#UX Trends in 2015: My predictions

I was unable to make the deadline to contribute to the “UX Trends” article UX Magazine recently published due to other commitments (curse you, international business travel!), but I am never one to let good content go to waste. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the design trends that we will be talking about in 2015:

Less screens, more experience design

We are seeing more and more “transparent” user experiences – enablers and apps that work behind the scenes proactively to provide contextual information and insights to users. We will see a lot more of that – so much so that people who only design UIs will be looking to refocus their work into user research and “service design.”

Gestures become practical and useful

Gesture-based interaction will not become mainstream, but the people who are designing for it will be a lot smarter about how they implement it. No longer will we have games or apps make users sweat to do simple things – the design will be more obvious and more useful.

Personal analytics becomes mainstream

When the Apple Watch is released, a lot of people will all of a sudden be VERY plugged into their personal health in a way they never were. This “personal analytics” movement has big opportunities for many companies willing to roll the dice. Expect a lot of great apps that take advantage of this wearable device (and others of its kind) – so much so that they will make manufacturers of devices like blood pressure or diabetes monitors start wondering where their sales went.

Voice control will become much more common

With rumors that a certain desktop OS that runs on the majority of the world’s computers will gain a voice-based “personal assistant”, 2015 may be the year that voice control finally breaks through to the desktop in a big way.

Mobile First/Responsive Design will become MUCH more popular with companies

Big companies are beginning to see the true business value of responsive design (quicker and cheaper development, write once use everywhere, a consistent user experience, etc.) – so expect much more “mobile first” design conversations to take place in corner offices around the world.

Apple will make (another) big misstep with users

Apple’s halo is tarnishing – the iCloud hack hurt, buds with new iOS software releases certainly didn’t help, and I expect Apple to make at least one more high-profile mistake that hurts its reputation with users (and it will probably involve the cloud).

There you have it, my thoughts on what will happen in the UX domain in 2015. See ya in twelve months to see if I’m right…

Joseph Dickerson is a user experience professional and UX Lead for Microsoft based out of Atlanta, GA. He has implemented processes in user testing, design and ethnographic research and provided design and consulting services for many different projects and organizations.

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