9 ½ Plausible and/or Absurd UX Industry Predictions for 2018
uxdesign.cc – User Experience Design — Medium | Craig Phillips
(An interactive article where your votes count for something)
^ that’s Pantone 2018 color of the year in the background in case you had any doubts as to how serious this article is.
ICYMI 2018 is almost here. You’ve probably already read a few articles reviewing last year, or looking ahead to next. Well, we wanted in on the action too.
But these articles are a bit like grilled cheese. Enjoyable to consume, never surprising, and really hard to get wrong. There are only so many ways to make a grilled cheese samich.
If we’re going to speculate about 2018, let’s have fun with it.
Below are 9 ½ predictions for the coming year. Some are conservative and safe. Some are far fetched. But some may speak to your heart (or your inner shadow monster).
That’s where you come in.
What I need from you
(skip if you’re no fun)
This is an interactive article. Medium doesn’t really do that, so we’re gonna fake it. After each prediction, there will be three words, and—if you’re not a party pooper—you’ll pick one. Cast your vote by highlighting the word.
So, like this:
Easy as pie
Trust me it’ll be cool (if, in theory, people actually read the article).
1. Salaries will either increase or decrease, but likely not remain exactly the same
With the volatility of our world, who’s to say where salaries will go? 2017 similarly saw salaries go in a direction. 2018 will either see an increase or decrease. This will depend on economies, how many salary negotiation blogs we read, and other factors.
If you’re getting paid in Bitcoin then I don’t know what to tell you.
Good news tho—UX designers will still command salaries above global poverty lines for the foreseeable future. So eating shouldn’t be a problem for any of us.
* reminder, 👆 that’s where you vote, highlight your pick
2. UXers will continue to struggle explaining UX to colleagues, family members
User Experience professionals will not be able to explain what they do in any clearer terms in 2018. When asked, “Tell me again what you do?”, even the well versed designers will resort to saying “You know websites? You heard of Facebook? iPhone?” and point to themselves.
Also, we predict that tech CEOs’ misunderstandings of UX will increase at the same rate as overly-opinionated uncles and well-intentioned grand parents. This prediction is based on previous trends.
3. Innovative job titles/descriptions will rise exponentially
UX is a creative industry. And nowhere is this more apparent than the creative, outside-the-box job title trends we witnessed in 2017.
You thought UX Artist was cool? 2018 is gonna level your mind palace.
A recruiter buddy of mine told us about a new role coming up that’s right up your alley. UX Innovation in Hiring Manager Designer (Developer). Main roles include UX writing, design, and development of innovative job titles and descriptions. Candidate must have 5–30 years experience managing a confused team coping with existential crises and dark thoughts.
3½. Recruiters will emerge as designers’ biggest allies
I know what you’re thinking. Absurd! But is it, really?
Recruiters got a bad rap in 2017. But only because of their terribly annoying and ineffective practices coupled with misinformation about the fields they recruit for.
Water under the bridge. Past is past. Time to move forward.
In 2018, recruiters will go to battle for designers. They will lead the fight for increasing salaries and tightening up job descriptions based on reality.
(Disclaimer: Please ignore any/all contradictions between predictions)
4. The Rapture, but not like you thought
You’ve heard of the Rapture I hope? If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’ll be quick.
So we’re predicting a rapture of sorts in 2018. Alongside this, we predict two things will happen. 1) Design process will be codified and enforced irreverent of context, and 2) designers and developers will finally understanding how to collaborate and communicate.
And—spoiler alert—heaven is just the same as this except we wont need any more blog posts and articles on these topics.
5. Designers still shouldn’t code, even more
Shaming designers into learning code is a thing of the past. This will become even more evident in 2018. Coding designers will begin to be looked down upon, and may even need to hide their technical skills to get a job, or speak at their local UX meetups.
However, looking ahead to 2024, we predict a resurgence, when a cyborg celebrity that eats Bitcoin popularizes the phrase “Make Code Cool Again”. It will empower past coders to be open about their skills, and even begin coding in public places.
The trick will be ensuring their code is harnessed for good, and not revenge. Though these so-called coding designers will be emboldened, their rhetoric suggests they’re actually dev supremacists and wanna kick out all the inferiors (especially those whimsical UXers). Watch out!
6. Acquisitions for dayz
can you see it? c’mon you better see it. both of them!
Invision will acquire Framer, Adobe will acquire Sketch, and Microsoft Excel will emerge as the leading design platform.
There will be so many prototyping tools on the market that designer CVs will need an extra page just to list them out. Recruiters will get confused.
Oh, and Elon Musk will lead a successful revolution against Trump while acquiring all of North America, Europe, and South Africa (they just gave it to him). He will reign as benevolent philosopher king over these lands for the next 500 years. He will be adored by his subjects.
There wont be a need for taxes, he’ll instate Universal Basic Income (paid in Bitcoin ofc), and we’ll all drive Teslas. Teslas!
7. Diversity will continue to be the most ignored important topic in design and tech
2018 will see more and more conference talks, blog posts, and chats around the chemex drip regarding diversity. Everyone—from the office dog to the CEO—will internalize the importance of a diverse team, and designing for a diverse audience.
Regardless, strategic direction and legitimate insights will still be reserved for white men. However, on the upside, diversity of hair recession and beard length will remain on the table into 2018.
There’s always next year to start thinking about how to crack the proverbial nut on diverse teams vis-à-vis gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, etc.
It’s a toughy, amirite?…
8. Troubling products will proliferate, and we’ll all just get used to it
Is 2018 the beginning of the dystopian future of design? Or are we living in that dystopia now? Regardless, it doesn’t matter much.
We’ll all just keep ‘killin it’ while ‘heads down’ creating some ‘habit-forming’ ‘experiences’ for the homogeneous mass of ‘users’ whom, btw, we have ‘empathized’ with.
And despite how ethical we consider ourselves, we’ll successfully divorce emotion from our work. Some of the most common justifications for this behavior will be 1) the boss told me to do it, 2) gotta get paid, or 3) life’s full of these kinds of struggles.
And each year we’ll continue to build the future we dread. Get used to it. And repeat.
Have you seen Black Mirror tho? So good!
9. Designers still want a seat, unsure which table it should be at
The table (yes, that table) has been one of the most sought after places to sit for designers of all stripes. UX designers have been pretty good at finding a seat. In 2017 though, confusion around which table we needed that seat at proliferated.
In 2018 this will continue.
- The year will start off firmly targeting the strategy table, not to be confused with the business table. But designers will find themselves sidelined for asking too many questions.
- The design table will still be sat at, but mostly to complain about others ‘not getting it’ and to talk about cryptocurrency.
- Someone broke the legs off the dev table and no one wants/knows how to fix it (see #5 above).
- The kitchen table will be sat at most frequently, but usually just to eat last night’s left overs warmed unevenly in a sad microwave.
The real 2018 table will show its legs by August. Unfortunately it’s still flat packed in an unmarked IKEA box. Once opened, the team realizes they lost the allen wrench, but by December 2018 there will be a table.
This will be the table to kick off 2019. We’ll tell you what that is when we write next year’s predictions.
There you have it! Our 9 ½ UX industry predictions for 2018. All based in scientific research too boring to detail here. The doodles are mine, so, creds this way.
If you made it to the end, thank you! I’m gracious and hope you enjoyed it. Please share your comments 💬 and hit me with some claps (1👏 to 50👏👏), and share with your friends and colleagues 🌎.
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