Welcome to our new monthly blog series: Spotlight on Experience. Here at EchoUser, we think a lot about the intersection of experience and design. Each month, Spotlight on Experience will shine a light on the articles about experience, design and creativity that get our juices flowing.
2013 was a whirlwind for design, and many are predicting 2014 will be even greater. For our first Spotlight, we’ve rounded up several trend articles speculating about the coming year in design and UX. Happy reading!
Web Design Trends to Watch in 2014 by Jill Krasny, Inc. – One thing you can count on continuing in 2014 is responsive design, as long as it’s simple and puts the customer first. Flat design has taken the main stage thanks to the clean, colorful, and bare aesthetics of iOS7 and iPhone 5. This article posits that the next iteration will be about differentiating your website without veering too much from what people have grown accustomed to.
14 Design Trends for 2014 by Gannon Burgett, Gizmodo – This article dives into a lot of what we feel the future of interactive design will look like. We agree that again, thanks to iOS7, we’ll see many more layers and depth within apps as well as a focus on details. The little things make a huge difference between an OK design and a great one, and we’re excited that other designers are prioritizing this.
The Top UX Predictions for 2014 byUX Magazine— This article proves that collectively, we’re starting to realize that experiences to be designed are all around us. We couldn’t agree more with Wayne Greenwood’s prediction that more designers will begin evolving into a designer/product manager hybrid: “a Pegasus” to influence product strategy early and often.
15 Tech Trends That Will Define 2014, by Frog, Fast Company Co. Design — As tech design becomes more ingrained in our everyday lives, the portion we won’t remember will be the most important. Invisible design, already a big trend in 2013, may be 2014′s biggest. We’re excited to be a part of that evolution and see things like automatic quiet zones from digital devices, as suggested here by Timothy Morey, come to life.
18 Pivotal Web Design Trends for 2014 by Chris Lake, eConsultancy – Like many others, Chris Lake sees cleanliness, simplicity, and a focus on smaller screens coming this year. But his list stood out to us because of what he hopes doesn’t keep trending: design for design’s sake. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should! Lake calls for everyone to avoid “Flash-era showiness” that detracts from the user experience. If something looks good but performs horribly, what’s the point? We couldn’t agree more.
What have you been reading, watching, or monitoring so far in 2014? Hit us in the comments section, or @EchoUser on Twitter, to keep the discussion going!
I’m not sure if this was rolled out a while ago, or just recently, but Google’s search toolbar on the top changes depending on what you search for (or I’ve never run into this problem before). I noticed this two Fridays ago when I was attempting to find UX examples in Google Images. For some reason, I kept on ending up on Google Shopping instead (which I’ve never touched before). I thought it was just because I didn’t have enough sleep the evening before, but then I realized — Google had changed something in their system.
Based on whatever your search string is, the links move around, displaying what Google thinks would be the most useful for you. It’s seemingly intelligent, but it’s annoying me like hell considering the fact that my muscle memory hits the second link all the time for Google Images. Note above that the Google Images links are in different locations in the header. I can see why they’re attempting to do this: they’re making the second link the most “useful” or “relevant” – but it seems like their algorithm is off too. With the search string of “reddit” – the most “useful link” is Google Shopping. There’s something definitely off here.
Isn’t one of Nielsen’s heuristics “Consistency and Standards?” Why do the locations of the elements in this header change so often? It’s great to see Google experimenting; however, it’s definitely introducing unpredictability and having a huge negative impact on the website’s usability.