I often use prototyping software in my work as a UX designer, but just using prototyping software does not ensure that you will be creating software that keeps up with the latest design trends. There are five key trends this year that I always try to incorporate into my prototypes if possible.
Mobile First – This isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a way of designing and should always fit into your work flow. Especially when I work on prototypes, I always design for smartphones, move onto tablets and then focus on a desktop app. I find this is the best way for me to give the user the simplest and most intuitive user experience.
Gamification – LinkedIn are masters at this trend, but also tutorial websites have brought this method in successfully. Rewarding your user for engagement, either with a discount for a product or with special recognition is often a great way to get users addicted to your application.
Lean UX – It took the startup world by storm and now lean methodologies are also fitting into UX communities. When you use your prototyping software, remember to get as much feedback as possible early on. This will help you adapt and iterate based on user feedback.
Omni channel UX – Being consistent over many different channels is a difficult task for a UX designer, but it is also important for a great user experience. I use prototyping software that allows me to upload images and create custom templates.
Google Glass – I truly believe Google Glass is a sign of where UX is headed. What could be more complex than designing for a product that won’t be controlled by a user’s hands? This goes against everything we have learnt so far in human computer interaction. Nonetheless, you can still use your prototyping software to upload images of locations and overlay these with text and boxes, so that you can already get into the mindset of Google Glass users.