Top 6 User Experience (UX) Trends For 2021

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Article by Quinn Frankel

As we approach the halfway point of 2021 (can you believe that?), it is our pleasure to share with you some of the highlights we are seeing each week as we talk to customers, partners, and each other.

As UX professionals, we tend to focus on the visual appeal and usability of the experiences we create.  The design should make sense, the functionality should work with minimal instruction and users should feel comfortable and confident.  From an agency’s perspective, here are the top 6 UX trends we are seeing so far in 2021:

1.Micro Interactions

Take user-engagement to the next level!  Micro interactions are events that return audio or visual feedback to a user when they interact with a page or feature on your website or app.  Micro interactions tell your users “hey, you just did something, and it worked!”.  Common examples of micro interactions are button hover effects, menu drop-downs and slide-outs, as well as buttons enlarging after you click it and a modal disappearing after you have completed a form.

2. Voice UI/UX

Virtual assistants and voice interfaces have become a normal part of our everyday life.  Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri are just a few examples of virtual assistants that we’ve become accustomed to using.  Have you considered having this feature on your website or app?  Voice search and Voice UI eliminates the need to type, which gives a site or product more flexibility and value.  Some users find speaking easier and faster than typing, and convenience is a major factor in driving user engagement.

3. Accessibility

Accessibility meaning your digital offering is consumable and shareable by as many people as possible, including users with visual or hearing impairments.  This is in our top 3 because we have requests for compliant websites and apps every week.  Our customers are asking for experiences that are ADA, FedRAMP and NIST compliant.  By prioritizing accessibility, we can increase our reach and make certain that as many people as possible have access to view and share.

4. Cookie Preferences

A great way to build trust with new users is to create a fluid cookie consent experience.  Websites like www.adidas.com have found creative ways to engage users by having them consent by creating a cookie banner footer.  It’s not intrusive, yet remains visible at the bottom of the page, and gives users the ability to “set their cookie preferences”.

5. Streamlined Onboarding

Successful user onboarding is a key to engagement and conversion.  The onboarding process is the first opportunity to showcase your offerings and what is unique and valuable about your experience.  The more value your users get from the onboarding process, the more likely they are to stick around.  Good onboarding UX requires some level of instruction and engagement with the user.  One example of a great optimized onboarding experience is www.canva.com. Canva does a great job of educating the user on best practices, then serves up an easy to understand example so you can make your own design.

6. User Recognition and Personalization

Face ID and Touch ID are making passwords a thing of the past. User recognition improves usability and reduces onboarding friction by reducing any frustrations with passwords and speeding up interactions.  Outside of this, users now also want to use experiences that are tailored towards them.  Sites now need to create UIs in real-time based on user behavior so that users can easily access the content that they regularly view. 

In 2021, UX trends are a mix of immersive experiences, accessibility, and personalization.  To succeed in creating a unique and engaging experience, try and combine all of these elements together.

If you need help with your next UX project, contact KnockMedia today. 

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