In the last couple of years, the design community has been writing, talking, and thinking about a lot of trends especially in the deep-tech paradigm that has completely shaken the grounds of how apps were developed to address user’s challenges. It has changed the way we do our chores, make our plans, and invest our money. Now, as it has become clear that a distinguished UX Design of a product could truly be a differentiator for a digital product, it’s time to explore how UX Design Principles could play a pioneering role in defining Product Roadmap.
It is really hard to pinpoint a general rule for designing a good product however, as entrepreneurs, we need to adhere to these latest trends to stand apart from competitors.
1. UX in cross-platform designing/Multi-platform integration
Why Cross-Platform Designs?
UX will be imagined and manifested to form solutions for voice-based interfaces, gaming consoles, automobile dashboards, interactive TVs, and many other innovations yet to come over the existing mobile. Voice User Interfaces (VUI) or Conversational AI will be all the rage in the new decade with the rise and acceptance of newer technologies in home automation and security services. Tactile interfaces are increasingly finding use-cases in the fitness and pre-emptive healthcare industry for people of most age groups.
The solution that can be thought upon
A bit of general advice to all Product Managers, UX designers, and even stakeholders out there: Don’t try to be everywhere.
With all these platforms and devices available, you might feel tempted to take your product everywhere available which could be the mistake that leads your product to the realm of doom and confusion. As a product manager and a user experience designer, it is also our task to define the product strategy in these matters. Research and Adaptability are the key factors for your product success here. Experience extensions usually don’t reflect the whole experience and goals of your product but they can help it expand towards other uses and in different contexts. They are, as the name suggests, an extension of your product’s core goals and can help and optimize certain user tasks.
2. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
I have mentioned in my previous STORY how this particular technology is going to redefine our future and the way we perceive the things surrounding us. Having designed and prototyped a couple of AR apps, I started off creating simple experiences (Fig. Below) and eventually moved into creating full-scale products.
Now as we know AR/VR is all about creating an experience that reminds the user of the actions being undertaken at each second(Presence in terms of location, status, remaining content, etc). This reminds the user where they are and what’s next is very important in any immersive experience. The next important aspect is to minimize user movement and usage of intuitive gestures(I will be sharing details on each of these with real-time examples in my next blog). The obvious choices are two-finger pinch-zoom, one-finger drag to rotate, and two-finger movement. At many places where gestures are implemented, it’s about finding the right balance between the number and type of gestures and UI elements.
3. Voice UI
This has to be one of my favourites. Voice assistants are bots that allow communication without the necessity of any graphical interface solely relying on sound. VUIs (Voice User Interfaces) are powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and voice recognition technology. To be able to create great user experiences with voice interactions, you need an understanding of how people naturally communicate with their voices, and you need to understand the fundamentals of voice interaction.
Apple’s Siri interface is an example of a voice user interface that coexists with a graphical user interface, here an iPhone.
The Right Approach To Design Solution VUI
The first and prime cost aspect is Research. The primary aim here is to gather information and understand the behaviour and needs of the users since this information is what makes the foundation of the product requirements. Next is definitely Design by creating key scenarios of interaction. These scenarios come before the specific ideas of the app and should be identified in order to be turned into conversational dialogue flow.
An intelligent AI assistant must also have the ability to switch between flows and respond appropriately when a user changes their mind mid-flow about what it is they want to do. Getting stuck in a particular loop of conversation is not a good experience and often leads to the user simply exiting.
A hypothetical example: saying the phrase “Delete this” could be a valid command for voice-enabled versions of both a Microsoft Word document and your Facebook profile settings — but the consequences and intent behind uttering the same words in each scenario are drastically different!
4. Rise of community outreach in UX
Cross-functional team working culture foster within us a diverse skill-set. Product Managers and designers need equal inputs from data scientists, algorithm engineers, content creators, and illustrators. As UX cannot exist in isolation, designers need inputs to shape a product to meet the business objectives. The process of designing is refined thoroughly with the creation of a strong feedback loop to include dynamic user research (UX) design. Same as the design creators, UX producers also have to board a broader framework of opinions in the process to make a nice experience for various end-users.
Team activity in UX design will be dictated with different rules of the game as products of the Internet age mature.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
The most acclaimed and sought after designers have two important skills, in addition to those fundamentally required for design — good communication and the ability to collaborate. Understanding the functioning of intra-teams encourages product thinking. Community outreach aims to promote the application of inclusive HCI and UX principles in the community.
Pick one or two trusted colleagues, select a few mentors outside of your bubble, and build your own sounding board if you are looking to have more honest and in-depth conversations about design.
Also, joining design themed groups on Slack, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. to keep up with the trends. Smaller groups make it easier for participants to build psychological safety with each other. That’s much harder to do in a large room with hundreds or thousands of people.
Closing Thoughts & Takeaways
More businesses will have the ability to benchmark the quality of experiences via UX metrics, which will guide teams and stakeholders in creating richer multi-device experiences for different communities.
Originality matters. You can create something which is similar to a winner and be proud of your achievement. But you might hear people saying, “Hey, this reminds me of one of those Products.”
And after a while, they will forget. If it’s not original, it’s not worth remembering.
The good thing here is that you can observe the best and worst of different websites and applications, and create something which is a package of good things. However, remember not to be a copy.
Take inspiration but be original.