specific chunks of the text not only to be able to create a perfect design, but also test it with the users.

During our research phase—UX Testing and then UI Testing—we ask our participants what they think about the language used, if they understand everything, and so on. Remember that sometimes when you will not match the language to your user and will choose the wrong phrases, your user may even get offended. That’s certainly not what we want to achieve.

Designing is a team sport

For most of my product-related career, I was a one-man band. UX? UI? Analytics? Taking care of implementation? You name it, I did it all. I guess that’s the beauty of working in startups. But there were many times that I would get stuck because I was looking at the design for too long and I didn’t have anyone to discuss it with. Ok, maybe I am too harsh as I had great support from the developers—they cared about the design and had awesome ideas, but it’s not the same.

I was really scared when I joined Utilo because I was so used to working on my own. But, surprise surprise, it turned out that having a design team that you can ask for opinion is, in fact, a blessing. At first, I was shy about it, even though they always offered their support (shout out to Marta—our awesome Senior UX Designer), but then it got better and better. Right now, we can have long, meaningful discussions at our office about design, which is really eye-opening.

Even if you prefer to work alone, I encourage you to come out of your cave for a little bit and, you know, talk to others. You don’t need a whole design team to hold meaningful conversations—sometimes even a talk with a friend who is a designer can help you clear your mind and get a new perspective on an issue you might have. I cannot say how many times I relied on my friend and her opinion even though she is not (and has never been) directly involved in my work. She is just an expert whose opinion I really value and appreciate. If you can create cool things just with your mind, imagine what two minds could do!

3D model of the design studio Utilo

Staying true to yourself/working on things that you feel comfortable with

This trend is the one I want to encourage you to pursue. It applies not only to UX Design but all of the other areas of life. Let me tell you a story. Some time ago, a request came to Utilo to estimate a brief that we received. Agnieszka, our Creative Director, shared it with me as she needed a second opinion, but she noted that she is not sure about it. I looked into it and, to be honest, I was a little bit concerned too. I felt like the project didn’t align with our values, goals, and simply—I wasn’t feeling it. We discussed the matter and shared our thoughts with Grzegorz, Polidea’s CEO, just to get another opinion. We finally came to the solution that satisfied all of the parties.

So, why am I telling you this? The point is, I feel like sometimes we choose to take up a certain project or job just because we feel like we have no other choice—a job is a job. But then you end up feeling miserable and not proud of what you’ve done. So in 2020, do not settle for less than you feel comfortable with. And I hope with all my heart that you will be getting better and better at it.

If you have any questions or a design project in mind, don’t hesitate to reach out, I will be happy to help!

Kasia Zając

Product Owner

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