It’s undeniable that the way how we perceived the quality of digital programs has been changing over the past few years. If before the functionality and the back-end of an application were the look-out wow factors, today, with the digitalization and the rise of smartphones and customers’ experiences, that status is now shared with — if not overcome by — usability.
But as the world changes and technology advances, the user experience is also adapting to the new reality.
With that in mind, I now present you the 7 main trends you should look out for in 2019 (besides the fact that living coral is the color of the year).
1. Keep an eye on voice-activated interfaces
It’s incredible to think that not that long ago, talking dots were just a technology out of a sci-fi movie. But ever since Apple launched Siri back in 2012, smart assistants have become the new norm, revolutionising the way we look at interfaces.
After Siri, Microsoft launched Cortana, Amazon launched Alexa and the Echo Dot, and Google, the Google Home. While more companies start betting on their own smart assistants, it’s not surprising that in 2019, the enterprise will adopt this trend to change the way it interacts with its users.
2. Chatbots have come to stay
It might not be the latest trend, but it’s definitely on the rise. Chatbots allow your users to have instant, 24/7 answers to their questions. How many times in this past week have you been to a website and someone pops-up to help you find the information you’re looking for? And as they’re evolving and have the capacity to collect more data, and run better algorithms, in 2019 they’ll continue to replace their human counterparts. But only until a certain point.
3. Human + AI = personalisation
As I said in the previous trend, the use of chatbots will continue to grow during 2019. However, the use of artificial intelligent tools will only help your users until a certain point. I mean, chatbots can only answer limited questions and AI still lacks that “human/emotional” touch.
So, AI will not replace UX designers but they can work together to give the user what he or she is looking for. It’s about matching the information AI collects about the user with the knowledge of the UX designer. This way, you’ll to deliver a great experience based on the preferences, tastes, behaviours, and characteristics of your user. In other words, based on actual data.
4. The time for storytelling has arrived
That’s right, storytelling. The thing is, nowadays your consumers are so overwhelmed with the amount of information they access every day that is hard to capture their attention. And it doesn’t help when the attention span of an average adult is only eight seconds.
A way to stand out with the middle of all the noise is through storytelling. A good story has the power to create empathy with the user and it allows you to involve him or her in your message. Plus it’s neurologically proved that people remember powerful stories. Watch out for videos, as great ways to tell a story and improve your users’ experience.
5. Step Into the World of Augmented and Virtual Reality
In 2019, get ready for augmented and virtual reality experiences. Although its commercial use it’s still far from ideal — it’s still an expensive luxury and there are plenty of cases where people feel dizzy if they use this technology for long periods — , it’s rapidly stepping into the enterprise.
On the one hand, people can use AR and VR tools to improve presentations, like moving an image during a remote meeting, or draw in a screen, for example. On the other, it can be an alternative to video to tell a story in 3D.
Either way, this is an incredibly powerful trend that, to be successful, will depend on a great UX design.
6. Become Device Agnostic
If years ago, people would go online mainly through their desktops, it’s no news that nowadays smartphones are the main point of contact. And that trend will, with no surprises, continue to grow in the upcoming year.
The challenge for UX designers is to deliver a seamless experience across platforms whenever they’re designing an app or a website. Every experience they create needs to have in mind the different devices from smartphones and desktops to tablets and smartwatches without losing quality from one to the other.
Which brings me to the seventh trend.
7. The Rise of Wearables
Also this past year, we’ve been witnessing the rise of a variety of wearables, from smartwatches to portable devices to monitor the quality of the sleep or the heart rate, for example. And their popularity will just continue to grow in 2019. So, it’s up to the UX designers to optimise the experience of these devices.
Which it’s all but easy. Even the industry giants like Amazon, Google and eBay have been struggling to deliver a great experience in such a small screen. In fact, Google even took Google Maps from Apple Watch App Store. But that’s a challenge UX designers will need to overcome in the upcoming months.
That’s a Wrap
Well, that’s pretty much what 2019 holds for us but only time will tell. In the meantime, if you’re struggling to deliver a unique experience to your users, at Hi Interactive we have experts to help you revolutionise your digital presence. Want to know more? Let’s talk!