06 December 2016

3 user experience (UX) trends you need to know to future-proof your digital business

Tags:Design, UX, Marketing Automation, Intranet, Data And Analytics

Are you a digitally driven business? Did you know that your commitment to providing your customers with a winning user experience (UX) can dictate whether you sink or swim.

But investing in good UX isn’t simply a matter of testing, executing, and rolling out blanket improvements to your website.

Julian Munford, UX consultant at Squiz believes there are two factors that mean you should invest in UX as an ongoing project – a fast-evolving technological landscape, and customers who demand real-time updates and personalised, relevant interactions.

“You manage an effective website the same way you manage a team: with oversight, governance, planning, and strategies,” Julian says. "We often find that clients are unprepared and lack the skills to continue managing their digital platforms productively once their engagement with us comes to an end." Without leadership and nurturing even the strongest product will eventually wither and die.

According to Julian, shrinking UX budgets represent the biggest pain point for businesses. This means you can’t afford to waste time making changes that will take your online presence in the wrong direction or squander precious resources on costly mistakes.

So, what are the UX trends on the horizon that you need to be working towards right now? Let’s survey the shifts disrupting the UX arena and the patterns you need to prepare for if you want to futureproof your business and retain your customers down the track.

Trend #1: Audiences are becoming more digitally savvy

In the last few years, rates of digital literacy have accelerated and customers’ expectations regarding UX are escalating rapidly. Users now expect easy-to-use online products and anticipate shallow learning curves with low barriers to entry.

“The most commonly used digital products are polished and refined and are often developed using an iterative design process,” Julian explains. “Agile methods are still fairly new to UX teams, but the industry is fast embracing them. It’s an approach that allows feature and product designs to mature quickly both before and after the release.”

This strategy allows UX teams to deliver the seamless and polished UX experience that users demand and reap big rewards in the process.

Trend #2: The Internet of Things is changing UX

Julian predicts that the Internet of Things (IoT) – the interconnected network that enables interactions between people, machines, and systems – will be one of the biggest factors to disrupt UX.

“Gone are the days when the sole way of using a product or service was through its own user interface,” he says. “Interconnected systems that use voice, your location, or your behaviour to drive interactions are becoming more common. I can simply ask Google Home to play my Spotify playlist. And based on time and location, my Apple Maps will suggest the best way for me to get home from work.”

If they don’t want to be left behind, businesses need to start considering the ways in which the IoT will shape the way customers interact with their brand.

“UX designers need to think about more than just wireframes,” Julian explains. “They need to design and plan conversations and think about geotriggers and design apps that fit into our daily routines.”

Trend #3: Data-driven insights are the future of UX

Although data has always played a starring role in the work of UX designers, the ability to capture and consume customer information and act on data-driven insights will become easier and more mainstream over time.

“I expect to see analytics data from channels such as Google Analytics and Marketo drive UX design more and more as businesses evolve with customers,” says Julian. “Combining a data-driven approach with practices such as conversion-rate optimisation and A/B testing will become the new normal.”

It’s time to prepare for the future of UX

Embracing a user-centric philosophy is the most important move a business can make when preparing for oncoming UX trends.

Creating a seamless experience, whether it be online, offline or both, preparing for the IoT’s impact on your customers’ journey, and embracing data-driven insights will set the stage for an engaged and profitable user base. But putting these strategies in place today is paramount – after all, tomorrow is the future of UX. Will you be ready?

Contact Squiz today to find out how to equip your business for tomorrow’s UX trends.

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