Buttons were supposed to be the most popular among the interactive elements for a user interface (UI) design. These are elements that get interactive feedback from the system with expectations of an action taken. It enables the user to interact with a digital product for fulfilling a specific goal in the mind. An appropriate example would be the Call-to-action (CTA) button that prompts the user to take a certain action.
Here is an image of a CTA button:
We have now started to design devices with none of these so-called buttons, with no physical interfaces. These devices are activated with no human touch but controlled by voice or gesture.
Gestures in UI Design
Gestures have significantly played an important role in UI design. If we take the words of MIT Media Lab Instructor David Rose,
“Gestures are generation-specific. When asked to signal to turn up the volume, a few people twisted an invisible knob, but most of the 30s lifted a palm or made a pinching gesture with their fingers.”
With more advancement in technologies, designers are bound to evolve too. The designers will start using gestures in their design but will need knowledge in a wide area of topics - AI, human-computer intelligence (HCI), psychology, and advanced pragmatics.
As an example, in-air gesture control in BMW cars in addition to buttons must have a special mention. LG and Eyesight have offered their own versions. It detects driver distractions based on eyelid or iris movements.
It uses raising one/two fingers to toggle between main and navigation screens.
As the need for the use of buttons diminishes, we now speak about a future UI trend - with no buttons. We talk about the concept of Type Design.
What is Type Design?
It refers to simple typography-based designs. No graphic elements. It just merely uses content. It uses type as the primary design element. An ideal example will be the following screen for Checkland kindless.
It helps to depict the company as friendly, approachable and professional.
Some More Examples of Buttonless Websites
Here are some applications of websites without buttons:
The user can open an article on the website in the Medium with just a “clap”.
The user can also use a design with a mix of sound and typing as shown in the below image:
The following shows how to use a touch screen in UI design. Here, buttons are replaced with gestures and content used.
- Swiping Touchscreen
Here is an example where the user is swiping down the upper-right corner of the screen.
The next screen is that of the encyclopedia app, which displays a variety of themes with interactive infographics. The interaction with the data happens only through gestures and is buttonless.
- Facial Recognition
Alibaba and KFC have jointly launched a system that uses facial recognition to make a payment. Yes, just a smile will work wonders for you.
- Microsoft Hololens
Gestures are used in Microsoft Hololens for various purposes.
Here is a video on the use of gestures for Microsoft Hololens.
Gestures are abundantly used by Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant, etc. have all started using gestures. Instagram now does not require any buttons for changing the stories. The buttonless UI trend is here to stay.
We at Cliffex know how to personalize your brand to convert your business message into simple and functional visual solutions that are relevant to your users’ interests and can solve their personal needs. Have an idea? Feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you find the perfect match.