The future is (un)certain
The digital world is an ecosystem. Mobile, big data and personalization are converging points that create a connected User. The future holds a system that shows us the user experience takes us far beyond the screen. Familiar systems are going to feed the proliferation of UI patterns. The booming theme market is making the front-end a commodity, but the upside to this that larger projects are going to create interactions that push the limits of technology.
Overall good user experiences are based upon a UX-based thought process. That process can help designers, marketers, advertising sales people, as well as consumer and B2B users interact with a new generation of devices. If a new disruptive technology hits the market, we learn from the mistakes of devices-past. Touch of genius.
This leads to the point that despite predictions that the future won’t have a UI, that voice recognition and predictive future is far off. Some screens are necessary. On consumer ecosystems it’s a story that drives purchases, this can be articulated using rich animation and making an experience more interactive and entertaining. B2B product users are starting to the though of as users, no longer is there the separation of consumer users versus a B2B user except for hyper-specific software.
Designers are taking cues from title animation designers to tell the story of anything from on boarding a platform to an ecommerce responsive site. The beauty as well as predictive nature of animation has helped push predictive micro-interactions. We can see this in wearables. I believe the line between wearables and anything else that is screen based, is going to go away. Companies such as Apple, Fitbit, and Oscar are paying close attention to this. The user experience design is already all encompassing for these brands. It goes beyond the screen to the the weight, feel, and interaction of the device.
The ecosystem of UX for brands that have become digital citizens are all encompassing.
- The tone and responses of a customer support representative.
- Hardware and software design based upon an congruent aesthetic.
- The cadence of artificial intelligence: Siri.
- Responsive sites becoming more adaptive, as mobile completely takes hold websites will be treated like application experiences.
- The basic principles like Gestalt’s grouping principle, Hicks law etc remain the same across standard screen.
- Short term human behavior becomes more predictable.
Engineering is also apart of a user’s overall experience. The future holds virtual DOM-type libraries. React.js, single page apps, frameworks like AngularJS. These are turning websites into responsive experiences more akin to apps rather than traditional websites. This work also complements the initiatives towards making the management of CSS files much simpler.
The next few years will also bring profound advancements in virtual reality (Oculus, Vive, Morpheus) and holographic augmented reality (Hololens, Magic Leap, VOID). It is inevitable for all of these technologies to transcend screens and become fundamentally embedded in daily life – encompassing and redefining all digital media.
All of these exciting developments will require a lot of design – of myriad interfaces, either virtual or overlaid on the physical wold – and of the holistic experience of being a human being in this truly magical techno-future wonderland.