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User Experience Trends In 2015: Part 2


Welcome to the second part of our two part sries about user experience trends for 2015. Earlier this week we shared four of the nine top user experience trends for 2015

To recap, here are the myths from Part 1:

  1. Responsive Sites 
  2. Enterprise UX
  3. In-house Teams
  4. Cross-discipline Responsibility for UX

Today we are going to take a look at five more user experience trends - some of which we've seen in previous years and some of which are just emerging. 

 5. Service Design: Blending User Experience with Customer Experience

I'm super excited that folks in user experience and customer experience are beginning to talk to each other. For so long, user experience has been limited to working on websites and applications (specifically the UI), while customer experience has been in the trenches at call centers. As a user experience designer, I've spent a fair amount of time partnered with a call center agents listening to live calls. Without a doubt, user experience problems are frequently customer experience problems, and customer experience problems are often user experience problems. It makes sense for these two disciplines to be working together to improve cross-platform experiences, customer service, and service design experiences.

6. Data Driven UX

The trend in business towards business intelligence and analytics is finally gaining ground in the user experience world for its role in making informed experience strategy decisions. We're hearing UX managers and product managers, in particular, asking questions about to how quantify the user experience, how to demonstrate that the cost of user experience benefits the product, and how to cost justify user testing - something they feel is valuable but struggle to demonstrate the value of to upper management.We've been beating the drum of demonstrating ROI on UX & usability projects for years; this trend toward business intelligence is a more comprehensive solution that:

  • Identifies problems, risks with the current user experience
  • Benchmarks the user experience
  • Provides an unbiased, objective review of how the user experience conforms to industry best practices
  • Defines a common ground for discussion, measurement and improvement
  • Educates both data users and consumers to facilitate data-driven decision making

The next logical step after that is to put it in a dashboard to track over time.

While business intelligence is huge right now, some of this trend is a sign that UX as a discipline is simply maturing.

7. Remote User Research

Conducting user testing sessions remotely is here to stay. The ability to interview particiants from their actual environment using simple, low cost tools like GoToMeeting makes conducting user testing more affordable while improving insights. As more organizations see the value that user research provides and become more comfortable with distributed solutions like remote user research, we'll continue to see this trend toward remote user research.

8.  Emphasis on Quantitative User Testing Reporting

The days of gaining only simple qualitative data (observations) in user testing are over. Along with the trend toward data drive UX and business intelligence is a growing emphasis for providing quantitative data in user research reports.  Some of the quantative data we routinely collect include:

  • Complete/Completed with Assistance/Failed to Complete rates
  • Likert scale (1-5) - task experience
  • Likert scale (1-5) - overall experience
  • User experience benchmarking
  • Card sorting data (specifically on things you don't typically card sort, like research results)
  • Word clouds
  • Even more!

Reporting this type of quantitative data provides quick, unambiguous insight for upper management. Of course, every team needs to decide at the beginning of the project what quantitative data needs to be gathered for their research needs. And the really good news is that this data is typically easy to collect during user research projects. 

9. User Experience as a Business Strategy

As the field of user experience has matured, so has it's relationship with business. Harvard Busines Review even said user experience is the new black. That's great news for user experience designers, but even better news for product managers and business strategists who really want to develop the products people want and need. We've said for years that good business is a good user experience, and that remains true in 2015. What's changed is that more people outside the design studio are coming to that realization too. 


Do these trends resonate with you? Have you found yourself about the future of UX and how it may impact your team, your work, and your career? I want YOUR thoughts on these trends - get in touch!



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