The future of UX research and design
As result of the growing importance of the internet and the technological boom, it’s getting clear that the design of websites or applications have to keep up with the needs of the user. If the look and feel of a product is not good, it won’t gain many users. This is the reason why UX research is now a priority in the process of designing a new product. But in what way will the UX field change in the upcoming years? In this happy story we will take a look at the future of UX and discuss some predictions in the UX field for the upcoming years.
So at the end of this article you know:
✓ The current situation in the UX field
✓ The ins and outs about the future of UX
Before we take a look at the future of UX research and design, it’s also important to look at the current situation in the UX field. In the last years it has become clear that if you want your website or application to work with your audience, you need to conduct a user test. With this UX test you can find out the expectations from your users and how you should design your product. As a result, UXers have been really busy in the recent years. UX testing is a priority in designing a new product. And the UX field is still changing, so what’s next for UX research and design?
The future of UX
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become a big game changer in the UX-field. The interaction between computer and humans is getting more normal and is growing with the rise of products like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The advancements in AI-technologies, like machine learning, will take the user experience to a new level and have an improvement on personalisation.
AI will not only have an influence on the way products are designed but also on the job descriptions of UX researchers and designers. Although we always thought it was unlikely that their tasks would become automated, mostly because of the lack of emotional intelligence, the technological developments in AI are growing fast. The prediction is that computers and machines will eventually be indistinguishable from humans. Artificial Intelligence could certainly play a role in human-led design processes. But it’s important to emphasize that real human influence is still necessary. For example, the computer could generate hundred of different layouts and the human could eventually choose their favorite one.
Voice user interfaces
Voice user interfaces (VUIs) allows the user to interact with a system or computer through voice or speech commands. Current examples from VUIs are Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Siri. And these interfaces will very soon become an integral part of our lives, if they aren’t already. Especially in situations where visual attention is occupied (while driving a car) or where typing is not desirable (in the shower), VUI is a good solution. But with these voice user interfaces it’s important that the user gets the help/reaction they want and expect.That’s why testing with this new interface is getting more important. This is a new challenge in the UX testing and designing field.
Simplicity and minimalism
Simplicity is already very important when designing a website or application: you want your product to be functional and usable. The best way to do this, is to just keep it simple! Users don’t like to get lost in a maze of information. Minimalistic design is all about keeping a spotlight on the valuable content. The minimalistic design will make the product fast and light and fewer elements need to be loaded. This will get more important for the upcoming years. With all the information a user is receiving, they want to gather their information as fast as possible. Besides, a simple design will also work better on various screen sizes and this makes it easier for designers and researchers to design and test the product.
Smartphones will become smarter and even replace other devices. We’re already well known with tablets that convert into laptops, now Samsung also introduced a mobile phone that you can unfold into a tablet. Nowadays we have so many different devices and in the upcoming years, we are going to declutter in our devices. Our smartphone is getting a more central role as device. So when designing your website or application, make sure you’ve put the design for mobile devices on high priority.
There is also a new upcoming device we need to watch: the wearables. It all started with a product like the Fitbit, but the Smart Watch is getting more extensive with all kinds of handy features. As with smartphones, the design for wearables is difficult. The screen size is very small, but you want to make sure all the important features are present. This is why it will get more important to include testing on wearables during user testing.
Although there is uncertainty about the role of UX researchers and designers in the future, it’s still clear that testing these innovations is very important and useful. Technological developments like artificial intelligence actually can be seen as complementary to the tasks of UX researchers and designers. We are curious to see how the next couple of years will play out!