10 major UX trends that will make 2022

Zoom on the UX priorities for 2022. Between buzz words, utopias and real needs, Anais Digital reveals the results of its survey, conducted with digital experts specialized in User Experience.

Improving the user experience, making it more fluid and positive: this is the constant challenge of every UX Designer and UX Researcher. While Covid-19 has changed the way we work – hello, daily video conferencing – the post-pandemic climate aspires, on the contrary, to more human contact. A state of mind that inevitably influences the UX trends on the 2022 agenda.

To give you a list of current User Experience priorities, we asked our community of experts what UX trends and issues are on the agenda for them. We have to admit that there is often a big gap between buzz words, which are regularly mentioned on the Internet, and the beautiful theoretical intentions and the business reality, which is much more pragmatic. Here is the state of play.

01. Personalization of the User Experience

We have all experienced it before: discovering a selection of articles on a webshop based on our last purchases. The concept can be applied in many ways. A bank could very well offer you a particular type of insurance, linked to your lifestyle and your last expenses.

The objective of the UX designer is to bridge the gap between what the user expects or wants, and what they experience. The suggested content is then adapted, according to his profile. A strong lever to create or reinforce a link between a brand and its customers.

This personalization of the User Experience is one of the trends regularly cited in the results of our survey. If the experts interviewed confirm that they use users’ history and data (in compliance with the RGPD of course), they concede that they do not yet use Artificial Intelligence to improve the UX of their products and services.

02. Accessibility

Accessibility? Definitely an important axis of 2022. The most important one, in fact, if the results of our survey are to be believed. The shadow of a possible fine has taken effect in 2021. The legal requirements for e-accessibility have now become part of the habits of digital experts. This year, developers and designers will have a key role to play, to continue creating a better web for all. 

New technologies will be accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities: physical and sensory (motor, hearing, visual), mental (intellectual, psychic, cognitive) or even the elderly.

The next step will be to think of the most inclusive designs possible. Designs that take into account other human factors, such as race, gender, age, language and any other discriminating factor. But one thing at a time…

03. Ethical design

Given the repeated scandals in Silicon Valley, ethical design is more than ever in the air. It will still be talked about in 2022, with this question: how to develop a performing UX without losing ethics?

In 2022, the mission of digital experts is to design products and services, finding the right balance between business interests and users’ well-being. Building solutions that do not lead to addiction or mental health problems. All this, while using privacy data in a regulated way.

If our survey is to be believed, this ethical approach to design is championed by UX Researchers, designers and developers. But in reality, it gets little support and a lot of misunderstanding from top management. The year 2022 will tell us if this is a soft utopia or a long-term evangelization work.

04. Searching for real contacts

We have been living behind our screens for almost 2 years now, with virtual meetings and an absence of social contacts due to quarantine. A particular daily life that inevitably influences our digital practices.

For digital experts, the challenge is to reinvent each remote process, to make them as user-friendly and human as possible. By enabling remote collaboration. By leaving the classic linearity of a meeting, to create collaborative (virtual) creation spaces. “Doing” together remotely, and not just “saying”.

A challenge as much for the UX experts as for the users of the products and services created. Not sure, however, that anonymous chatbots, robotic and with irrelevant answers, are considered a priority in this year 2022, contrary to what some people say.

05. Eco-design

At a time of climate change and ecological transition, the issue of sustainability is also on the digital agenda: reducing carbon emissions from digital activities and finding the right balance between optimizing natural resources, the User Experience and, finally, the constraints related to projects and business.

Dark mode has been a trend since 2020 and is one of the illustrations. In 2022, more and more websites (mobile and desktop versions) will offer alternative display options: users will be able to choose the interface color that suits them best.

The dark theme has several advantages:

  • It saves the load of the mobile device. It allows to consume up to 6 times less energy, choosing this mode.
  • It is synonymous with an elegant aesthetic.
  • It brings out every detail better.
  • It is more comfortable to read.

The only reality is that while this trend is of great interest to the respondents of our survey, in practice, this element of sustainability is not a priority in the roadmaps. And the UX experts admit they have no leverage to date to change attitudes…

Want to develop the User Experience of your website, service or product? You are at the right place!

Contact us to discuss your project together.

06. Simplified identification

It’s everyone’s dream: to do away with forgotten passwords once and for all. Thanks to digital and facial recognition, all you have to do is show your face (without a mask) to connect to your banking application and make a transfer, among other things.

Be careful though, this simplified identification must be totally secure and compliant with the RGPD.

07. Virtual reality

It’s a trend that comes back year after year. And the release of Meta (ex-Facebook) on the metaverse puts it more than ever in the stakes of 2022. Focus on augmented reality and virtual reality. Providing a computer-generated 3D environment. Or projecting computer-generated objects in a real environment.

These techniques are used by furniture, cosmetics or fashion accessory brands, to find the remote store experience. Advantageous.

As for Mark Zuckerberg’s idea to initiate virtual contacts in a parallel world, it obviously raises questions. Especially when it comes to creating from scratch a need that does not exist at the moment.

08. Voice interface

It is estimated that there are 3 billion voice assistants in the world, all media included. This market is growing rapidly, as the Roland Berger consultancy is projecting a figure of 8 billion for 2023. The use of voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri saves time and avoids typing.

This is obviously not a new UX trend. But creating great user experiences through voice control currently faces two major challenges:

  • Lack of transparency
    Artificial intelligence leverages data collected through user requests to continuously improve the quality of service. But can we always guarantee privacy and security of information?
  • Voice visualization
    Originally, the UX design of voice interfaces was focused on the screen. But now it’s time to forget the “screen first” approach and focus as much as possible on the “voice first” approach. The goal? Create a seamless experience between the user and the voice application or software. Quite a challenge.

09. Value of a product

What is the value of the products or services you create? What is the value of a successful User Experience? The challenge of 2022 will be to be able to evaluate and develop the value of one’s product or service, according to different points of view: the revenue generated, customer satisfaction, sustainability… Essential, if one wants to measure the impact of a company from a business, societal and environmental point of view.

10. Need for UX profiles

Finding qualified UX experts (researchers, designers, writers, front-end…) is the last challenge for 2022. Because as one of our respondents said so well: UXR experts are rare…. It is a perpetual quest!

At Anais Digital, we obviously share this point of view. That’s why we have co-launched an inter-university Certificate in User Experience Design and Research (UX), in collaboration with the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Université de Namur.

Don’t hesitate to discover in detail the training program, if you wish to specialize in this much sought-after expertise that is User Experience. Who knows, in a few years, you might be the one who will participate in the UX trends of the coming year…

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