Predictions for UX design have already started pouring in. From chatbots, artificial intelligence, self-driven cars to virtual reality, 2017 seems to be packed with a lot of challenges and opportunities for designers. All of these predictions sound cool, cutting edge and path breaking. But what if we have to take a step back? Are there any low-hanging-fruits that the design community can start embracing immediately? Are there things that designers can start thinking right now rather than wait for AI to come into the mainstream? Here are a few grounded-thoughts for 2017.
1- UX and Service Design Come Closer
UX traditionally has been more focussed on research, interaction design and the visual look and feel. Service design, on the other hand, has curated methods to map a holistic strategy for a product or a service. It would be great to see the power of these two disciplines blending in 2017. What if a customer journey map (or any blueprint) becomes as important as delivering a wireframe in a single project? It would be great to see that level of sensitivity ingrained into the mainstream design culture.
2- User Research getting a Facelift
This is probably a bit ironical. A lot of design firms believe in superficial makeup in the name of good design. For instance, user research is mostly the first thing out of the equation when timelines and budget don’t seem to fit the reality. The onus of evangelizing research is on the design leadership within companies. Even if it’s not possible to conduct in-depth user research, there are still ways to include the end users into the design cycle. Maybe we should revisit our beliefs (again) in 2017.
3- IoT becomes the New Playing Field
We have worked on mobile, web and wearables. It would be great to design for a connected world. IoT going a mainstream will open a treasure box for designers to face challenges and explore new opportunities. It would be great to see the knowledge-palette of designers getting a wider canvas. What if we start learning about a bit of hardware as well? Experience design, software, and hardware can be a powerful combination to innovate with.
4- Mobile Phone Interactions to be Less Intrusive
Do these devices give us time to breathe? Can they stop buzzing? What if the OS (iOS/Android) have a greater role to play in crafting broader experiences? What if these devices can predict our actions on a daily basis and do something amazing for us every day? How can we tie together a sea of apps into a singular meaningful experience? Maybe something to ponder on.
5- Mobile Apps, Browsers, What Next?
What if 2017 is not about 20 different apps landscaping your home screen? What if 2017 is not about a chrome or a safari? What if this app vs browser war comes to an end? What if MacWorld 2007 repeats itself? This time challenging its own creation – the smartphone apps. Instead of being all about sleek and powerful, will 2017 be about new ways for people to interact with the web beyond apps and browsers?
We are always curious to hear what you have to say, please do leave a comment to share your take on UX/UI trends for 2017.