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How Do You See The Future of UX Design?

UX Planet — Medium | Guy Ligertwood

Question 16: What’s coming in the world UX design

20 Designers, 20 Weeks, 1 Question Per Week

Learn from twenty experienced designers as we go deep into one question every week.

This week we look at what the future holds for the world of UX

Previous articles in the series (so far)

Intro Article: Get to know the designers
Question 1: How did you get into design?
Question 2: How your typical work day?
Question 3: What things you wish you knew when you started in design?
Question 4: What are the best ways for you to stay inspired?
Question 5: What do you want to see in my UX design portfolio?
Question 6: 5 important questions you need to be able to answer in the UX interview
Question 7: 5 design books every UX designer should read
Question 8: Imposter syndrome: Your experience with it as a designer and tips to manage it
Question 9: 5 non designer books every UX designer should read
Question 10: What’s the best design advice you’ve ever received?
Question 11: 5 things that make a great UX designer
Question 12: What have you struggled with in your your career and how did you overcome it?
Question 13: How do you juggle your life, work and keeping up with the design industry?
Question 14: What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design and why?
Question 15: What tools do you use to design better and be more productive?
Question 16: (you’re here) How do you see the future of UX design?

Simon Pan — Senior Interaction Designer at Google, San Francisco, USA

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

The same as it has always been–co-creating and empathising with people to envision a more desirable future and figure out how to get there.

Where can people follow you?

simonpan.com or on twitter

Andrew Doherty — CEO, Another.ai, Berlin, Germany

Formerly Product Design Manager at Google, Mountain View

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

It’s going to end… at least the way we do it now. Sorry ‘bout it.

The time for making money pushing pixels around is almost up, and we’ll lose our jobs much faster than we expect. Generative design and Ai will be such a game changer for planet scale products. Websites will stop existing as we know them today and question answering will be handled dynamically and in real time by bespoke Ai systems.

Designing one-size-fits-all interactions just won’t cut it in the future, and customers will demand interactions that are personal, unique, and immediate. Scrolling through apps and websites to get information into your brain? Aint no body got time for that!

UX designers as we know them today will go the way of the dodo (remember flash developers? yeah… just like them).

If you have the time and the energy for a strategic pivot, I’d be heading in the direction of some careers like these:

  • Avatar Designer — Suggested by Glen Murphy (Android/ Chrome)
  • Cybernetic Director — Suggested by Matias Duarte (Google)
  • Digital Conductor — Suggested by Bill Buxton (Microsoft)
  • Nanotech Designer — Suggested by Carl Bass (Autodesk)
  • Fusionist — Suggested by Asta Roseway (Microsoft)
  • Organ Designer — Suggested by Gadi Amit (New deal design)
  • Interventionist — Suggested by Ashlea Powell (IDEO)
  • Ethnographic Designer — Suggested by me.
  • Emotion Designer — Suggested by me.

Where can people follow you?

My website or on Medium

Adham Dannaway — Senior UI/UX designer, Contract/Freelance, Sydney, Australia

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

Even though UX Design has been around for a while now, I still think that we’re in the infancy stage of its development. It reminds me of when Photoshop was the prevalent tool of choice for designing websites. Designers would spend hours on end throwing hundreds of different visual effects at a design, just because we could. Nowadays, we’ve learned how to remove the unnecessary parts from our designs, making them simpler, more efficient and user friendly.

Just like back in those Photoshop days, I feel like UX designers now spend hours on end throwing hundreds of different UX techniques at relatively simple problems. Do we really need a competitor analysis, a contextual enquiry, a survey, user interviews, a heuristic review, a user journey diagram and a SWOT analysis just to change the colour of a button? We’re shooting flies with cannon balls and spending a lot of time and money doing so. I’m worried that UX design is getting a bit bloated and fluffy and hope that we can start working on removing unnecessary techniques from our UX process to become more lean, efficient, cost-effective problem solvers.

As for my future predictions, I think the demand for UX designers will continue to grow, not only in the tech industry, but also in other industries that are in great need of some UX love. I can’t see us moving away from mobile and computer screens in the near future, but I’m excited to see how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice commands, augmented reality and virtual reality develop. I think that the future holds exciting times for UX designers. We just need to remember to stay flexible and adaptable and enjoy the ride ahead.

Where can people follow you?

adhamdannaway.com

Ben Huggins — Sr Interaction Designer, YouTube, San Francisco, USA

Nationality:

American 🇺🇸

How do you see the future of UX design?

In short, new context.

Technology will blend more seamlessly into the environment. As our world grows more comfortable with AI, AR, voice and connected devices, we’ll design less for pixels or form factors and more for information — where, when and how to present it.

Our tools will change. We won’t build websites or apps in the way we do now. UI might be designed by algorithm instead of in Sketch. We’ll focus on the broader experience instead of an individual touchpoint or product. Design challenges will be less about driving conversions in a hotel booking app, and more about how to help travelers have the best impression of a hotel from planning through checkout.

While the world and our relationship with it may change, the building blocks of human behavior stay the same — attention, trust, fear, habit, etc. With any luck, our process for understanding and designing for these driving factors will be just as impactful as it is today.

Where can people follow you?

hugg.in or I’m @bhuggins on Twitter and Instagram

Chirryl-Lee Ryan (aka Cheech) — Transdisciplinary Designer

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

Once upon a time, the term ‘User Experience’ was used to describe the ‘design of everyday things’ — everything that makes up the experience with a product (digital or other). Today, as the realisation that we live in an increasingly complex world sinks in, the term ‘UX’ has come to represent the detailed design of digital products (in particular, websites, mobile apps and software applications).

With the onset of new(er) design disciplines like Service Design, System Design, Strategic Design, Critical Design and Speculative Design, as well as the rise of Design Thinking, UX has become old-hat. Complex problems require deeper solutions than a website ‘revamp’, and UX designers themselves are fleeing to other disciplines (one search of LinkedIn shows how many ex-UXers have become Service Designers).

The detailed design of digital things is already more intertwined with day-to-day life than a hand-written letter was 100 years ago. From making a website to curating Instagram to using Powerpoint, everyone designs these days. Which will only make expert craftsmanship and mastery of new and old design disciplines more important as bigger and more complex problems need to be solved.

The shear scale and speed of technological progress combined with just how many poorly designed ‘everyday things’ already exist means that the detailed design of digital products will remain. As UX becomes more menial, automated or even DIY there will be more space and time for design professionals to put the craft of holistic human experiences first, and detailed design of digital things last.

Where can people follow you?

My Linkedin

Audrey Liu — Director of Product Design at Lyft, San Francisco, USA

(*Audrey has recently moved from Director Of Product Design at Thumbtack to Director of Products Design at Lyft 🙌)

Nationality:

American 🇺🇸

How do you see the future of UX design?

UX design is more ubiquitous than it has ever been before — companies recognize its value as a differentiator, more people have access to good design tools.

Given that, it is important for us to continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and to uphold the principles of great ux design. Quickly, new interaction paradigms are starting to take root (e.g. AR, improved wearables, etc), which will completely change how we interact with products and our environments — allowing us to create connections in ways we never could before.

To keep up and catalyze greater change, designers will need to reevaluate and refresh their understanding of fundamental human behavior and needs constantly. We’ll see our boldest and best designs from the designers and teams that do.

Additionally, as better, easy-to-use design tools become available, we’ll see design playing a larger role in invoking societal and political change in the non-profit sector.

Where can people follow you?

My Twitter

Nick Babich — Development Team Manager, Ring Central, Russia

Nationality:

Russian 🇷🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

I see a few significant changes.

  1. Good usability will be the essential requirement for every product. Platform guidelines will mature. And following them will be basic requirements for good design.
  2. Regarding design work, I think we’ll see a new role — DesignerOps — which will be responsible both for design and development of a solution. We already have a similar role in development and operations (called DevOps). DesignerOps will also fill gaps in design-developement collaboration.
  3. AR and Voice interfaces will be two the most interesting (and hopefully profitable) field of design. For voice interface, we’ll see a demand for content writers and physiologist.

Where can people follow you?

UX Planet, Twitter Facebook

Alessandro Floridi — UX Manager at Deloitte, Sydney, Australia

(*Alex has recently moved from UX Manager at Deloittte to UX Design Lead at Macquarie Group 🙌)

Nationality:

Italian 🇮🇹

How do you see the future of UX design?

We are experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution and UX Design is playing a key role in it.

In the future, User Experience Design will become a stronger and well established practice influencing different aspects of our lives. We are already seeing a specialisation in the UX role , by focusing in Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Voice User Interface.

This specialisation will be more defined in the future where UX Design will touch different Industries and business areas.

In fact the term “User Experience” is too vague to reflect the relevance of the practice. Other skills will be added to the UX Design toolkit but empathy will always be the key differentiator to keep this role alive.

Where can people follow you?

My Linkedin

Buzz Usborne — Product Designer at Help Scout, Sydney, Australia

Nationality:

British 🇬🇧 and recently Australian 🇦🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

My unpopular opinion is that the lines will continue to blur between UX, UI and prototyping.

As technology and user expectation continue to evolve, designers will need to adapt their way of working to be able to rapidly produce seamless, innovative and engaging user experiences.

Stopping at producing wireframes, or a nice-looking “design system” won’t be enough — instead a deep understanding of how to push design and tech to produce more appropriate solutions will become key.

Where can people follow you?

My work at buzzusborne.com, my Twitter, my writing on Medium and my resume on Linkedin

Kylie Timpani — Senior Designer at Humaan, Perth, Australia

Nationality:

Australian 🇦🇺

How do you see the future of UX design?

I believe that the future of UX design will undoubtedly cover a few things:

  • The concept of the ‘user experience’ will move beyond tech, beyond websites and apps, and into fields that are *still* lacking in this space.
  • As AR and VR become more prevalent, there will be a blurring of the online and offline experience of the user (that is, if, the ‘online’ and ‘offline’ even continues to exist). As a result there will be far more emphasis on the need to be able to create deeply empathetic holistic experiences. I heard a great quote once that sums this up: “UX design will become a social skill rather than a design skill”. Sorry, I don’t remember who said it.
  • Voice control and brain control: These are things we’re going to have to adapt to, reworking our knowledge of what we understand user experience design to entail.
  • As a result of the above, technology access for those with limited capabilities will improve tenfold (yay!). Their use of our products will increase and we will have to — as we should have been already — consider their needs more closely in our design practice.
  • AI will do a lot of the legwork, personalising and optimising experiences.
  • There will be pushback and there will be privacy issues and concerns from the wider public.

Where can people follow you?

My Twitter and also on my Dribbble for haphazardly timed insights into my work.

Graeme Fulton — Writer, coder, designer at Marvel Gibraltar, UK

Nationality:

British 🇬🇧

How do you see the future of UX design?

People have been playing with how digital products are experienced for a long time. From input devices like the mouse and keyboard, to the visual UIs that are intuitive to understand.

As improvements to technology became less of a differentiator, ‘UX’ has been a focus to bring more competitive advantage in businesses. Whether it’s making things easier to use, or making complex systems accessible to a wider audience, opportunities to do that are present in every industry.

Therefore, I’d like to think it will be you as a designer who can define the future of UX by choosing the type of challenge you want to work on. Hopefully it will be to the benefit of humanity, and the robots don’t end up destroying us all.

Where can people follow you?

My Twitter

Kaiting Huang — Interaction Designer at Google, in Seattle, USA

Nationality:

Taiwanese 🇹🇼

How do you see the future of UX design?

UX design is becoming a widely accepted and understood concept that it can no longer be a sole differentiator of a product. Five years ago, an app with a decent look and sleek interaction could create overnight sensation even it offered limited extra utility (Remember all the cool alarm clock apps and calendar apps?) The same phenomena happens much less today due to fierce competition and the overall maturity of the UX industry. Right now UX is not only desired, but also required for a new product.

Similarly, the expectation of a UX designer gets higher than ever. A decade ago, having “wireframes” in your portfolio could make you stand out as an Information Architect / Interaction Designer. Today, literally everyone can create wireframes in minutes by a wide variety of simple tools. An UX designer as a role is expected to have the whole spectrum of knowledge and skills from research to conceptualization to visuals to production.

As a result, the future of UX design will not just be about design, but expanded into “design plus a domain”, weather it be AR, VR, speech interface, AI, machine learning, blockchain, content strategy, finance, transportation, healthcare, etc. Google’s “Design is […]” series includes several good examples of the spark that UX design and one specific domain ignite.

Where can people follow you?

My Medium

If you enjoyed this…

Read the other articles in this series

Intro Article: Get to know the designers
Question 1: How did you get into design?
Question 2: How your typical work day?
Question 3:What things you wish you knew when you started in design?
Question 4: What are the best ways for you to stay inspired?
Question 5: What do you want to see in my UX design portfolio?
Question 6: 5 important questions you need to be able to answer in the UX interview?
Question 7: 5 design books every UX designer should read
Question 8: Imposter syndrome: Your experience with it as a designer and tips to manage it
Question 9: 5 non designer books every UX designer should read
Question 10: What’s the best design advice you’ve ever received?
Question 11: 5 things that make a great UX designer
Question 12: What have you struggled with in your your career and how did you overcome it?
Question 13: How do you juggle your life, work and keeping up with the design industry?
Question 14: What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design and why?
Question 15: What tools do you use to design better and be more productive?
Question 16: (you’re here) How do you see the future of UX design?

Thanks for the read, before you go

Clap 👏 👏 👏 if you enjoyed this article, so others can find it
Comment 💬 if you have a question you’d like to ask the designers
Follow me Guy Ligertwood to read all the articles in the series

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How Do You See The Future of UX Design? was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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