UX/UI Best Practices for 2023
Brent PetersonDecember 15, 2022
With the new year coming up, it’s time to update your website! Digital trends change with the times, and this year, we’re expecting to see a lot of newer concepts introduced in late 2022 fully fleshed-out for 2023. Here are some UX/UI best practices and things we’re looking forward to in 2023:
2022 was a big year for accessibility in the digital space. For 2023, we’re hoping to see a lot more of it– whether it’s colorblind options, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and in-site screen readers, accessibility for your website matters. In 2022, we saw some of these things start to take off, and we’re hoping 2023 will be the year online accessibility reaches its full potential.
“Dark Mode” Viewing
The ability to view a website in “dark mode” may not seem like an accessibility option, but the high contrast and darker backgrounds are a lot easier on the eyes than you think–while there isn’t much conclusive evidence towards the dark mode trend, it’s still a good sign. People with colorblindness or require high-contrast environments to read things will have an easier time navigating a website with contrasting buttons and text that they can easily see.
This past year, we saw a massive increase in sites diving into building a mobile platform. Designing a smartphone-friendly website will help the constantly growing mobile-user population navigate your site without using a desktop. Unlike desktop sites, a mobile site relies on scrolling through the page to see your information. It also gives site developers less space for text and a need for larger buttons or menu options. Mobile sites don’t always look great on desktops, either, so finding the perfect balance is key.
While it’s possible to redesign your site to work well on desktop and mobile platforms, you don’t have to–you can always develop a mobile version that retains what you love about the original without sacrificing legibility.
Speech-to-text is incredibly useful when searching online, but the technology hasn’t always been great. However, with the implementation of AI to determine accents and approximate sounds, voice search is getting closer than ever! We’d especially like to see this AI fully develop and go public in 2023. The development of voice recognition AI comes with another accessibility breakthrough: subtitles. Captioning videos takes lots of time, and professional transcribers can be expensive– but it’s still better than auto-generated subtitles, right?
Hopefully, we’ll see some major improvements in how our videos generate subtitles, so everyone can enjoy whatever content they wish.
Consistent, Minimal Design
Visually, 2023 is going to be all about balance when it comes to UX/UI best practices. Simplicity versus intricacy. Light tones versus dark colors. Sharp versus soft. Expect to see a lot of contrasts this year!
Simple Graphic Elements
When we say “graphic elements,” we’re talking about all your website’s buttons, banners, and icons. In addition to adding more contrast to your graphic elements, the use of bigger, easy-to-find buttons on your site will help with navigation. Recently, there’s been a push to use pure black as an outline or drop shadow for pop-ups and menu bars; maybe we’ll see more of this style in 2023 as well.
Custom Designs and Illustrations
Tons of people feel like the “corporate chic” art style is overused, and we’re starting to see many newer sites using photographs and illustrations in their site layouts. While these designs aren’t necessarily intricate, moving away from the “block people” art style might help refresh your site. Simple illustrations that rely on line weight and movement are great for spicing up an area needing some artwork, and photographs (whether stock photos or otherwise) are a great way to add a more personal touch to your copy.
If a simple website looks a bit boring, there are plenty of ways to spice it up, and font is just one of them! Mixing fonts of different sizes are standard for web development these days, but messing with the type of font used for each section of your site is still new. The most common way we’ve seen font mixing in action is with headers: a website will have a header that stands out in a bold, sans serif font that catches the reader’s eye, while the rest of the text is in a less attention-grabbing, easier-on-the-eyes style. If there’s a quote in the blog, it’s usually in a different style font. Mixing fonts between menus and submenus is another excellent way to keep your stuff organized without making it dull.
3D Images and Animations
As three-dimensional imaging software becomes considerably less bulky, we’re seeing online stores add it to their toolkits to help enhance the shopping experience. With a 3D model of a product, site users can look at every detail, move it around, and in some cases, see it in their homes! For example, Amazon’s augmented reality software works alongside 3D images of furniture products, so users can view an item in their home to make sure it fits.
Asymmetrical Site Layouts
To help guide the user’s eye, web designers are starting to use new techniques. Previously, grid-based web design was the standard: this design style relied on an invisible grid that graphic designers would use as a reference point for placing objects. Today, we’re starting to see websites that break these boundaries and create a new visual hierarchy that relies on color, font, and aesthetics instead of placing elements on a graph. For example, sites that feature lots of scrolling may split the screen into two contrasting colors and have it weave behind the text to direct our eyes downward. A photography site may have recent pieces appear as larger images on a “gallery wall” or in a slideshow on one side of the screen.
Why UX/UI Best Practices Matter
Remember, your website is how the world gets to see your business; it needs just as much attention as any other aspect of your storefront, so making sure visitors can navigate your digital space with ease is essential. If you need some help adhering to UX/UI best practices, check out our other blogs or contact us for more information!
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