As a UX conference designer, I follow trends in the field, and create themes for my conferences that reflect the most buzzed about topics. One of the recurring themes in 2016 was “empowerment”, which will be the theme for my upcoming UX Copenhagen conference in March: “Empowering the End User With User Experience Design.” The conference will focus on how successful user experience (UX) design empowers people, and how good experience design must center around giving humans a sense of self-efficacy, while at the same time focusing on how a product makes them feel. As for 2017, I see three important directions for UX:
1. I see behavioral design trending in UX, and I believe that it will become imperative for UX professionals to have a much deeper understanding of this field. The return of human-centered design is a direction that I have been advocating for, and that I am happy to see it re-emerging. We will need to know more about human behavior to study not only how our product makes our customers feel, but also to learn specifically about customers’ expectations, and how this aligns with the actual experience.
2. I see UX’ers becoming strategic business partners. After working in the field of UX for almost two decades, and spending most of that time fighting for the importance of UX, I finally see UX design becoming a significant factor in strategic business planning in upper-level management. More UX professionals are being hired to infuse UX/design thinking methods into the company’s DNA, and I see businesses profiting from this change.
3. I think that there will be an increased focus on information ethics in UX. In a world where AI data processing is omnipresent and unavoidable, interfaces are changing, and even becoming invisible. We need to be sure that information is being used ethically, and that people understand how their data, and data about them, is being used, especially as interfaces disappear. Looking ahead, I am super excited to be in the field as it broadens and develops. Here’s to a great new year in UX!
Helle Martens is an experienced UX freelancer. Her main focus is creating user-friendly solutions to technically complicated digital systems. For the past three years, she has convened several successful UX and behavioral design conferences. Learn more at hellemartens.com, and on LinkedIn.