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What will be the big web and app design trends of 2017? Six UI, UX and interface experts reveal their predictions for the coming 12 months

The end of 2016 is coming up fast, and in the world of design, prototyping and UX that can mean only one thing… 2017 prediction posts! 2016 was full of web and app design trends, from material design and card layouts to illustration and more, some of which we spoke about in Justinmind’s first guestpost for Creative Bloq. Of course, the digital design landscape is hard to predict, so we decided to ask 5 web and app industry experts to give us their top 3 predictions for 2017’s web and app UX design trends.

UX design trends for 2017 – according to the experts

Adham Dannaway, UX/UI Designer & Front-end Developer

  • I predict less focus on aesthetics and more focus on usability. UI pattern libraries and style guides will become the norm, making user experiences more consistent, practical and usable. With more businesses realising the importance of design thinking and UX research, designers will become more involved in strategy rather than visuals. While I’m a big UX advocate, I fear that some digital products could lose their character and polish in this process.
  • Also, a strong focus on prototyping and interaction design. I think there were over 30 different prototyping tools launched in the last few years which clearly shows that there’s a strong demand for prototyping and interaction design tools. Interaction designers are looking to create more natural interfaces and concentrating on how it ‘feels’ to the user. Conversational interactions (chat bots) are one quickly evolving example of this trend towards removing the UI from our interactions and making them more personable.
  • The dawn of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is here. While we’re still in the early stages of exploring these technologies, it looks like 2017 will be the year that they’re brought to the attention of the masses. This will create an exciting new field of opportunities for UI and product designers looking to add a third dimension to their designs.

Adham is half UX/UI Designer, half Front-end Developer, 100% interface jedi. His work has been featured on Smashing Magazine, Web Designer Magazine and Awwwards

Nir Eyal, Author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Nir is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, angel investor (think the likes of Eventbrite and ProductHunt) and expert in habit-forming products

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Adi Mazor Kario, UX Architect and Founder of Wizard UI Consulting

  • In 2017 we will see many more Natural User Interfaces and Bot Interfaces.
  • I think we will see more social collaboration & shared economy applications. Users trust strangers more and this will lead to new services and applications (mainly mobile apps that could add location-based options)
  • I believe that the trend for web interfaces with more mobile features, and look-n-feel, will grow. We started seeing mobile UI elements in web applications in the last few years and we will see more of that in 2017.

Adi Mazor Kario is a UI/UX Architect with a boutique UX agency based out of Tel Aviv. She also moonlights as a Google UX Mentor. Read our in-depth interview with Adi here.

James Archer, VP of Sales & Marketing at Crowd Favorite & UX Expert

  • Death of the hamburger menu! By now it’s been pretty well established that the hamburger menu doesn’t work, but we’re still waiting for app and responsive web designs to catch up. As the year goes on, we’ll start to see the hamburgers being methodically replaced with tab bars, Priority+ menus, and other alternative forms of navigation.
  • Device-appropriate design: Designers seem to keep getting mobile-first wrong by leaving desktop experiences feeling weak and incomplete, and users are feeling the pain. Next year will see a renewed interest in designing not primarily for mobile at the expense of desktop, but rather in creating experiences appropriate to whatever device they’re used on.
  • Tighter design/developer relationships: As interface technology continues to advance, the static mockups of yesteryear become increasingly obsolete, requiring a renewed focus on tight collaboration between designers and developers. Neither one can get very far without the other, but together they can change the world.

James is an expert and design, content and marketing in the digital space, frequent conference speaker and part-time fiction writer

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Joanna Ngai, UX Designer at Microsoft

  • Continual growth of the mobile first/mobile only markets
  • Consumers turning to mobile as a tool before and during transaction
  • Integration between mobile, social and commerce

Joanna released her first book, ‘UX for Beginners: A practical handbook on the space of user experience design and strategy‘, on Kindle this year

Adrian Zumbrunnen, UX/UI Designer

  • There will be fewer apps, less fragmentation and a movement towards a more centralized web.
  • Messaging will keep growing. More and more businesses will offer their services within the messaging space
  • Websites and unique design will become less important. Content and immediate value will be at the core of everything we do

Adrian has worked with the likes of Google, Red Bull and The Guardian to create innovative user experiences. He’s a big fan of bots. 

Cassandra is Marketing Lead at Justinmind


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