Four UX trends for 2015

Predicting new wrinkles on the face of technology

Crystal ball-gazing is a tricky business, particularly in the fast-changing world of technology. However, I foresee UX trends in 2015 extending some familiar patterns.

It’s not surprising: UX is primarily about humans, not technology, and they’ve hardly changed for millennia.

Standard response. In 2010, Ethan Marcotte coined the phrase "responsive web design." As screen sizes proliferate, RWD becomes increasingly commonplace. Heck, even B&Q has a responsive site these days. (Check it out; it’s really rather nice.) This year, expect responsive design to replace separate solutions for desktop and mobile and sound the death knell for mobile-specific sites.

Attention deficit. Contrary to popular wisdom, fewer clicks does not always mean a better experience. Say what? It’s all true, kids – research has shown that progressive disclosure makes complex information far easier to understand than delivering everything upfront. Focusing on one step at a time, utilizing the entire screen and removing any unnecessary distractions also mean the task is more pleasurable and quicker to complete.

So, look out for the term "progressive disclosure," and see it in action at the new Virgin America site. A lot has been written about this site already (see Wired and Fast Company) – it’s a great example of a complex process made simple.

The devil’s in the details. Micro-interactions are contained interactions focused on a single task. (One of the better-known examples is the pull-to-refresh feature on Twitter.) They might be subtle, but they’re influential and ubiquitous in products and devices.

Micro-interactions are among the little things that elevate one product over another. As we gain the tools to perfect micro-interactions, expect an unprecedented level of attention to detail.

Wearable? Technically. One of the great barriers to wearable tech: disparate application. This will be a year of experimentation, stimulating new approaches and activity. I think we’ll see big steps in making wearable tech more accessible, which will put it much higher up the UX agenda.

Sam Chatwin is creative director of Clock.

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