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User experience in 2016 saw many developments, from the growing use of sophisticated chat bots to the growth of VR and augmented reality. In 2017, user-first innovation will continue to take centre stage.

Here are four key developments that suggest how UX will evolve and grow this year:

Standardised Usability Norms

Google’s release of interaction libraries and guidelines is an example of how usability has been standardised. Meeting primary usability requirements (the user can complete the desired task with minimum confusion) is crucial. To this end, libraries such as Google’s materials library have set standards for making UX intuitive.

In 2017, on-trend designers will make innovation subtle, remembering to put user intent and relevance first.

Old UX Design Terms Will Become Outdated

In 2017, UX terms such as ‘responsive design’ and ‘above the fold’ will be used less and less. For the former, mobile-friendly is now the standard. Even Google has removed the words ‘mobile-friendly’ from search result pages, since creating sites for mobile first has become the developer norm. In today’s UX, a non-responsive website design is an exception, not the rule.

As for ‘above the fold,’ now that users access sites on many different devices, there is no longer a predictable ‘above the fold’ placement for a design element or copy.

A user might access a website on a tablet the first time, via their mobile device the second times, and on a desktop device the third. Old terminology that assumed a desktop point-of-entry will fall increasingly out of use.

UX Design Will Be Increasingly Conversational

AI and advanced chatbots such as Siri and the Google Now interface mimic chatting with a real person. More app and digital service developers in 2017 will take a conversational approach to user experience design.

If you think of a food-ordering app, for example, the typical user interaction is like a conversation. First, you tell the app your geo-coordinates, then where you’d like to order from, as well as any special requests. Then you give address information and your payment details.

User flow should feel as natural and frictionless as a conversation, and 2017 will see more developers getting this right.

More Human-Centred Design

For years, UX designers have designed for screens and how we interact with virtual elements on screens. Clicks, taps, and swipes. Yet voice-controlled interactions (such as Siri and Google Now) mean designers must also understand not only what people do, but how they do it. Two people of different cultural or linguistic backgrounds may ask Siri a question with the same desired outcome but use radically different language.

For example, in a culture where it is impolite to discuss medical conditions frankly, an individual might express queries for Siri in indirect terms and metaphors.

In a world where personalisation matters more, where we do business across borders and converse in different languages, UX designers will need to think of how users interact differently depending on age and other differences.

Do you need a forward-thinking UX solution? Contact Interact RDT today

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