Cards can contain a variety of information such as a photo, link about a subject or text and they serve as the point of entry for more in depth information. They are an incredibly useful and convenient way of conveying content made up of a number of different elements. Their main appeal is the way information can be organised, the simplicity they bring to users and the responsiveness they create. Cards are a great tool for communicating quick stories. They have the ability to divide content into streamlined sections that can be expanded to access additional information. This method of organisation requires less screen space and enhances how users access meaningful information.
From a UX design perspective, card-based design usually relies heavily on visuals, which has proven to be a strength since images capture user's eyes in an efficient and effective manner. UX designers use cards to improve the user experience aspects of an application by adding interesting UI (user interface) elements that are intuitive to use. The other big positive from a designer's perspective is that cards are highly manipulable. It is not just designers who appreciate the benefits that cards bring to users. Growth hackers and marketers alike are always looking at ways to make content go viral and what differentiates cards is their share-ability.
At WorkingMouse, every team member benefits from the introduction of cards in the form of Trello boards. The way a Trello board presents to users is a blank canvas that users can fill with cards, each representing a different task or reminder. The flexible format created by Trello means there is a seamless and consistent experience across the company, which at the end of the day is the ultimate goal of a UX designer.
We love keeping on top of hot trends especially when they are as easy to use as the card-based interaction model. This more personalised way of experiencing mobile and desktop applications has actually been around for a long time (by Internet standards). However, according to Forbes' "Top Web Design Trends To Watch In 2017", card design and grid layouts are among those listed alongside VR and AI powered chatbots.
The way technology has advanced, even in recent years, has resulted in information being read on screens of all shapes and sizes. Cards have evolved to make using applications an even smoother and more enjoyable experience for users. This is a trend that will definitely be sticking around. Check out anticipatory design if you are interested in learning more about current trends in UX.