The growing area of user experience design is an opportunity for a complete mindset shift for companies—away from selling products and towards selling experiences. It’s the best way to build a sustainable competitive advantage.
Last year, we saw some truly innovative stuff happen in the world of UX. The biggest one, perhaps—and our favorite here at CareerFoundry—was Pokémon Go, the augmented realitygame from Nintendo that became the top-grossing app in the US within 13 hours of its release and got 50.2 million people all over the world to walk outside and run into things.
It’s safe to say we’re going to see some bold moves in UX in the coming months. Here are the 5 UX design trends to watch in 2017:
1. Time-saving design
Great UX is intuitive and saves users time—especially linear designs that allow users to take just one action at a time. For example, Uber makes a clear transition through the booking system with simplicity and convenience.
But with increasing technologies in the areas of chatbots and artificial intelligence, we’re going to see more and more interesting ways of time-saving design. Things like basic customer service interactions being handled by artificially intelligent chatbots won’t just save users time, but will also save the time of the company’s employees—time that can then be spent on innovation.
2. Smarter personalization
Companies and users both love personalization. But in 2016, personalization of information brought some unpleasant surprises. Many people found themselves shocked by the results of Brexit and the US presidential election, as their social circles gave them the perception that the whole world shared their opinion.
The next generation of personalized experience must change. Expect more options to be able to opt out of binary reporting, or consciously add in opposing opinions to places like Facebook’s News Feed and news sites’ article recommendations.
3. Metrics beyond the interface
Traditional methods of measuring user experience include how long a user spends on a site, their movement through the pages, or where they drop off before purchasing. But as more and more experience goes beyond the digital—and the experience becomes the product—businesses will start watching more experience-based metrics to track the engagement impact, such as the positive contribution to the customer’s life.
Snapchat Spectacles is a great example of a company creating a seamless integration of a digital product into the user’s life—it’s a fashionable accessory that streamlines the way users interact with Snapchat, without the need for the phone platform. It positively impacts the user by supplying them with a multi-purpose object that’s a simple and easy way to share experiences with friends. Expect some interesting insights here.
4. Broader UX roles and specialization
UX has always been a broad category, but in 2017, specialization will trend towards new technologies and industries like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and industries like health and fitness.
As the experience becomes the product, companies must learn that UX is not just the role of the UX designer—everyone needs to learn it to take ownership of different goals during development. Everyone who plays a role in developing a user-facing element is part of the UX team.
5. UX as a management practice
Forward-thinking companies see the benefit and importance of UX design in product and service offerings for their customers. But what will become more prevalent in 2017—and beyond—is the importance of UX design for employees.
We’ll see leaders putting themselves in the shoes of employees and really going through their user journey: critically questioning an employee’s experience of what happens when they bring forward ideas, start executing on them, and even what happens if they fail. This experience will have a big impact on motivating employees to bring innovation into all aspects of the business.