The Future and State of User Experience Design
June is the year’s halfway point, so it makes sense to once again re-examine the future of user experience design. Designer Marcin Treder wrote a great piece about the future of user experience & design a few years back, and most of what he wrote still rings true. This decade has largely been defined (in development and design circles) as the “decade of user experience design.” We’ve already witnessed monumental advances, and welcome the opportunities ahead.
As Treder explains, our current state is vastly different from the technology-heavy focus at the beginning of the Internet era. “Neither Google, nor Paypal, nor Yahoo cared much about design until recently,” wrote Treder, “They didn’t need to – they had the tech in place and that just gave them amazing success.” The new reality is that UX design is crucial to remaining successful in the tech industry.
The job market for UX designers is as hot, if not hotter, now as it was back when Treder first pointed out the overwhelming market need for our skills. Everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the biggest tech giants and business enterprises are desperate for highly qualified user experience employees, and the market is evolving at breakneck speeds all around the world.
Emerging middle classes in massive developing countries such as China and India are creating incredible demand for well-designed apps, systems and products. This dramatically underscores Treder’s assertion that, “UX is important everywhere where new technological products are being created.”
More important than user experience design is proving to be the user experience itself. Treder views user experience design through a holistic approach, with the “effect of being seen as a whole product.” Treder explained, “Such a holistic approach forces us to design every step of interaction between the product and the user-to-be. Starting with the first touchpoint, the first scent of information about the product, through all the intermediate, pre-engaged interactions, to the final usage and beyond.”
The holistic approach also has enduring design as a goal. Treder defines enduring design as, “design that can endure in time and space.” Meaning, “Design that endures in time adjusts itself to changes in users’ minds and according to the appropriate phase can reveal new engaging ingredients. Think of an app that recognizes when you’re getting bored and serves you new, engaging, content.” Meanwhile, “Design that endures in space adjusts itself to a changing environment. Think of an eCommerce app that recognizes that you’re in a shop and helps you make choices.”
Dynamic and responsive content are leading the ways on these fronts. Coupled with great innovations in user experience, technology is quickly evolving into a more intuitive and user-friendly tool that is bringing great success to early adopters and reordering the way people interact with technology.
At the year’s half-way point, and just over a third of the way into the “decade of user experience,” where do you see your business or organization’s digital strategy lining up on the changing chart of technological evolution?