The UX Trends to Look Out for in 2020

UX expert Strike Heredia predicts what to expect from user experience design in 2020

UX design refers to user experience design—an essential part of building a successful website, app, or digital software. It takes into account patterns of design and usability, the rules of interaction design, visual hierarchy, layout, and text.

Carlos "Strike" Heredia is a graphic designer and UX expert with years of experience working in design, creativity and strategy for different brands. Here, Heredia walks us through what to expect from UX design in 2020.

Heredia says, “At this time of year, like clockwork, people begin to predict trends for the coming year across different sectors and industries. It’s the same in UX design (despite the fact we always say to never “presume” anything, and it therefore seems rather ironic to be making predictions). What we can do is review what trends have marked 2019 and look set to peak in 2020.”

1. Chatbots and virtual assistants

A rule of thumb is to always put the user first: make processes easier and resolve any problems that could arise. This approach has resulted in chatbots and virtual assistants becoming a key feature in human-machine interaction. From resolving straightforward FAQs to more complex artificial intelligence, chatbots and virtual assistants create a more comfortable experience for the user and this is why they will continue to evolve in 2020.

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Platforms such as Facebook often use chatbots Foto: Austin Distel

2. Less theory, more practice

It’s incredible how much information you can find about UX design online. Add to that what’s also available on designing products and services, agile methodology, and design thinking, and suddenly you find yourself drowning in information. This can be overwhelming and actually interfere with you using your common sense.

Don’t become overwhelmed by all the tools that you have at your disposal. Remember they are there to make your task easier, not hold you back. Theory does help you to understand some of the more technical elements, but let’s not forget that the best way to resolve problems and evolve is through investigation, trial and error, and examining the results. Don’t drown yourself in information in 2020, instead put what you’ve learnt into practice.

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Combine theory with practice in order not to get lost in the process Foto: Kaleidico

3. UX is a team sport

UX design is a collaborative process. Once you’ve learnt to be a specialist and start building personas, it is only by working in a team that you will get the full picture and be able to solve problems.

Your team needs to include a few key profiles. If you insist on working alone, you’re only going to see the problem from one perspective. If we’re creating solutions for different people, then different people should be included in the process.

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Some examples of Strike Heredia’s work

4. More services, fewer products

In 2020, we believe it’s time to slow down and stop churning out products—apps, webs, interfaces—and instead focus on optimizing the services we already have.

Too often it is thought that launching a new product is a way to fix poor services. A lot of money is invested in a solution that doesn’t actually solve the problem. This year, we should think about the user journey, be more in tune with the process and their experience, so we can detect any faults and be ready to make improvements that provide better services in the near future.

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Apps have become a huge part of our daily life Foto: William Hook

5. Design with an understanding of the business

At the end of 2019, several innovation labs had to stop operating. This wasn’t due to a lack of resources or staff, but a result of having lost sight of what their business needed.

User-focused design is not just about stepping into the user’s shoes, it’s about understanding what a business needs to change or what it needs to offer the user to make it more attractive. For this industry to thrive and be lucrative, it’s essential to put this method into practice (HCD, Human Computer Development).

If people can’t recognize the positive impact UX design has on their business, then they will begin to see it less as an investment and more as an extra cost, which won’t help it to evolve.

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