UX trends that will dominate in 2020
We have just entered the final year of this decade (As with the centuries, the new decade will start with the year 2021) and everyone is curious and eagerly awaiting to see what dominating trends we’ll see for UX in 2020.
Dominated by AR (Augmented Reality), Virtual Reality (VR) or designing mobile-first experiences, 2019 continued down the path of user focus and making technology more useful.
In 2020 the UX Trends are widely influenced by behavior in our every-day lives, the ever growing amount of smart and internet connected devices in the market and the continued advancement of technology. Let's take a look at the most significant UX trends for the year 2020.
The year 2020 will likely become the year of Artificial Intelligence. This term has been around since the late 1950s, but this year we will be witnessing it's full spread into everything we use in our daily lives. With the latest developments from Google’s AI efforts, personal products and even assistants, we can expect to begin relying on AI to ease our lives daily. As these AI get more and more sophisticated, UX takes shape in a whole new way, where UX becomes more about understanding context and the user’s location, mood and situation.
With over 2.5 quintillion bits of data collected every day, Artificial Intelligence will keep getting smarter and as we see it embedded into more and more products, it will become a big part of the overall user experience that customers will come to expect. Apps, websites and other products are now capable of learning more and more about the users based on their behavior with contextual understanding. One big impact from AI that we’ll see with traditional applications is that apps will need to rely less and less on onboarding, the setup experience, and handling “user errors” as these apps will better accommodate user behavior and enable more use cases and ease of use, helping to result in higher conversion rates and increased retention.
Smartphones revolutionized how we access information and put the entire world in our pockets. Designing “mobile-first” became a trend and then the norm of the previous years. We are still in the time of mobile-centricity, but as the market saturates with additional connectivity of smart devices, we’ll see a trend shift towards multi-platform for almost everything. In 2020 the number of connected devices per person will rise to 6.58, which means that you’ll see a plethora of functionality available for everything on everything. Whether controlling your coffee pot from your watch, or adjusting your bed firmness from your TV, we can expect for those type of previously laughable scenarios to become the standard.
It means that having just an iOS app will not be enough to meet the needs and demands of consumers and yet stay competitive. Users are demanding and actively synchronizing their data across all their devices. They want to be able to use your product on all their devices, without any barriers, from all over the world. Big brands like Netflix, Uber and Google have already adopted multi-platform-first experiences, connecting cross-platform mobile, wearables, smart TVs, and speakers into a seamless user experience. This approach will be a crucial part of the holistic UX experience as we move through 2020 and beyond.
In his article from 2014, “Contextual Experience Sampling of Mobile Application Micro-Usage”, the author Denzil Ferreira found that 40% of the total mobile usage lasted less than 15 seconds, coined “micro-usage”. In 2019 Neilson Norman Group defined this short mobile usage further as microsessions – mobile sessions shorter than 15 seconds. With the popularity and rollout of smarter phone assistants, more powerful widgets, more meaningful notifications and “shortcuts”, we’ll see this trend in the year ahead as allowing the user to perform quick actions more easily will not only yield a better experience overall, but make engagement more meaningful and create even stronger brand affinity.
With the behavior-based app simplification, users are able to take action without opening the app, supported by the latest OS software releases for both Apple and Android. Experience Design teams can build upon this experience and allow users to perform common tasks, such as ordering their favorite meal or summoning a taxi with only a tap.
“As connected products are integrated into more aspects of our day-to-day lives, UX will be responsible for translating strategy into intuitive experiences.” Forbes
With the proliferation of smart devices and larger, grander experiences across the customer journey, UX Audits are a must. While yearly audits are most common for finances and compliance, we’ll see an increase in the needs and demand for UX Audits to keep an accurate assessment across the board of the full 360º experience that brands and companies both large and small are creating at a rapid pace.
Twenty-twenty will be the super year of the user. In order to keep pace with the creation of connected devices, AI-driven logic, multi-platform accessibility and behavior based simplification, UX will further its dominance in modern product creation and brand extensions. We wish you all the best in 2020.