Trends come and go. This is true of every field of work, and the field of user experience is no exception. At Backelite, Capgeminis Digital Experience Agency, we have looked at the ten main trends in UX both current and those we see emerging throughout 2016. Here are my three favorites.
- The quest for user satisfaction at the heart of projects in 2016.
The bad news is that, of course, this shouldn’t have to be a trend at all. But the good news is it is finally catching on. We can see a clear increase in willingness from clients and projects to spend both budget and time on learning more about the user. Methods such as Service Design and Design Thinking now force us to base decisions on data from customer journeys and research rather than logic like “we’ve always done it this way” and “I know for a fact that this is what the user wants”. While both of these may be true, it doesn’t hurt to double check with the users.
Environmental studies, ethnography, tests and field observations are important tools and nothing beats the feeling of spending time with your end-users realizing how the situation and ways of working need to affect the design of, for example, a new user interface.
- An experience can also take place without an interface.
When people interact in ways other than through traditional interfaces it is still a user experience. There are examples like Magic and Project Soli where the experience and interaction take place through nontraditional user interfaces. This trend is in some ways related to the expansion of Internet of Things and technology enablers but for me it also signifies the importance of looking and thinking bigger than just a computer screen, web or app.
“Magic is expected,” as the now-common phrase states, but the magic doesn’t always happen in the traditional channels. So keeping in mind the first point above, use your data and try to find the unexpected experience that gives your product or brand a head start on the competitors.
- Anticipating users needs and desires.
This trend, as the one above, might also seem a bit difficult to achieve and strive for. Success will rely largely on machine learning and technology to create a user experience that truly anticipates the users need. Once again it comes down to the data, and here we need relevant data concerning current and future user needs. Much of this information can be derived from the data gathered through methods described first in this list.
So even if you don’t have the tremendous computing power of Apple’s Siri and Google Now you can use customer journeys and insights to at each step in the user interaction make it relevant, creating a sense of anticipating the needs.
All three of these trends are part of our bigger presentation on Top Ten UX Trends of 2016 that you can read more about at the Backelite Slideshare. Please also visit our page on Good User Experience Brings Customer Engagement and Profit and a previous blog post in the series about The Business Value Of UX.