Ask the Experts Part 2: What excites you the most about the future of UX?
by Jenny Lewis, Head of UX

Ask the Experts Part 2: What excites you the most about the future of UX?

UX Insider: Ask the Experts Part 2

Following on from our mini interviews of leading experts where they shared their views on the biggest UX challenge of the future, comes part deux… what excites them most about the future.  As you would expect everyone gives a different and insightful answer, ranging from machine learning to advanced biometrics. Watch the video or read the transcriptions below to see who thinks what!

Jonny Rae-Evans, Head of Product Innovation at the Big Lottery Fund– Jonny spoke about the ethics of design and the importance of intent and impact.

“The thing I’m most excited about for the future of UX design is that we don’t know what the future looks like. There’s a lot of voice and there’s a lot of AI being talked about. The potential for that is really exciting, but it’s a completely new way of working. The systems are completely new and are changing, and the way that we’re going to be interacting with users will be completely different. I think that’s exciting. Change is always exciting but also really difficult.”

Rob Johnson, Manager of the User Research Team at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe – Rob offered an insight into user research in the world of video game development and explained how that differs from traditional user research.

 “I think the easy answer to that is to look at different ways of understanding the user. We use eye tracking and we speak to people and there are biometrics that have been around for a while. I think we’ve had, certainly from my experience, some false starts with that, where it looks really exciting and we can measure people’s arousal and look at what’s going on in their brain but it’s not actually telling you too much. But I think if we keep working at that we’ll get to something exciting and when we do, that’s going to be really great for us. The pinnacle is reading people’s minds and if we can get somewhere even a tiny bit close to that it’s going to be really useful, really insightful and it’s going to be a very exciting thing indeed.”

Damian Rees, Co-founder and Director at Experience UX – Damian covered human behaviour, including the importance of considering mental models when designing.

“This is a really hard question to answer because I talked about how we need to focus on users, but actually the technology is exciting and I am excited about technology. I’m really excited about where VR can help us become more empathetic. I’m really excited about things like hyperloop, in terms of the future of travel and how that might change. So the technology still does really excite me, but I just have to always temper my excitement by thinking how is this going to work for people, how do we make that design properly?”

Anna Dahlström, UX Consultant and Founder of UX Fika – Anna showed us how to find the story in UX designs and explained why narrative structure is so important.

“What I’m most excited about for the future of user experience is actually connected to some of the risk with technology as well, but it’s the ability to do good with technology. To take away all of the clutter, all of the noise and to bring really relevant things to users when they need them and stop people from having frustrations with technology. The more we learn in a good way and the more we use consent for data, the more we can cut away lots of clutter for them and get them to what they need at that moment in time or wherever they are in the best possible way.”

James Lang, Lead Researcher for Google’s publisher products – James explored how best to get buy-in for UX research and how to balance idealism with pragmatism.

“The thing that I’m most excited about in terms of the future of user experience is actually the way that we’re starting to take the needs of users beyond western, English-speaking markets seriously. I think it’s been very easy in the last couple of decades for user experience to be very focussed on what American or European, at a push, users need and think and want. And that’s not going to wash anymore thankfully. I’m seeing increased focus on how the products and services that we’re creating might be relevant or irrelevant to people in other cultures, speaking other languages, who maybe have different needs and contexts of use. I think the more we can be serious and not pay lip service to the idea of applying design across cultures, ultimately the more successful we can be as an industry.”

David Harding, Research Ops Lead at the Home Office – David talked about large-scale research and how to make sure it gets to the right people at the right time.

“I think one thing that’s quite exciting, based on some of the other talks that I’ve seen today, is the fact that UX is becoming more embedded in a lot of people’s processes and lives, and in what we do within organisations. It’s gradually becoming more accepted and I think you can see that in a lot of the talks today. A lot of the discussion that happens within the industry in general is people dealing with a lot of frustrations about it not being understood, but that is gradually changing, so I think that’s quite exciting because it opens up what you can do.”

Paul Boag, leader in digital transformation and UX design thinking at Boagworks – Paul shared his tips for starting a UX revolution and showed how small steps can make a difference.

“The thing that excites me the most at the moment about UX is the idea that the interface might take a step back. We’ve been so reliant on the graphic user interface for so long, but there are so many opportunities now. I’m not just talking about voice interfaces, although that’s really exciting, but I’m also talking about sensors and automation and that kind of thing. So I think there’s huge potential in really taking the burden away from the user to complete the task and the interaction, and actually for more and more of it to be automated. Things like machine learning will make a big difference to that as well.”

As always we’d love to hear your thoughts on this so connect on Twitter and share your views @experience_ux

UX Consultant Emma Peters

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