With the digital experience becoming as important for consumers as product and price, the user experience industry is going through rapid change. We look at the top five user experience trends for 2019.
Building user trust
In a post Facebook-scandal era, data protection has become a huge issue and digital businesses need to think very carefully about how they integrate this into their UX, says UX Designer Neill Moore at RMA Consulting. When users share data, let them know what you will use it for and build trust by sharing yours. Brands particularly need to think about how users can “offboard” (a term coined recently in Ends by Joe MacLeod) – how they can ultimately end their relationship with a digital product. “It sounds crazy for a growing digital company to make it easy for its users to stop using their service”, says Moore, “but in doing so they show their users that they are handling their data with respect.”
Ensuring user accessibility
UX design in 2019 is about ensuring the lowest barrier to entry. Voice will be a key player in this area in 2019 predicts Moore. Augmented reality, technology which displays additional information from digital sources on real-life elements, is another. AR lowers the cognitive burden of its users by simply taking care of tasks for them, showing them for example whether a certain couch would fit in their house or how a new haircut would look. Also vital to consider is the discoverability of a product. Is it available on all relevant platforms? A good user experience means that users never have to search high and low.
Creating dynamic, multi-device experiences
Last year it was mobile-first, this year as the number of devices grows it is about creating multi-device experiences. A user’s journey should be seamless, regardless of the device they are on. Uber is a great example of a device-agnostic company. Travellers can start their journey from their voice-command device and finish it on their iPhone. For the user the journey is one Uber continuous interaction.
Ensuring digital wellness
Every young company is aiming to build the next sticky product but most digital brands now recognise that the key to keeping users is not to dominate their time, rather to optimise their time.
The small things can make a big difference: Google, for example, notices if Gmail users stop opening emails from certain mailing lists and offers to automatically unsubscribe them. Services like Whatsapp have removed any kind of user interface from their product, making it simply black and white, allowing the user to better concentrate on the task at hand. “Content is king” says Moore, “and everything else is just noise”.
Balancing user and business requirements
As UX becomes increasingly vital for brands, businesses are increasingly looking to their UX designers to this with their business requirements. A good example here is customer support. Users want an answer to their question or resolution of their problem as quickly as possible, but staffing telephone call centres is an expensive business. UX designers are increasingly thinking about how the customer can self serve, without them leaving feeling disconnected and frustrated by the brand. Simple ways of doing this is include providing online content such as videos to help fix a problem, or an automated assistant.