While technology does not stand as the end all and be all of user experience (UX) design and strategy, its advances are making the possibilities that much more exciting – from the developer’s perspective as much as the consumer’s.
Smart developments – and smart in every sense – are reshaping our world and our expectations. This as explained by Bo Zou, a Toronto-based customer experience design strategist.
“We’re seeing artificial intelligence growing increasingly sophisticated, for example … Plus, we are finding more and more ingenious ways to combine technologies and solutions. It’s expanding the possibilities that are breathtaking in their power to transform us,” Toronto’s Bo Zou adds.
The UX/technology combination is having a huge influence in how we interact – with each other, with our favorite brands and with new brands and capabilities that leverage the possibilities.
Among some of the most interesting:
- Personalization – to the nth degree.
Why customize when we can go the next level and personalize? It happens, as Inkoniq, a New York UX/UI firm, writes in its blog, when an app, a program or your smartphone react to your actions, using “all the possible data about you and adapts in a way that makes you feel as if you are interacting with a real person.”
What will that lead to? Try voice interfaces that remember your voice and match the experience to your tastes. Age responsive design that interfaces with bright colors and stylish typography for teens and larger fonts, perhaps in more muted colors, for seniors.
- Face recognition – new stand-alone uses, and more
This is stepping up in 2018, and in many respects China has been leading the way: Face scans enable fast food payment, drug abuser identification and airport check-ins. With the Apple iPhoneX, face recognition is used for accessing your phone and making payments, and more. As soon as you look at your phone, the ringtone is lowered and alarm clock sounds. But face recognition APIs can also be integrated into other products for log-in, verifying identification or identifying emotional response.
- Augmented reality – how and whose do we augment?
AR is gaining momentum, but as software R&D engineering firm Altexsoft pointed out in a blog, UX designers need to step in to address that question. A big challenge is managing the potential when everything stands to be an interface and users are in the driver’s seat. The momentum is gaining, with interesting applications in place. Inkhunter’s app, for example, allows users to see how different tattoo designs will look on their skin.
- Micro interactions – adding value, delight in a single moment
These are being taken increasingly seriously in UX design. Our lives are filled with them – ways we transition through tasks. One example: The Facebook reactions, six emoticons that are fun as they give users an option outside of plain, old likes. The focus is on creating multiple, yet seamless micro interactions that escort users on their journey, with no muss, no fuss, but maybe a little fun. On an e-commerce site, for example, they can provide immediate, entertaining feedback as the user chooses from different products, adds them to the cart and proceeds to the checkout.
UX and technology. Together, they’re supporting the kind of human-centered thinking that’s changing how we live and work, today and in the future.