“User Experience” has been one of the trending terms of the last decade. In the years left behind, UX /UI has evolved from being just another phrase in the marvelous world of design to the most required ingredient inside most of the iconic digital products. Statistics and Research suggest by leading website development companies in India that an average individual spends over three hours on the phone daily.
Over the last few years, UX/ UI Design has brought tremors to the foundations of how applications were developed to address the challenges of the users. Now, it is crystal clear and already established, that a distinguished UX/UI Design could actually be a difference-maker for a digital product.
So exactly what does 2020 have in store for UX and UI? Let us explore some of the top UX/UI trends for 2020. This data has been gathered in collaboration with the top software development firms as well as leading digital marketing companies in India.
Trends for everyone, everyone in the world of user interface and user experience to look out for in twenty-twenty.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is gaining huge popularity. This is the case as hardware and software become more and more accessible. Let us take the instance of wearable. Wearables provide the user with a greater sense of feeling and control.
The year 2020 could witness an increase in the adoption of AR. The brands search for ways to give consumers the convenience and the different sides or perspectives on their products and services.
Virtual Reality (VR) is majorly linked with the gaming industry. Examples may be the Oculus Rift or cheap mobile alternatives.
Now, what type of role would VR actually play? The world of Television and that of Cinema have showcased capabilities of VR. And what has made the transition? The E-learning and the training simulations, for example, medical operations, have gradually made the transition. The question that lies in front of us is:
Could web browsers make possible the giant leap in 2020?
Over the last few years, we all have got used to multiple screen sizes. We are also used to compatibility across devices. That’s a thing that cannot be taken away. In the year 2020, UX/UI will most likely be manifested to build solutions for voice-based interfaces, gaming consoles, automobile dashboards, interactive TVs, and other innovations and inventions yet to come over the already existing mobile, desktop and tablets. Till now, User Experience Design has been quite restricted to Natural User Interfaces. So, 2020 might witness a transition towards auditory interfaces. Voice User Interfaces (VUI), along with the rise of newer technologies in security services, will be the new thing. Tactile interfaces are going on the run, in finding use-cases in the healthcare industry for people of all age groups.
Nowadays it is way too hard and almost impossible to predict from what kind of platforms users might access a website or an app. There’s a growing number of smartphones, smart TVs and other smart devices. Hence, a need for multi-platform design is essential, especially if industries care about how many users access their applications. Yes, they obviously do.
Can you imagine accessing a desktop-only app from your mobile or mobile-only website from your smart TV?
‘IMPOSSIBLE’ is the answer.
UX design as a team activity and Community outreach in UX
Equal inputs from algorithm engineers, data scientists, illustrators, and content creators alike are prerequisites for User Experience in 2020. Now, UX cannot exist in isolation. Thus, the designers are in need of inputs from marketing strategy to align the products with the business objectives. Team activity in UX design will be dictated with different rules of the game as products of the Internet age mature.
The process of design will be accompanied by the creation of a feedback loop. This will help include more deep and dynamic User Research. As creators of designs and visionaries, the UX producers might have to accommodate a bigger framework of ideas and good expertise in the process. This will bring experiences that can be enjoyed by different users and society at large.
Now how is the Community Outreach done? Well, since a lot of professional work is shifting online, User Experience can’t be really existing for the individual alone. A lot of technology that we use today from online networking to search results, is basically social in nature. Say let us talk about search engines. Search engines do not simply bring out the results based on ranking the best answer to the question, but they do this job based on the similar search requests in the past and also the relevance of previous results. The social currency should be on the run to make products and distributed experiences, that the society benefits from. User Experience Design must work on enhancing this interaction in the upcoming digital products. This should be done for the betterment of not only the User Experience but also the communities’ experience.
Voice UI has already gained huge popularity in many homes around the world. Amazon’s Alexa is an example. Well, maybe this year is more likely to see a bigger adoption rate.
In the year 2019, nearly 35% of households in the US, we’re equipped with at least one smart speaker. Statistics say that by 2025, this rate will increase to around say 75%. Towards the end of 2019, the trend started and Amazon immediately launched a range of TV commercials that motivated and inspired families with smart home devices.
Amazon’s way of depicting stories shows how actually the communities can come together, with the help of simple and accessible technology. In 2020, more firms will be likely to invest in a digital voice strategy, in order to target users of different generations.
Continuous Design and UX/UI Metrics
This is also known as data synchronization. Here, the user puts the demand of huge capabilities across all devices. For example, you can control your home air conditioning system via voice commands and smartphone apps. This is it.
People out there just want to actually seamlessly flow, and that too smoothly, from one medium to another. This has to be without any interruptions, such as login barriers.
Now, Continuous Design is already adopted by big brands, such as Netflix and Uber. Designers should know that it is an essential strategy that should be an essential multi-channel part of any business’s UX strategy in 2020.
For quite some time, UX practitioners have struggled a lot, to find a simple method to show the stakeholders that the products are being enhanced through efforts on user research, but, UX metrics might even provide a proper and simple way to measure user experiences quantitatively.
In 2019, a remote user research service, UserZoom, made possible the introduction of a program of quality of experience scorecard. It was called a qxScore. The qxScore combines measurements in behavioral data (such as task success) and attitudinal data (such as ease of use, trust, and appearance) from user studies to generate a UX metric.
2020 is likely to see an increase in UX benchmarking, in the user research tools and services, and also the in-house UX teams.
Thus, UX metrics is going to be the next big thing in the world of benchmarking user research, aiding design decisions, and UX strategies.
In the year 2020, the concept of smart home device adoption will continue to enhance. It is already mentioned in Amazon’s Alexa’s marketing, that, conversation-based interfaces will allow anyone with any capability to have access, enjoy the content, and also bring different communities together.
Now, augmented and virtual realities have been pretty much talked about for many years. In 2020 however, they could make a greater impact through much more accessible hardware and software, and also through the innovative experiences that provide the users good reasons to adopt. With this rate of growth in device adoption, there will most likely be greater demand for the concept of Continuous Design. This will give more importance to the creation of better experiences in multi-device journeys.
Importance of Usability Testing and Design Audit
As a UX Designer, his/her entire focus of the ideating process is to add innovative features that can aid the end-user. However, in 2020, designers must follow the ideology of ‘More is Less’. The focal point of the design will most likely, no longer be to generate or make feature-heavy products. Instead, it will be to make the products leaner. It will also be important to amplify the functionality. Maintaining a product’s relevance and functional capabilities at the same time, will not be easy.
It is ultimately the design team’s duty and responsibility to try and ask the discerning users about what they really want or what they actually expect from the product. It is all the better and also cost-effective to add or keep only those characteristics that the users need.
A Design Audit can aid the firms to answer those questions that are regarding their business and also the UX metrics. If we do some checking on the viability of the user experience, it is important and necessary to first identify bottlenecks on design, that is obstructing the cause. Questions that need to be asked are: What are users looking for? Where are the users getting stuck and at what point in the design interface do they leave without converting?
A Design Audit can help in collecting relevant answers to all of the process pain points. In 2020, audits will be the common diagnosis for most legacy businesses to optimize their online presence and increase their ROI.
Reimagining information architecture
The information architecture on a website refers to the structural blueprint that dictates the flow of information through the platform. Information architecture has two main components:- one that defines the site content & functionality and the other that forms the underlying organization, structure, and nomenclature.
The latter three components define the relationships between a site’s content/functionality and their inter-relatability. The UX Design needs to simplify complex information architecture and make it easy for users to access what they need.
This allows business makers to research and learn what information is important to the success of their product and be able to address the needs of the user by providing them access to what is desired. User Experience experts have to investigate how information is being consumed online, by whom, and for how long. On the basis of these details, the information architecture needs to be rethought and brought out of the current stagnation.
User Experience Design should obviously aim to excel in filling the void in user satisfaction. The designs should be really inclusive and customized, in order to be suitable for the needs of every user group. So the User Experience Design or the UX and UI trends must include all the target groups with disabilities as well, that have been digitally marginalized, i.e., have been left out of the digital revolution. These enhancements, when implemented, will create landmark changes in the way our society functions.
Now, as the concept of digital inclusion expands beyond geographic boundaries and penetrates deeper into various and all sectors of the economies and societies, the clout of User Experience Design continues to grow in the aspect of importance.
The trends mentioned above are going to be important, not just for the year 2020. Rather, these trends are going to be the major highlights of the coming decade. Most of the ideas such as the inclusive design across communities have been broadly discussed. That is for sure. However, they haven’t yet been put into practice. 2020 will most likely change all this for the world of UX and UI. Businesses and other companies that resort to design for the transition to voice and wearables, for instance, will see greater acceptance and adoption in the market. They will then earn a premium in the business world. And, firms that seek to view the user experience design as a team activity, will be on the good run to create much more wholesome, and innovative products. They will most likely yield a greater ROI in the process.