Once upon a time, the acronym ‘UX’ was an unknown to anyone outside the industry. These days, many more of us understand what User Experience is, why it’s important and how it’s impacting our daily lives.
Often, we don’t even notice the tiny changes that are being made to our technology. That’s the beauty of UX, it’s discreet but impactful.
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen some of the biggest changes the UX field has ever experienced. More than ever, we’re focusing on human behaviour and taking UX mainstream. The editors of UX Trends have described this shift as businesses take a while to shift their focus from being business-centric to being user-centric. We are now quickly approaching a new era where the companies that win are the ones who can shift from user-centric to society-centric — from singular to plural.
So, what does this shift mean for the technology we use every day? Let’s take a look at the top UX design trends that are keeping UX designers busy.
1. Voice integrations
40% of adults use voice search every single day. That’s a lot of hands-free time for completing other tasks; which is the exact reason behind voice integration popularity. Voice notes, Siri searches, smart home speakers, voice activated car functions and buttonless devices are all becoming part of everyday life, improving our flexibility and welcoming the visually impaired into a new world.
We’re using speech recognition to teach our children and look after our elderly population. Voice is not the future, it’s very much already here.
2. Bye bye home button
The iPhone X and Google Pixel 3 have something rather unusual in common. They have no home button. Instead, new devices are integrating face recognition and memorable gestures to speed up the process of using your device.
Initially, especially with the iPhone X, people were put off by the lack of recognisable ‘function’ to their devices. However, face recognition is becoming more widely used and swipes, flicks, drags and taps are making using a device easier than ever.
3. More the merrier
Long experienced by Apple users, multi-device experiences are becoming a staple. UX designers are under mounting pressure to produce software and experiences that are ‘multi-device-ready’, rather than simply mobile ready. By 2020, it’s predicted that we’ll own 6.58 connected devices each. That means that we’ll be looking for experiences that function across all our devices, from our phones to our smart watches, home speakers to tablets.
Speaking of smart watches, the Australian wearables market is set to boom, with a whopping compound annual growth rate of 78% between 2014 and 2018 and reaching revenues of $1 billion. Combining activity with constant connectivity and productivity integrations, our parents might have been right when they said we were attached to our devices.
From a health standpoint, wearables are being used to track sleep, take ECGs and monitor stress levels. As the industry progresses, UX designers endeavour to make wearables more and more like smartphones, as well as increasing the number of functions they perform for heath tracking, making payments and organising our lives.
We’re so over mass production and anything ‘fast’. We’re looking for solutions that can grow with us, stay with us and don’t need replacing every year. UX gives us this option by continually improving machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. Our devices get to know us and improve their offering as a result.
It’s safe to say that UX is here to stay. It’s a growing and booming industry that’s fuelled by our need for smart technology and ever more complex integrations.