Taking A 2020 View Of User Experience

By Parisa Bazl

It’s hard to believe that 2020 will represent this decade’s final 12 months.  With so many technology innovations, I think we can 100% conclude that the last 10 years has seen UX become a make or break for the success of a product. 

Our human expectations of ease of use, device synchronization and personalization has driven developers to even greater heights, coupled with a mandatory requirement to stay in touch with the latest trends.

2019 saw many advances in UX and there is no doubt that 2020 will expand on that progress.  Here are my predictions for UX over the next 12 months.

  1. Refocus on research
    • The design process consists of two major phases: designing the right thing, and designing the thing right.  For the second, designing the thing right, there are lots of patterns, templates, and conventions that have already been defined and most of the time, should be reused, since people get used to doing things a certain way.  Convergence in design paradigms means less time redesigning what a form field looks like and greater focus on if we are designing the right thing.  This will require us to engage with users on a continual basis, which also means utilizing more lightweight research tactics whose findings can apply more broadly.
  2. Personalization
    • One of the things that the smartphone age has created is highly personal interactions.  We see this in ad tech, where we see products specifically targeted to us, as well as in everyday consumer apps, where fitness, shopping, and social media experiences tailor content specifically for us.  B2B has historically been heaps of data and functionality since enterprises generally require technologies to service multiple different user types.  However, given the shift in user expectations towards highly personal experiences, B2B applications will continue to refine the experiences to be more unique for users, surfacing relevant data and functionality without requiring them to go digging for it.
  3. Inclusive design
    • Inclusive design is about making products and services accessible to, and enjoyable by, as many different groups as possible.  Software is often built and designed by homogenous groups – meaning many people of the same gender and racial background (typically males and typically white or Asian).  Oftentimes, this means their personal biases are “hard-coded” into applications and either leave out or disadvantage minority groups.  This can happen in less consequential (though still significant) ways such as Snapchat creating racially offensive facial lenses to incredibly consequential ones such as decision-making healthcare AI systematically discriminating against black people.  To avoid this, companies should be actively training employees to identify their own personal biases and work to overcome them, and most importantly, continuing to hire diverse and inclusive teams that make career progression a reality for all types of people.
  4. UX writing
    • UX writer is now a role in its own right, where previously teams had to figure out language from the combined skills of UX designers and industry experts.  Because copy is so critical in terms of a user’s ability to fully leverage a digital experience – meaning get the most out of it possible –  companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon all have created these roles for their teams in the past few years.  Everything from button text to instructional text and system feedback would be handled by a writer with the aim of creating as enjoyable an experience as possible.

At Commvault, UX is at the heart of our design philosophy – we’re embracing simplicity as one of our core competencies and applying it to installation, operation and scale.  Find out more by checking out this Commvault GO keynote session about our Product Vision.