Today I’m really pleased to be able to share a Guest Blog post from Amy James, expert UX Designer at well-known card and gift company Moonpig.com, and previously UX Consultant at Accenture.
How I know Amy James: Amy and I originally met when I provided a Keynote talk about one of our ResearchGames at the User Centred Design Conference in London, back in 2013.
Amy had provided a fantastic workshop during the conference event, where she spoke about Gamification, psychology and user behaviour. I found her workshop engaging, relatable and most importantly, I learned something new. From there, I’ve kept in touch with Amy on Twitter in some way or another! The UCD conference itself was great, and Amy was one of the speakers I remember really well – good ideas and a clear passion and deep knowledge of her area.
A bit more about Amy James: As UX researcher at Moonpig.com, Amy talks to Moonpig website users and observes their online behaviours so she can then feed back results and insights to the rest of the product team, in order to evolve Moonpig’s offerings. Amy enjoys UX Design, playing video games, doodling and running.
Why have we asked Amy to Guest Blog for us? Two reasons
1) For obvious reasons, UX Design and understanding user experience is crucial to my work here at RTG, so naturally, I’m interested to hear what an experienced UX researcher like Amy has to say.
2) When Amy recently read my post about the Future of mobile MR, she then tweeted me saying that she wonders what the future of UX Design will be like. So I said, “why don’t you tell us?”. And so she did, and with many thought-provoking questions, and providing her opinion on UX Design and the UX industry with comments on UI, Virtual Reality, the future of technology experiences, and checking Facebook on our fridges.
Want to share your thoughts on the future of UX Design and industry? Comment below or use Twitter hashtag #FutureUX. Enjoy!
by Amy James
I recently enjoyed Betty Adamou’s article about the future of market research. I found myself wondering about the future of my own discipline and how it will be affected in the years to come. So when Betty asked me to write about it I was thrilled to put together some thoughts.
The Future of UI Design
With the vast increase in different devices over the past few years, it’s safe to say that the future will bring a whole host of new screens and interfaces to play with. As the Internet of things gathers pace, there will be many more screens to look at, and it will be our job to make sure they’re as user friendly as possible. Want to check Facebook on your fridge? Sure! But how will that work and what will it look like? A ridiculous far-fetched view might look something like Trey Parker described at E3 2012…(0.00 – 0.21)
Another avenue suggests that the physical UI is slowly dying. With virtual reality (VR) gaining support from big players, it’s only a matter of time before we are checking our calendars in the air around us, taking video calls on the train etc. but as I remember from a talk at Appsworld 2014 from Patrick O’Luanaigh (of nDreams) designing for VR is a whole different ball game. Microsoft’s new HoloLens also gives us a glimpse to what the future of UI could look like. However, I think we still have a long way to go to get to Tony Stark style VR. But hey, a girl can dream.
The Future of Research
The Internet has made remote research far easier, but how reliable is it? Is there still a place for sitting down one to one with someone and talking to them? I hope that research starts to play an even bigger part in UX in the future and we can start to use some of the methods Betty outlined in her post.
Will future UX practitioners be operating quantitative scientific methods, such as eye tracking and EEG in order to remove the subjective human element of testing? VR could also be utilised for testing. This is becoming an emerging practice in areas of psychology and engineering, for therapy and architecture/system design respectfully.
The Future of our Jobs
A gap is starting to appear between in-house and agencies. As UX becomes more prominent, will more and more companies be building in-house UX teams? Or will they be hiring freelancers to do the odd spot of UX? I somewhat fear the rise of UX into the mainstream; it could lead to a cheapening of the trade and outsourcing to potentially lesser avenues in the future. On the flip side, in 10 years, there could be a piece of software that does UX for you, and we would become close to obsolete. Tools are emerging to make our lives easier and easier; in the future we could simply input some requirements and controls and out comes a website, perfectly responsive and well designed.
What about the UX unicorn? Will we still be seeking that person who has a good grasp of everything or will we start searching for specialists in the field? How would the industry look as a field of lone wolves, compared to packs of specialists? I hope we go the way of individual specialism, but we should still maintain a respectful knowledge of each other’s skills.
The Future of Technology Experiences
Will going to work in 10 years be the same experience as it is now? advent of driverless cars means that the drive to work may be less stressful and allow you more time for other activities. A futuristic UI in cars could take up the whole windscreen, as it would no longer be necessary for you to see the road at all times.
Will AI be taking your jobs? As more processes become automated, online and controlled by machines, designing a good user experience becomes even more important. Human error will still be involved, but this time at a higher level. Instead of the waitresses error in not giving your order to the kitchen, the designer/developer may be called at fault for a bug in the program or an interface people can’t understand.
I don’t think machines will ever fully replace humans, human interaction is still a very important part of a user experience. When asked to recall a good customer experience, most people will remember something that another person did for them, not how a machine worked. People still refer to the human on the other end and it will take a while for that to fully transition.
I think this is an exciting time for our industry, and I look forward to seeing what’s to come. However, these are just my ideas. What do you think? Share your thoughts below or on Twitter using #FutureUX.