Designing for User Experience: The Effect of Emerging Technologies and Software

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User Experience

Did you know that 88 percent of shoppers will not return to a website if they have had a bad user experience?

This user experience statistic alone shows why it is imperative to take user experience seriously when planning the design of your website, app, or any other product of this nature.

The good news is that it is becoming easier for us to do this because of the different technologies being released onto the market that will aid in understanding the user journey and improving the experience they have. With that being said, let’s take a look at the impact emerging technologies and software are having on user experience design.

Usability tests are helping us to understand how people interact with our products

There is only one place to begin when it comes to the impact technology is having on user experience, and this is with usability testing. If you have never heard of usability testing before, this is a proven method that helps you assess your product with real people.

You will get someone to complete a number of different tasks. At the same time, you will be able to assess their interactions. You will be able to see whether or not the design is suitable and easy for their needs.

You are not simply looking at whether or not your product functions. You are able to truly understand the use cases of your product and understand your audience. This information ensures you are able to build the best possible product for your target consumer base.

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The different types of usability testing

There are a number of different types of usability testing that you can use. This includes remote or in-person, moderated or unmoderated, and qualitative or quantitative tests. Essentially, these are the three key decisions you have at your disposal when building a usability test for your brand and product.

    • In-person or remote? – Your decision here will typically be based on what is being tested. You may need an in-person usability test for physical products. However, online tools and software will test just as precisely with a remote application.
    • Moderated or unmoderated? – It is vital to select between both options when setting up your usability tests. All methods will fall into one of these two categories. The goals are the same, but it is all about determining whether or not the presence of a moderator would make sense for the nature of the test and your objectives.
    • Quantitative or qualitative? – The user research you carry out will fall into one of these two categories. There are some key differences between both. Quantitative research is all about statistics and numbers, answering the when, where, and what. However, qualitative deals with the “why” by using words. Certain methods lend themselves better depending on your specific approach. You may decide to go hybrid and use both.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having a massive impact on the UX market

Of course, we cannot talk about the latest advancements in technology without speaking about Artificial Intelligence (AI).

One of the most obvious examples of how Artificial Intelligence is being used is in the chatbots that we are seeing on websites today. Natural Language Processing is advancing at a rapid rate, meaning AI chatbots are becoming more intelligent, efficient, and effective all of the time.

AI chatbots are able to interpret what the user is saying and what their intent is. This means the experience is much more friendly. The chatbot can either answer the person’s question or ensure they reach the right human agent who will be able to help them.

As time goes on, chatbots are only going to become more natural. Plus, the great thing is that they automatically get more intelligent as time goes on, as they use data and past conversations to learn so that they can interpret conversations more effectively in the future.

There have been some truly amazing advances in the field of machine learning and AI, and we are increasingly seeing how AI is being embraced in mainstream product design. A good example of this is facial recognition software. This is getting more advanced, and do not be surprised in the future if this type of technology could extend to understanding a person’s emotions.

As you can see, AI is being used in many different ways to make sure the user experience is as positive and seamless as possible. It can be frustrating when you hop onto live chat and you are met with a robot who does not understand what you are saying and repeats the same words back at you all of the time. This sort of tool is now a thing of the past. We’re looking at live chat agents that truly add value and ensure you get the answers you need in the most efficient manner. This will also help to make sure that businesses are only dealing with the most important queries that genuinely need human interaction.

Touchless gesture control is being explored to improve UX

Another technology that we are seeing has an impact on UX design is touchless gesture control, which works by tracking the motion of an individual’s hand.

It is crazy to think that we have reached this stage in technology and design. When the iPhone introduced Touch back in 2007, it completely revolutionized the way we interacted with products. However, we are now moving on to the next evolution in interaction design. Soon, you are not going to even need to touch your smartphone in order to get it to carry out certain tasks. You can simply pinch your fingers in the air or wave your hand, and your phone will know exactly what you want it to do.

Different tech companies are exploring this in different ways, and they are at different stages in the process. Samsung, for instance, needs the consumer to hold a tiny wand that has sensors for this to happen.

However, Project Soli, which is being implemented by Google, uses a tiny chip that is filled to the brim with sensors, making the most of radar technology. These sensors will interpret the person’s motion, translating it into data so that the phone knows what the user wants to do. At the moment, you will only be able to silence phone calls, skip songs, and snooze alarms on the Pixel 4, which is Google’s flagship phone. Nevertheless, it does give us a hint of what is going to come in the future.

Other use cases are being explored in other areas, such as driving and gaming. For example, the Airtouch Dashboard was introduced by BMW, which uses sensors to pick up the person’s hand gestures, and then accept phone calls or adjust the volume accordingly.

Voice UI is the next natural step in User Interface (UI) design

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design are often used interchangeably. However, while they do overlap, they discuss two different concepts. User experience covers a consumer’s experience with a product, irrespective of what the item may be. However, UI design is purely focused on the interface of a product.

The design of the interface certainly has an impact on how positive the person’s user experience is, so they are very closely related. In terms of UI design, we are seeing that voice UI is becoming the next natural step. Voice assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa have soared in popularity as of late.

In fact, there are approximately 3.25 billion digital voice assistants being used around the world at present. By the time we reach 2023, it is expected that this number is going to rise to eight billion! Voice UIs make it possible for people to enjoy an easier experience. They can form more of a human relationship with the technology they are using. They will also be able to multitask.

The process is very different in comparison to designing graphical UIs, so this is an area that is very much being explored at the moment. We can expect to see it really take off to the next level over the coming years. After all, we want convenience from technology nowadays, and voice UI will certainly provide that.

The impact of emerging technologies and software on user experience design

So there you have it: an insight into the different ways emerging software and technologies positively impact user experience design. With so many customers expecting to have a seamless and convenient experience when interacting with a site or app, you cannot afford to let them down.

You can make the most of the latest cutting-edge software to ensure that the user experience you offer is a positive one that will impress and satisfy your target audience. However, we are now moving on to the next evolution in interaction with design digital products.

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Roy M is a technical content writer for the last 8 years with vast knowledge in digital marketing, wireframe and graphics designing.

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