Author: Alexandra Shelenkova, UX/UI Design Team Leader, eXpress Corporate Communications and Mobility Platform
What should a business solution be, so that it is chosen by young people, but at the same time not rejected by older professionals? Maybe beauty will save the peace in the team, because everyone wants to work in an application that looks beautiful? It is true, but User Interface (UI) is good when it is based on User Experience (UX). If harmony between UI and UX is achieved, the product will be both beautiful and user-friendly.
What corporate communication solutions will appeal to young people? Our experience shows that a corporate product for young people, like any other, should first of all be user-friendly. What does this mean?
– The interface should be clear, intuitive, and pleasant to work with. To the credit of zoomers, they are, as a rule, experienced users of software products. But even a youth-oriented solution should be such that anyone can master it without difficulties.
– The product should seem simple, but at the same time be functional enough to easily solve all tasks within it.
– It is essential that the product has a mobile version. People who work remotely are becoming more and more numerous – especially among young people. It has long become the norm for them to solve all issues in a smartphone – from anywhere, not necessarily from home or office. It's great if a corporate product helps them with this. As a consequence, UX-design of software always starts with thinking about convenience.
How "youth" chips help business
As we know, getting positive emotions for young employees is really important. Adding stickers helps with this. In our application, for example, stickers appeared three or four years ago just at the request of young users. We have several internal sticker packs with corporate jokes, funny moments from correspondence. The other day we added two new sticker packs with New Year's themes.
Personalisation is also on trend. The user-zoomer wants to be able to customize the corporate platform to their preferences. Our users can upload their own sticker packs, and the special bot helps them with this.
Personalisation can be applied to chats and discussions within them: the user decides whether to link a separate chat thread to a discussion, whether to view tracks in general chats or in a separate tab. The ability to pin the most interesting and important chats at the top of the list is also a standard of the chat platform.
Tags are another tool that is popular with young people and very easy to use. We have a very wide functionality of tags, you can create your own, filter and customize them, link them to chats, messages, users, projects, posts, groups of people. All tag functions are currently available in the web version, but will soon be available in the mobile version as well.
Key UX trends that enterprise software developers are following.
Inclusiveness of design makes the product available to all categories of users, regardless of their age, disability, working conditions with the product.
Minimalism and simplicity in UX design implies that all elements will be easy to read, with emphasis on key functions.
Advanced security and privacy features, improved encryption and data protection mechanisms reduce the risk of information loss or compromise.
Integration tools allow you to create full-fledged workrooms, open access to any digital services of the company.
UX must be responsive – it is important for the user to see a response from the system while working.
AI services are now also integrated with corporate platforms. This trend has literally burst into the world of enterprise software development in 2023.
All of these trends will remain relevant to UX communication platforms next year.
Is a redesign often needed
Young people are accustomed to using a wide variety of public applications and are well-versed in all the new features. To keep this category of users in favor of a corporate product, developers have to constantly monitor all analogues on the market.
For example, we are making a corporate solution, but we encounter UX-findings not only in corporate and consumer messengers (Telegram or WhatsApp). Sometimes the chips come unexpectedly, and we keep our finger on the pulse, selecting ideas that we can refine to meet our business objectives. So-called serendipity is one of the most important qualities for any enterprise app designer!
Especially since requests for redesign come to the design team from several sides at once:
from customers: the customer's business requirements are the backbone of any development.
from users: it is often users who write ideas for interface improvements, for example.
from the product team: product owners create an internal roadmap to ensure that the interface meets current standards.
After analysing all the suggestions from both the technical and business sides, a decision on improvements is made. The more the solution is used, the faster the functionality expands and the more ideas for redesign appear.
Often it is necessary to rethink the UX, but in such a way that everything that is the same remains in its familiar place. Chats and calls, for example, are needed all the time, and there are always a lot of improvements in this part. In general, designers are always on fire with interesting ideas. A good design team never sits idle.
Team building without leaving messenger
The tools that help bring people of all ages together are very simple. And modern communication platforms include a huge number of such tools, their functions limited only by the imagination of company and department heads.
For example, some corporate messengers with built-in chatbots are able to send birthday greetings. A great reason for kind words to a colleague, no matter how old he or she is!
Also, chatbots inside a corporate messenger can remind you about upcoming online meetings with colleagues, which, by the way, can also be scheduled inside the messenger without leaving the dialogue.
What's next? Trends in 2024
Analysts predict that next year trends in UX design will gain popularity, which will surely be appreciated not only by young people, but also by older users. These include, for example, 3D design, a return to minimalism, and inclusivity. Personalisation will become more advanced and will allow changing the interface depending on the actions performed in the product or taking into account the user's location. Important data will increasingly be presented in a data-storing format.
At the same time, new technological breakthroughs are expected. For example, VR and AR may soon become common UX elements of mobile apps. Buttons, on the contrary, will start to become a thing of the past – the interface will be controlled by gestures, voice commands or eye movements. This means that a lot of interesting things are waiting for both users and designers.
Artificial intelligence technologies have been developing for decades, but only in the last few years have neural networks "smartened up" to a level that allows them to be used as assistants or even to replace human labor.
The beginning of the year was marked by a flurry of activity by various legislators to deal with artificial intelligence. The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, and the UAE created an AI council to accelerate the adoption of AI systems in critical sectors of the economy.
Choosing between cross-platform development and native development for iOS and Android is not just a technical decision, it is a strategy that can determine the future of your mobile product.