The world of UX and UI moves fast. Innovation is the name of the game, and UX teams know they need to keep their fingers on the pulse.
So, what's in store for our industry in 2023 and beyond? Here's a look at the major trends, predictions and technologies revolutionizing UX and UI.
The rise of the AI researcher
The momentous launch of Chat GPT-3—which surpassed a million users in less than a week—has got us thinking about AI.
ChatGPT from OpenAI is a dialogue-based artificial intelligence that delivers eerily human-like responses to questions. While it's not always accurate, the service is proven to produce usable webpages, software code, and even poetry in just seconds.
But what's that got to do with UX? In the months and years to come, AI has the potential to revolutionize the UX function, empowering teams to deliver research and product iterations in new and exciting ways. That's why we're constantly evaluating how it might fit into how we approach user research.
We don't see a future where AI replaces researchers and designers. UX is one of the most human-centric, empathy-focused disciplines out there. In the coming years, we expect that AI will enhance our capabilities to architect top-notch user experiences.
The world of voice assistants
Google and Amazon have reportedly scaled back their voice assistant teams, resulting in layoffs and talk of “missed opportunities.” Even so, voice assistant usage is set to surge by 320% in 2023. UX teams must move beyond screen-based research to include gesture-based tests for voice interfaces.
In 2023, omnichannel experiences are where it's at. These days, consumers want to seamlessly interact with brands across their tablets, laptops, mobiles, voice assistants, and wearables. In line with this, McKinsey research shows more than half of buyers engage with a company on three to five channels during the customer journey.
The dominance of omnichannel means research and design processes need to evolve. To improve conversions and decrease bounce rates, UX teams must master the art of building cohesive, intuitive user experiences across digital mediums.
In practice, this means broadening research and design to consider the user's end-to-end journey rather than siloed interactions.
Meet the Metaverse
2022 was the year the Metaverse started creeping into our lives.
While still relatively in its infancy, the AR and VR platform is set to revolutionize online experiences in the years to come. So much so that, by 2026, Gartner predicts 25% of people will spend an hour or more in the Metaverse each day.
For UX and UI designers, the Metaverse is a total departure from traditional thinking, propelling us into a new dimension (literally).
You're probably wondering how to launch your UX team into the Metaverse. In truth, right now, UI and UX in the Metaverse is a case of discovery.
No one has the secret formula just yet. But many companies are exploring the best ways we can enable consumers to participate in VR research while uncovering the right methodologies for the job.
Architecting age-appropriate experiences
The recent passing of the California Children's Online Safety Bill might be the first American law of its kind, but it certainly won't be the last.
Globally, advocacy groups and government bodies are putting the onus on digital-led companies to build age-appropriate online experiences for young users.
As the pressure mounts, platforms that appeal to young consumers have a powerful opportunity to pave the way for a safer future online.
If children or teenagers use your solution, it's time to start thinking about how you can reimagine your design and research practices for the next generation (if you haven't already).
Rapid research rolls into reality
Rapid research is going to be all the rage in 2023. It's an approach to prototype and product research that's ongoing, repeatable and, of course, rapid.
Get it right, and you'll empower your design team with meaningful insights that supercharge the customer experience.
But what makes rapid research, rapid? In contrast to traditional research, the aim is to move from briefing to results in less than a week. Instead of loads of meetings, emails, and briefing edits, you'll hold just one or two meetings during a rapid research sprint. The approach is highly streamlined, agile, and process-driven.
It might sound ambitious, but it's totally possible to kickstart a rapid research program in your organization. You just need a solid strategy and the right tools.
Championing the value of UX
It's sad to say, but we're in an era of economic uncertainty. Just recently, tech giants like Meta, Lyft, and Amazon got streams of negative press for laying off thousands of employees.
For people working in tech, these announcements are destabilizing. UX researchers, in particular, may worry about job stability. While you know the value you bring to your organization, getting buy-in for user research can can sometimes be difficult.
But this challenge is also an opportunity. Your stakeholders need to know about the immense value of UX - not just for your job prospects, but so you can do your job even better and get more budget.
It's up to UX and UI teams to speak to leadership in a language they understand, convincing them of the ROI of impactful UX programs.
At the end of the day, your company needs your insights to create unforgettable online experiences and drive growth. So, promote the fantastic work you do.
2023, here we come.
As we leap into the new year, there's certainly a lot to be excited about.
Emerging technologies are starting to enter the mainstream, giving UX and UI researchers the chance to create innovative online experiences that boost brand loyalty.
While there's definitely a lot to learn, 2023 will be a great year of experimentation. As we all know, Rome wasn't built in a day. Implementing things like voice interactions, AR and AI will take time.
You'll need patience, creativity, and a growth mindset. Luckily, these are the exact qualities that UX researchers and UI designers possess.
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