Our UX Values for 2020

Jan 14 2020

At IXM we are more about values than trends. And while we’re designers and builders of technology, our digital experiences are always about the people. So in the spirit of the new year (and a fresh decade), we are looking forward to implementing and seeing more of the following human-focused themes in UX and UI:


In the world of UI Design we note that…

  • Pixel perfection can be overrated. We’re welcoming the return of hand-drawn visual elements in typography, iconography, and illustrations. There’s just something evocative about that subtle hand-crafted look.

Source: https://www.dorsia.io/


Source: Bruce Clay Mena


  • Flat design meets layers: The continuing rise in usage of shadows, stacked objects, and collage-style graphics lends depth and visual interest to a one-dimensional design. We say yay to the return of the third dimension.

  • More on the topic of three dimensions: we hope the subtle animations known as micro-interactions will continue to effectively and unobtrusively direct user attention to key content areas. 


  • Full-bleeds can be dazzling and immersive but evoke a more curated, exclusive gallery-like feel when you use borders around imagery. Tailored cropping and white space give your content (and your user) room to breathe.  

Solid content strategy principles remind us that…

  • In the spirit of dialing down flat design, the mega menu is likewise slimming down as we take a more minimalist approach to navigation. Many organizations are moving toward more nuanced ways of guiding users to the appropriate landing and category pages.

Source: https://www.ctia.org/the-wireless-industry/wireless-industry


  • Speaking of trimming, concise microcopy works hard by saying less. By embracing the use of active voice, and paring the words down to the exact information that users are seeking, we help users do what they need to do in the most efficient and effective way possible.

  • And of course, at the heart of this, your content should focus on your user’s goals—taking care to speak in their language and on their terms. 

We appreciate the timelessness of UX fundamentals... 

Sure, there are always the tantalizing emerging bits of glittery tech to entice us (see: chatbots, voice interfaces, augmented reality) but let us not forget the 'Little Black Dress' workhorses of UX:

  • You’ve heard all the talk about Mobile-first and it’s becoming especially real now as Google has moved toward Mobile-First Indexing. So instead of developing mobile alongside desktop, many organizations are choosing to begin with mobile and letting it set the tone for the design. This means taking user context into deep consideration and focusing the design on key user tasks and micro-interactions. Alongside this are also tech considerations such as fast load speeds, responsive frameworks, and simplified navigation.


  • Diversity continues its stride forward, and Accessible Design and Inclusive Design are more important now more than ever. In simplified terms, Accessible Design simply means that everyone can use it, whereas Inclusive Design means that everyone wants to use it. The first means ensuring that your site meets guidelines and compliance measures, whereas the latter means really getting to directly know and speak with your different audiences, including their expectations, desires, and needs. Even the smallest of gestures can have an enormous impact - see Airbnb’s evolving illustrations as an example of moving toward more diversity.

  • Ethical Design has become more mainstream lately as manipulative dark design practices have been increasingly exposed and privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA have caused a shift toward a more transparent design. 


As we settle into the new year…

We recommend bringing these along your 2020 journey:


Living in Information (& sign up for his newsletter)

Ruined by Design


UX Design Weekly

UX Collective

Reports and Blogs:

In March, look for John Maeda’s CX Report

The Business Value of Design

52 Weeks of UX


Let us know if you have any questions or would like to speak to one of the team about how we can help improve your UX.

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