The start of a new decade is the ideal time to take stock of what’s next for the field of user experience design. From 2010 to 2020, the internet, mobile technologies and web design have dramatically changed the world we live in. During these years, UX design has also shifted and adapted to these new demands and changing technology. Here’s a look at what we expect UX designers will see in the year ahead.
When most of us think of artificial intelligence and design, we may think of designing voice interfaces for Siri or Alexa to provide directions or place a product order. In fact, AI may also be coming to the design world in other, more complex forms, such as computational design. This rapidly evolving branch of design harnesses computing power and calculation to let machines assist us in our design process.
One upside of this AI-driven design is the lowered cost of testing options to fulfill a given project’s parameters. When a design is produced with AI assistance to meet specified constraints, designers are able to test their options more efficiently than creating all the options “by hand,” freeing the design team to focus on higher-level design problems.
There’s been a growing call for personalization in most aspects of life, and that trend will also influence user experience design in 2020. Typically, designers have been tasked to address the needs of “average” users, which make up about 80% of the population. But within that remaining 20%, there’s a range of possibilities that UX designers aren’t addressing.
This is an idea known as the “paradox of specificity” that’s espoused in Alan Cooper’s book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High–Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Trying to solve everyone’s problem generally results in a subpar product. Instead, in 2020, designers may begin to focus on solving one particular problem for one group of people, likely leading to a superior design that may also be applicable for a broader audience.
Truth and transparency
Fighting misinformation will increasingly become a concern for UX designers in 2020. The rise of “deepfake” videos and misinformation campaigns has already affected users of countless digital products and will only get worse. In fact, the problem is so widespread that both Google and Adobe have both announced efforts to try and combat deepfakes in the future.
Ensuring that your company retains customer trust will depend on UX designers leading the charge to develop products that stop the spread of misinformation and more easily identify deepfakes and other doctored content.