The Headache of New Design Trends Names

When it comes to finding the next “big thing,” a lot of companies try to get others to adopt their trend name. This can be found in dieting, technology, and businesses as well. Web design was recently taken over by the Flat Design Trend, but now that is being chased out by the Long Shadow Design. These design trends are being implemented on applications and websites, but how is it possible to know when a certain feature in a design becomes a trend itself? Does having so many different trend names actually hurt the industry that is trying to make a change? Are trend names even necessary, or are they just there to confuse the users into getting something they don’t need or already have?

Trends are Necessary

Before we go too far into detail, it’s obvious that trends are here to stay. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that trends are necessary for a company or business to function. The main problem is that trends come and go, just like anything else. What’s popular now won’t be a few years down the road. However, having different trend names helps differentiate the various features that are showcased so that the wrong decision isn’t made. Some trends won’t be as popular as others, and that ultimately depends on the people that use it and how they feel about it.

When it comes to design trends, it’s hard to say what is effective and what isn’t. For example, some people see the Long Shadow design as being just an extension of Flat Design with some new tones. In that case, Long Shadow design isn’t something that people need to have, but it’s a good way to determine what will work and what won’t. This could even be labeled as a sub-category in order to avoid any confusion.

Confusing the Users

The biggest problem with having too many trends is the chance of confusing the users. When you’re audience feels lost or doesn’t understand what is going on, you might end up doing more harm than good. You need to make sure that your audience gets what the differences are and why the new trend is better than the current one. It’s a tough task, but there is a simple solution that can be implemented.

The Self-Tasking/Self-Service Trend

This is not a UX trend, but rather a business trend with deep implications on User Experience. Businesses want their customers to do their online tasks without requiring costly assistance  from the business/service provider. “Do It Your Self,” says the business to the customer, “and I will make it easy for you and more affordable.”

How do you provide User Experience that is optimized for self tasking? One of the ways to do it is to implement self-guidance technology that walks customers through any task that might be. This kind of technology like WalkMe provide users with text balloons that pop up and guide them through each step until they reach their destination. Buttons can light up and the instructions won’t move forward until the necessary steps are taken. That way, users are in control of their progress and learn while they come to a solution.

The reason why this kind of technology is so powerful is because it can be integrated with virtually any browser out there. This means that you can adopt a new design trend and not worry about losing your visitors due to lack of orientation. When you use guidance technology, you don’t have to worry about complicated names or trends that are happening; all you need to do is educate your visitors and get them from point A to point B. If you get your visitors and customers excited about what is happening, you don’t have to worry about any potential backlash.

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Keeping Up with Trends Through Tools

There’s no way that someone can stop trends from happening. The public loves new trends and they’ll keep moving onto the next big thing as soon as it pops up. What’s important from a design perspective is keeping up with trends and educating everyone on why they are becoming popular. People like trends, but they also don’t like change. It’s crucial to find the right balance between these two aspects to ensure that people don’t leave and try to adopt a whole new trend.

Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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