The Latest UX/UI Design Trends to Watch Out for

The high-paced digital environment of UX & UI design is ever-evolving and changing. In fact, change might be the only constant in the jungle of the design world. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. For designers, staying relevant and in the loop of the latest trends is essential for survival.

We’ve done the dirty work and browsed through hundreds of links, talked to AJ&Smart’s designers, read through allll the longread articles to pick up the hottest  UX and UI trends for 2019. Curious to find out what they are? Then read on…


Minimalistic UI will take over

Minimalism doesn’t have to be boring or primitive. In fact, minimalism is shaping up to become the next big UI trend. With overwhelm and anxiety levels climbing, minimalism brings a much-needed break from the stressors of modern life.

Rather than trying to engage the user as much as possible, getting them to spend the longest possible amount of time on your app, or pushing to increase their screen time, the minimalism trend is taking a conscious shift into the opposite direction.

Key points to watch out for:

  • Making sure to not overflood the user with unnecessary notifications and pop-ups
  • Implementing time-saving design features to provide maximum value and make the user-journey purposeful
  • Keeping common user navigation patterns and context-specific features in mind

Read more on minimalism UI trend here.


Voice commands will become (even more) widespread

The second trend that everybody is talking about is the steady growth of all-things Internet of Things, more specifically – voice.

There’s a huge rise in smart home devices, propelled by the widespread adoption of products like Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. Some sources go so far as to state that 50% of searches will be done without a screen or a keyboard by 2020?!?

So, how should you keep up with the voice trend?

  • Explore the ways your product or service can interact with voice assistants. Just one great example is Google Assistant’s integration with Uber, Lyft and other similar services
  • Look into combining voice technology and pre-set commands to make the integration even smoother
  • Build a brand! When voice takes over brand awareness will become more important than ever (i.e. “Hey Siri, call me an UBER”, “Alexa, order more SHARPIES”)

Interested in more? Keep on reading about the voice UX trend here.


Compelling storytelling will gain importance

Simply understanding the user and their customer journey doesn’t cut it in 2019. The trend of content-focused experiences is urging UX designers to roll up their sleeves and get involved with creating compelling stories around their product.

This is something we’ve been preaching at AJ&Smart as well: stellar UX and Product Designers should know more about the business and marketing sides of the products they are creating.

To stay on top of your game:

  • Focus on the value your product delivers and use that to create engaging content
  • Explore the opportunities that video content offers to tell your story.
  • Personalize! Whether it’s in the form of personalized emails, or tailored messages or reminders – tailored experiences turn satisfied users into raving fans

Read more on how to create compelling stories here.

Stellar UX and Product Designers should understand the business and marketing sides of the products they are creating.

Transparency and security will become an absolute MUST

European companies have been ‘forced’ into transparency with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect in May 2018. And while the rest of the world doesn’t have laws quite as strict or thorough as this one, the trend is catching on.

Fast development of Big Data technology, advancements in AI and some pretty heavy cases of Data misuse (ahem..not naming names here) have caused quite a stir in the public all around the world. Do not be the shady guy spying on your users and vow transparency into your product design.

These are some good points to keep in mind when designing your products:

  • Be transparent about ads and paid promotions which appear in your product. Period. Don’t try to make the ad tag as unnoticeable as possible, and don’t try to hide it.
  • This should be an obvious one, but with the amount of data scandals happening lately, we feel like we have to say this: don’t steal or sell your users data.


Seniority will be re-invented for UX/UI designers

If you’ve been in the design industry for a while you know that up until recently the trend has been to generously award UX designers with Senior and Lead titles. What that has caused is a top-heavy structure in the product design world, which is everything but sustainable.

The trend for 2019 is to reconsider seniority for UX/UI designers in terms of impact rather than title. Much simpler, and frankly – better for everyone!

How to implement it in your company? Create clear position guidelines, specifying the scope of work and responsibility of each employee, as well as progression plans detailing how each employee can expect to grow into the next level of seniority.

Read more on why not everyone should be a Design Lead here.


Material design will take over flat design (say what?!)

Tale as old as time: some designers are in love with the simplicity of the flat design, while others think it’s too sterile. It’s a heated debate even here at AJ&Smart! While some sources predict material design will take over in 2019, we are not jumping on that bandwagon right away.

If you’re feeling more adventurous on that one, we advise you to combine the best of both worlds at first: a bit of flat with a sprinkle of material 😉 …or maybe that’s a terrible idea?.

Curious to find out more? Read this article on flat vs material design.

A pinch of critical thinking will go a long way

To round off the parade of UX and UI design trends for 2019 we are sharing an oldie but a goldie: a piece by our own Tim Höfer, who is a Product Design Director at AJ&Smart.

Our main takeaway: take all trends with a pinch of salt and don’t rely on them too heavily. After all, all trends are based on the current knowledge of the market, not on the author’s ability to see the future. Give the article a read, and tell us what you think about the current trends in the comments below!