UX Trends

So I was asked recently to talk about UX/UI trends at a local meet-up so like, any good professional, I googled it.

Because I was pretty sure there were some really talented people on the internet already talking about this, and of course there are, so please free to google it too.

Current State of UX

After going down a rabbit hole of “UX trends of” articles and checking my Instagram 50 times, I was feeling a little lost so I shifted to trying to understand where I was at with my UX career and I asked a few of my coworkers and friends how they were feeling as well.

The ‘UX it’ Phenomenon

Actual footage of me “UX-ing things”

A couple common themes started to show up. The first I’d like to name the “ux it” phenomenon which I’ve seen others also reflect upon. In the past few years my friends and I found we were being asked to “UX IT“ or to “do the UX” on a project. This usually meant, “hey we don’t think ‘X’ is working, and we think a user experience professional can help”. Which I believe means were seeing a broader and broader audience seeing value in the skills and toolsets of the UX designer. I think this interest is causing us to revaluate what exactly we’re meant to be doing as UX professionals.

Actual footage of me UXing things

Actual footage of me UXing things

As the list of things we’re meant to do grows, it seems we have a really big job on our hands, a lot of which we’re not actually in control of.

Another thing we discussed was the tools of the trade and we all felt a bit like Ryan here — we’re interested, buuut.

When starting a prototype I have to choose from, Sketch, InVision Studio, Framer, Keynote and ten others, and I started to spend more and more time deciding HOW to execute my work vs. executing the actual work.

So, for me, thinking about all of this just left me a little overwhelmed, but then I realized well, that’s exactly how to talk about UX because I would argue all users are overwhelmed.

For example, average daily internet usage has surpassed an average of 6 hours per person, and at 41 billion users, we’ll be spending about a billion years online in 2019.

That could be checking out one of 2 million iOS apps in the app store, or talking to one of our 14 million Google Homes, or 31 million Amazon Echos, when they’re not too busy creepily laughing at us. Or maybe we’re checking out the current price of bitcoin, reflecting on how we should have listened to our gamer friends a few years back. We’re seeing articles about how even our search engines results are perpetuating bias, and that algorithms work better if you appear to be white, Joy Buolamwinidiscovered in her research. Maybe we’re wondering if we might be one of the 87m Facebook users who had our data compromised by Cambridge Analytica.

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Jennifer Ley