As time goes by, designers keep on improving interfaces for better user-experience. In this article, we try to single out some interface design trends going on in 2009.
The rise of the iPhone made the multi-touch technology very popular. Now many devices are using it: MP3 players, GPS devices, laptops,… This brings much more intuitive interfaces, making it so easy that even one year old children can use it. In 2009 we will for sure see new multi-touch devices appear.
Web applications get out of the browser
Mac OS X or Yahoo Widgets have already gotten the internet out of the browser for quite a while, but the trend is getting bigger. Think of Twitter and Twhirl, and you’ll get a good example of how a website’s usability can be improved by taking it to an independent interface. Many external apps now support web services like Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed or Seesmic, will we see smaller websites getting out of the browser in 2009?
New controllers for improved usability
The Wiimote and the Logitech MX Air mouse are good examples of the way our interaction with interfaces will be changed through new intuitive navigational controllers. Removing the wires to the mouse was a first step towards more freedom of movement, being able to handle it in the air is a second step. The gaming industry has already been revolutionized by it, professional usage should be next.
Buttons go away for minimalist designs
The new iPod Shuffle recently stirred up controversy because it was considered too minimalist. The product is really easy to use, but some would argue that it loses functionality by over-simplifying the design. Another great example of simple minimalist interface would be Mino, the coolest video camcorder.
The trend of minimalist designs doesn’t only apply to products design, but also to web design with grid-based designs getting popular. In every aspect of design, the ease-of-use becomes the ultimate goal.
The mobile Web gets bigger, interfaces get smaller
The mobile Web has been trying to develop for a few years without being able to extend its reach. The first iPhone came out in 2007, it was a huge success from the start with its revolutionary multi-touch interface. However, the iPhone’s potential really expands with the release of the iPhone 3G and the App store. Over 20’000 apps are now available in the store, and this number keeps growing, giving mobile design more importance everyday.
With Safari for the iPhone, Apple’s mobile device has also popularized mobile browsing. Many major websites have created a mobile version just because of the iPhone. Other mobile phones constructors have also been forced to improve the usability of their phones and to make their devices more attractive.
Blog engines and CMS are also starting to release plugins to make it easier to publish for the mobile web. For WordPress, you can try the iWPhone WordPress plugin and theme or the WordPress PDA & iPhone plugin.
Written by Mirko Humbert