Emerging Technologies and the Future of UX
Technology affects the way people communicate, learn and think, making the relationship between technology and user experience reciprocal. If anything, the last decade has made this relationship even stronger and well defined. User experience (UX) drives technological changes, while any change in technology impacts the user experience. From standalone websites to responsive design, technology has evolved tremendously and so has design and the UX. With this, it has become really important for UI/UX designers to cope up with certain technologies to offer a better user experience. In this article, we will dive into the world of UX and explore different technologies of this decade that are disrupting it.
People may not know much about UI voice design but they do know Alexa, Siri, Home, and other voice assistants. Voice design may have been a growing design segment a few years back but in this decade it’s a brand new game-changer. Voice assistants and conversations have brought an emergency for adapting voice designs for UX/UI designers. While designing for the voice you need to do detailed research on your users, their language, their words, how they perform a task, and a lot more to actually add value to the user experience through technology.
If there’s one word that’s been buzzing in every meeting room in the last few years it’s Artificial intelligence (AI). Everyone in the industry wants to explore it, adapt it, and grow with it but how is it changing a design? Well, if one thing that you have been seeing on a website other than ads it’s chatbots. Anticipatory designs are need of the hour with the incorporation of AI and machine learning with user experience. Today, as designers you must know to draw a connection between artificial intelligence and human intelligence to actually be able to create a product that has an amazing user experience.
Touchless (Gesture control)
Today people are communicating with devices without physically touching them with just some gestures of face and hand, that’s touchless gesture control. From facial locks to palm gesture selfies, touchless gestures have bridged humans and devices in a fun and interactive way. This paved way for interaction designs, which most of the designers swear by today. Touchless sensing reads the user’s motion and presence through a sensor. New input needs new methods, designs, and principles to make intuitive designs for gestures.
Virtual reality has changed the level of human and computer engagement. While designing for a VR app it’s important to understand both users and the platform. It enables you to visualize the interaction process, maintain head tracking, and keep other factors in mind while creating an immersive user experience. Try to understand that it can be difficult for first time users and they may not unexpectedly, it will help you design your product in a way that users can actually.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality uses technology to enhance the form of the real physical world creating an immersive experience for the users. Since people are exploring and using AR more and more with time it’s important for designers to learn or brush up on their skills to design an AR app. Don’t just design for an AR because it’s trendy and on-demand; rather, understand the problem first and see if creating an AR app will add value to the solution and user experience. While designing for AR consider devices, user comfort to the app, details of the real world, user safety, and other critical factors to offer an effective and productive experience to the users through your app.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) is billions of physical devices connected to the internet enabling data collection and sharing. From food to factories today everything is becoming a part of IoT. The reports from these data are shaping the way companies are creating and designing products for users. While designing for IoT designers must design for connected products. Unlike the normal website and mobile application designing for connected products may get complicated hence, designers need to focus on the functions and relationships of products to design them for a better user experience.
Blockchain is not certainly the newest technology that UI/UX designers come across but designing for it can be a bit complex and tricky. To know how blockchain is adding transparency, security, quality, and value to the lives of users they must have an idea of both the backend and the frontend side of the application. UI/UX designers must understand the value of joining or creating any network and how they can make it easier for users regardless of the complex technology used behind the scenes. While designing a blockchain product look into how will common users navigate through a decentralized system, what are the challenges they face and how your design can be a bridge between technology and the users.
Robotics and Automation
Robotics is one of the most discussed technologies over the last few decades but things do change when it comes to creating a user experience for it. It is important to understand what can be automated and what not. As designers, you must have a hard time doing your research as we don’t have a vast market to carry out the research, in fact, there are going to be users who are novices to the concept and usage of robotics. You need to focus your design to create a natural way for this automation based on human psychology and the user experience of a product.
Augmentation has the capability of improving the quality of human lives but human augmentation in an absolute sense still seems to be a matter of the future. Although we can see some instances of human augmentation from time to time, designing for it is a whole new level thing as human bodies themselves are turning into interfaces. The interaction between humans and devices in the future will be far more responsive, accessible, and personalized and designers must meet all the needs to make it feel like one too. While designing for “phygital” (Physical and digital) space, see how this augmentation will reduce user’s tasks efficiently and provide them a smooth experience operating devices.
LiDAR/3D scanning (light detection and ranging)
LiDAR is a technology that uses light detection and ranging. Used prominently in space technology earlier today, we have been using various LiDAR applications in the field of forestry, geography, autonomous machines, weather forecasts, etc. Making it one of the fastest-growing technology that needs designer’s attention. As UI/UX designers need to understand how users will interact with devices and products that use laser and scanners in operation. The relation between devices and humans will be different and to leverage on this, designers must have a clear understanding of the technology, users’ persona, and some backend information to design a product that is easy to adapt and productive to use.
Designing for technology that users are not well known to can be challenging so the mantra here is to create a technology that adapts to users. Designing can serve as a bridge between complicated technology and user experience hence, UI/UX designers must brush up their skills to meet the creative and adaptive demands of these latest technologies.
Originally published at https://designerrs.com on October 6, 2021.