This article is part of a series of articles from our UX Design Trends series.
As we continue to learn about user interface design and increasingly focus our efforts on the UX of user interface design, new UX design trends surface daily. Some trends are established, such as wireframes or screen layouts, while others have yet to become as mainstream and accepted as wireframes. Although they are not as widely used yet, UX design trends are emerging that could eventually become highly successful in the realm of user experience design, such as UI design trends like prototyping apps like Sketch or progressive web apps.
What Is UI Design?
I expect to continue to see new UI design trends emerge and disappear over time, and as long as there are new platforms for developing software, there will be new UI design trends to look out for. However, I do think the topic of UI design has been incredibly neglected by UX professionals, and that’s a shame. Like UX, UI is a user interface design topic, but since UI design trends are more about aesthetics, UI design trends will follow user interface design trends.
Throughout the software development lifecycle, UI design is arguably the most important topic. It includes every area of the UI of a software application. For this reason, it is important for UX designers to keep up with the latest UI design trends. UI design trends are ideas and concepts that are valuable for designers and developers, and they can help us predict which design approaches will become more popular over time.
For UI design trends, it is highly useful to keep an eye on these 3 areas:
Software UIs are inherently based on wireframes and wireframing apps. Wireframes are extremely useful tools for getting a preview of what a user interface will look like after the application has been built.
Wireframing apps are available to both UX designers and software developers, but many tools allow users to create wireframes and UX designers to develop wireframes through mobile and web apps. For software developers, wireframing apps are a good way to keep up with the latest design trends without relying on wireframes. In other words, wireframing apps can enable software developers to be more prepared for the next design project they work on.
It’s important for software developers to understand how to use wireframes and other UX design tools, because users depend on wireframes as part of the process of developing software. Thus, software developers who know how to use UX design tools are better positioned to compete against other software developers and improve their offerings.
Although wireframing apps and wireframing apps can come in handy in the development process, wireframing apps do not solve all UI design problems. UX design trends are about the overall design of user interfaces and should be considered as a holistic approach, not a component of the overall design of user interfaces.
Instead of looking at wireframes, software developers should develop user interface designs. This might sound vague, but it’s not, and I think this is the best way for software developers to start to address UX design trends. Since software design trends are about the overall design of user interfaces, we can focus on the fundamentals.
In the context of software development, the first step is to develop the best overall user experience design, such as UI design trends like responsive design or new functionalities that have been developed by software developers. Once the UI design has been created, software developers need to develop applications that can compete in the market, based on the competition they are facing and their understanding of what makes user interfaces successful. This will lead to the development of better applications that are better than existing applications.
In order to identify the latest UI design trends, it’s essential for software developers to understand how to test a product by prototyping it. Software developers can also learn how to test their apps by building prototypes that simulate real users.
Prototyping tools allow users to build their app. Software developers can build prototypes to test their apps, and that will help them understand what users like and don’t like. As a result, they will be able to develop better applications. Prototyping tools can be used to test app interfaces in real user environments, such as mobile apps, apps on virtual computers and more.
We could use prototyping tools on a small scale. By prototyping apps on a desktop computer, developers can show their potential clients how the application works before they actually use it. If the prototype works well, we can start to focus on mobile apps. For software developers who prefer to develop apps on a large scale, prototyping apps is a good way to learn how to develop apps.
You can choose different prototyping tools depending on how you want to test your apps. For instance, mobile apps should be tested with mobile app prototyping tools. A web app should be tested with an online UI prototyping tool.
Although web and mobile apps are already popular software applications, software developers can compete against other software developers by developing better apps. While many software developers focus on the latest technologies and new developments, it’s also important to develop applications that can be competitive in the market.
If you are a software developer who is interested in developing software applications, you could choose to develop mobile apps and web applications that are a good match for your business model and your customers. Developing wireframes and UX design tools can also help software developers to be better prepared to compete with other software developers and improve their offerings.