2022 was a big year for UX/UI design. We saw the rise of new trends, and the continued growth of existing ones. We saw some challenging headlines about the economy and layoffs from big name companies, as well as more exciting possibilities opened up with the launch of AI chat software like ChatGPT.
In this blog post, we’re taking a look at a few of the UX/UI design trends that will shape the field of UX/UI design in 2023, based on industry movements, current user behaviors, and predictions from experts in the field.
1. Increased Use of AI Throughout the Design Process
ChatGPT was launched in November 2022…and instantly made waves in the world of product design with its “clever” combination of AI with a chatbot.
The ensuing headlines have given rise to conversations, questions, and concerns regarding the use of AI and how it might impact the world of design. Once a mere novelty, AI is now on the verge of becoming a mainstream tool for improving efficiency and process.
Ruben Alegre Dias, Designlab mentor shares:
“I believe we will start seeing much more AI being used not just to create art but also to aid in the design process. We have been seeing glances of it throughout these last years, mostly being used for demonstration purposes than seriously being regarded as a potential tool. I think designers and creatives will have to learn how to live with this tool, use it in their process and fully harness its power, and not to be against it. Doing so may prove fatal for the profession.”
2. The Impact of AI On The Design Process
AI isn’t new to the design process, and many tools powered by artificial intelligence have long since become mainstream (take the humble color palette generator, for example).
However, as experience designers start incorporating AI into different areas of the design process, we’ll also expect to see some shifts in the conversations taking place about the purpose and value of niche roles.
For example, incorporating a copy tool like copy.ai might be a move to increase efficiency in the field of content design … but it might also serve as a springboard for some deeper, more visible conversations about what content design is and what value or insights a good content design delivers to the UX process as a whole.
3. More Personalized Experiences
Good design has become a mainstream expectation, and companies are now searching for ways to make their digital products stand out from the competition. Predictably, this means creating a more targeted, personalized experience for each user to make them feel as if the entire experience is tailored to their individual needs.
Consequently, the “choose your own path” approach will be a commonplace problem for UX designers to solve, whether you’re working on websites, apps, or anything in between.
4. Widening Gap: Standardization versus Exploration
Take a look at some of your favorite apps and websites, and you might notice that the visual and UI elements look … similar. For example, mobile apps generally utilize icon-and-text menus at the top and bottom of the screen. The hamburger menu exists … everywhere.
At the most fundamental level, this standardization makes sense: as UX and UI design have matured, designers have ready access to data that informs decisions behind “what works.” Most robust design decisions are shared and utilized (picking the obvious choice to meet your product's needs
“I’m concerned about how this (standardization) impacts exploration. I find that designers worry about "making the wrong decision" and are less interested in exploring issues. So I'd advocate that Designers lean into the ambiguity, utilize A/B testing, and not immediately jump into an extensive design library (for example material design).” - Christian Eckels, Senior Product Designer & Designlab mentor
5. Increased Interest in “All in One” UX Designers
The economic uncertainty—with many economists predicting a continued increase in inflation, while others assert that better days are just around the corner—continues to impact the job market. As the economy continues to shift, we’ve already noted downtrends in some industries like tech and funded startups, many of which are scaling back to a “new normal” after over-hiring due to rapid growth during the pandemic. (UX jobs in other sectors, like healthcare, continue to experience stable growth.)
Because of the overall uncertainty, we’re seeing more conservative hiring practices, with companies looking for more experienced “proven” designers, or hiring UX designers who code for an all in one “design and implement” role.
Leveraging your expertise outside of UX design (whether that’s coding, research, or something else entirely) will help you stand out from the crowd while interviewing for jobs.
But don’t stop with the hard skills: the soft skills that you’ve gained or exemplified in past roles can also impact your hireability, as you can see in almost all of the UX Academy success stories.
Success in the field of UX/UI design begins with a strong foundation. Start with UX Academy Foundations for an intensive introduction to the design process. All UX Academy Foundations graduates receive a $500 discount towards their UX Academy tuition.
6. New Demand for Niche Product Design Roles
Despite the fact that we are seeing trends for UX/UI designers with additional skills, the reality is this: despite some economic setbacks and instability within some sectors, the field of UX design continues to grow and mature in its own right.
Part of this growth includes an emergence of more niche roles within UX design. UX Researchers, UX Writers, and Content Designers are three of the job titles that we’ll expect to see more of over the next few years.
7. Remote Work Opportunities
Remote job positions (or a hybrid) are the new normal. We can expect to see some more focus on work life balance and the benefits that companies offer to incentivize remote workers to stay, as a result.
These incentives will likely come as an increase in benefits that we already expect to see offered to full-time employees, such as:
- Increased number of vacation days (averages differ according to company)
- Healthcare stipends (for United States specifically, but global perks as well)
- Remote setup budgets
- All-expenses-paid travel opportunities
- Retention perks, such as anniversary bonuses
It isn’t easy to find the “new normal” of post-pandemic life, and there are sure to be some unexpected fluctuations in store for us in 2023.
However, the collective movement towards online experiences continues to grow at a rapid pace, as businesses begin to embrace the idea that we might always trend towards more remote, online work or business experiences, and perhaps savor the in-person moments in a different way.
The world of product design continues to be front-and-center in this shift, and it’s up to experience designers to lead the way towards a human-centric future.
If you’re looking for a way to establish yourself in the field and stand out from the competition, join UX Academy, where you’ll receive a personalized 1:1 mentorship experience and emerge with a unique, robust portfolio and career support to help you land your first job.