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The Most Popular Experience Design Trends for 2022

DSRUPTR - Joe Smiley

Hello 2022!

This year we’ll see cutting edge design across devices becoming the norm, as well as trends towards dark palettes and rich and interactive experiences with the rise in virtual and augmented reality experiences, air gestures, and much more.

We continue to see the bar move higher as we seek more inclusive brands and experiences, as well as exciting ways to tell our brand stories.

Let’s dive into all the glorious trends 2022!

Or go back in time and revisit trends of the past: 2021, 2020, 2019

01. Scrollytelling

Storytelling has evolved into the richer and interactive format of scrollytelling.

It’s a form of narrative that can be presented both on a page and in an app. Design a website where with each scroll illustration, fonts, snippets of text and other elements begin to come to life. Of course, you’ll want to see the end of this story. The story that, like a video game, takes you through a maze of symbols. You can’t influence its course, but you feel like a participant in the events on screen.

apple scrollytelling example

Apple has perfected scrollytelling for most major product launches, and it will appear on many of the popular websites in 2022 to better connect you to the products and services for the brands you love.

02. Animated Logos

You’ll see animated logos gaining steam in 2022 as companies look for new and meaningful ways to connect with their customers. This is a simple and effective way to make a brand personality feel more fun and tangible.

03. Supersized Typography

The big typography trend from past years is just getting bolder and sizes are going up! Stylish hero sections with big bold typography and little to no imagery will be everything in the following year.

Designers and customers alike have become increasingly accustomed to big typography standing loud and proud, front and center on their landing pages. Be it large and grotesque sans serifs or contemporary and lux serifs — the bigger the better is what this trend is all about. With a careful selection of fonts, websites are making bolder statements than ever, to catch their audience’s attention and to communicate their messages effectively.

04. Inclusivity

More than just a trend, inclusivity is a mode of operation; an undeniable and vital aspect of human existence and coexistence. In an increasingly globalized but complicated world, we are constantly made aware of the spectrum of differences between ourselves and other individuals, as well as between our and other communities. 

It is our duty to navigate these differences with empathy and to strive for meaningful inclusion of all cultures, genders, sexualities, races, abilities and disabilities into proper global society.

05. Augmented and Virtual Reality

The revolutionary shift toward Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is a phenomenon that intensified with Covid quarantines and the timely establishment of Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse. Ultimately, this will play out in 2022 UX design trends with the creation of more immersive, customized and unique alternative playgrounds.

One of the best examples of Augmented Reality (AR) is the Home Depot mobile app, that allows customers to visualize Home Depot products – and even paint colors – in their homes by utilizing high-definition, true-to-life 3D models that overlay on top of live video and/or photos.

AR and VR will have a massive impact on the way we’ll design in the future, and we’re already redefining the ways in which users can interact with products. AR and VR oriented designs will aim to respond more directly to customers’ needs and environment in real-time, taking engagement to a whole new level. Because of this, we’ll see the emergence of a whole new set of UX design rules across all industries as we move away from screen-centered interfaces.

06. Dark Mode 

Dark mode refers to user interfaces with a predominantly dark color palette, where these experiences leverage black and other dim hues for the background and light colors for text and secondary details. This is not necessarily a new trend, where it’s been used for years in digital experiences from Spotify, Apple, YouTube, and Google—but it’s becoming more of a default in UX since users and designers alike seem to prefer it.

Users appreciate the new, fresh appearance of dark mode. And let’s be honest, anything that sits on black looks more sexy and elegant, so more designers are leaning into this as a default design palette. While I don’t personally recommend utilizing it as a default setting, it can definitely help to de-stress your customers, especially for applications that have lots of data that people need to look at for a long time, making it more legible and easier to read.

As it becomes more standard in 2022, we’ll see more apps, websites and products using dark mode, and more design programs enabling us to do so.

07. Gaming Experiences

The gaming industry is one of the biggest competitors with Hollywood, so it’s no surprise that gaming behavior is something that’s being seen in UX design across all sorts of industries. In 2022, brands will fill their websites, products, and marketing campaigns with micro interactions and playful content that mimic the playful interactions of video games and make users feel part of the action.

google pacman

This trend will have a subtle but fun impact on the way users interact with brands, and vice versa. Whether the gaming trend is implemented aesthetically on a website with an icon or image, or integrated full-blown into a brand’s marketing funnel, it is sure to grab attention and bring a playful vibe to some unexpected new places.

08. Air Gesture Control 

This new design trend involves gesturing in front of your phone, tv, or other smart device to initiate a response, e.g. displaying your palm in front of your phone to take a selfie in front of your phone. This new UX trend make smartphone technology even more powerful and easier to use for a range of functions.

Wow! Mind blown.

This is another giant leap forward in computers and devices learning how to better conform to us humans, not us learning how to conform more to computers. Without using touchscreens, you can initiative interactions with your phone by waving your hand or pinching your fingers.

09. Device Synchronization

Multi-platform UX design is necessary, as most people have multiple devices that they are expecting to utilize with the products from all tech companies.

responsive design graphic

The device list has grown considerably in the last 5 years, expanding from desktops, tablets, and mobile phones to smart TV’s to smart watches and other wearables.

10. Glassmorphism

The first hints of glassmorphism started with neomorphism in late 2020 and early 2021 and evolved into the more complete glass effect that’s popular now.

Glassmorphism is just what you might think: Design elements that have a look that’s reminiscent of glass. There may be elements of transparency, frostiness, or glossiness.

Designers have been playing with this style in a major way on Dirbbble and its finding a way into a larger number of published website designs.

What’s Next!

What are the next big trends in UX/UI design? Leave a comment below and share your visions with the rest of us. Do it!

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