UX (user experience) research studies users and how they interact with designs, specifically within computers or mobile phones. UX research can be done on a qualitative (i.e., in-depth customer interviews) or quantitative (i.e., surveys) basis to discover patterns within a large target group. Website and mobile app developers harness the power of UX to develop designs tailored to customer wants, needs, and preferences. 

UX research can help guide the navigation menu in a mobile app, the location of buttons on a landing page, or the font sizes on a website. For example, UX insights helped coffee giant Starbucks personalize its mobile app experience. With UX research tools, developers discovered that mobile customers often order the same thing at each visit, so they didn’t need to see the full menu each time they opened the app. The Starbucks app now shows users what they previously ordered for convenient re-ordering and a more personalized experience. 

UX can help more than just corporate behemoths; it can add realistic contexts and insights to design processes for businesses of all sizes. Keep reading to explore the current state and importance of UX and our top five UX trends for 2022. 

The Importance Of UX Research Tools In 2022

In today’s world, workers are more likely to work from their home office than a bustling downtown high-rise building. Shoppers are more likely to want their groceries delivered to their door to avoid crowds. Young children are more likely to be at home, attending classes online. 

These lifestyle changes equate to different wants, needs, and preferences while businesses simply try to catch their breath. With mounting demand and supply chain woes a-plenty, companies need business strategies that work. UX research is becoming increasingly important as many industries grapple with changing customer behaviors and expectations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementing successful UX strategies has proven to deliver ROI for businesses. 

As we begin a new year, full of uncertainties yet again, there are some big questions for UX researchers. How can designs be more inclusive? Will larger fonts take the cake? Will VR and AR take over? How can mobile experiences get easier? It’s plain to see that more and more of us are using digital services, but how are we using them, and what will we be using in the new year? Here are the top five trends we think will shape 2022. 

5 UX Trends To Pay Attention To In 2022

#1 Bigger Will Be Better 

Although the need for responsive designs has been around for years, they will grow in complexity this year. In 2022, UX designers will need to design and optimize for even more screen sizes, and pixels as VR and AR gain popularity. 

According to Wix’s in-house UX designer Avital Santo, “We’ve been living with responsive design for a while, but more and more we understand that it needs to improve…In the past, we would think about the areas that need to be designated with the best version of our designs, but today that needs to be everywhere.”

It’s not just screen sizes getting bigger, however, fonts are growing too. Oversized typography will be a hot trend in 2022 as it brings some flair to design while retaining readability. 

#2 Growing Demand For Inclusivity 

Inclusive design acknowledges that people are diverse and incorporates those differences into the design process. For example, a set of emojis that show a wide range of skin colors would be more inclusive than just one or two tones. Inclusivity goes beyond skin color, though, it includes varying physical abilities, different age groups, intellectual levels, and much more. Incorporating inclusive designs isn’t just marketing fluff either, it’s a necessity for growing businesses. The global market of people with disabilities is over 1 billion people with a spending power of more than $6 trillion. In 2022, designs should pay special attention to the human aspect of design.

#3 Fonts That Tell A Story

In 2022 typefaces that are clean, approachable, and encapsulate a brand’s story will reign supreme. Just take a peek at Facebook’s Meta site; the font is clean, friendly, and most of all, easy to read for most users. This fresh and modern look is approachable and universal, ideally in line with Facebook’s mission of building a “metaverse.” 

#4 New Ways Of Working

The COVID-19  pandemic has forced businesses to adopt remote working practices, many of which didn’t exist pre-pandemic. Smart technologies like VR and AR were used in place of events like employee training typically held in person, a trend that will only continue this year. Facebook, an early supporter and developer of remote work technology, introduced its Metaverse in late 2021. The Metaverse is a virtual “world” where workers can enter virtual offices and hold meetings through VR headsets. Although some designers brush off VR/AR as old news, we predict it’s just ramping up. 

#5 Clean & Intuitive Interfaces 

Given the importance of the digital journey in 2020 and 2021, many mobile app developers added too many options and features to their apps, overwhelming and turning off customers. UX insights tell us that in 2022, designers should minimize the complexity of their apps, striking the ideal balance between more offerings and services and a clean and intuitive app interface.

Looking Ahead at UX Insights & Design 

Even with the uncertainties of the pandemic, it’s an exciting time for UX design. There is still much to learn about users with UX research tools; however, what we know via UX insights tells us a lot about what 2022 will look like. Customers crave simplicity this year in the form of apps and websites that are clean and intuitive to use. 

Users want bold fonts that catch their attention yet maintain readability. VR and AR are intriguing concepts for a remote working world and a trend that shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. And finally, inclusivity is a rule, not an exception. Businesses must embrace and use it as a compass for all design efforts. 

We encourage UX researchers to adopt various methods to uncover problems and design opportunities that ultimately give users the best solutions in the new year. As new trends continually emerge and grow, UX professionals should stay updated on current trends and leverage them.
Take a look back at the trends that dominated market research in 2021 here.