1. Get yourself ready to design for new technologies — I know there are plenty of apps, software and websites that still need to be designed and re-designed, but if you are in the field of UX for more than the next 1-2 years then you need to get up to speed on designing the user experience of what is to come, including:
a) the UX of virtual reality,
b) the UX of voice-only virtual assistants (Echo, Siri and so on),
c) the UX of augmented reality,
d) the UX of social robots, and more.
Set a 2017 resolution to become familiar with the UX of at least one of these products that you haven’t designed for yet.
2. Get ready to design for younger generations — If you are between the ages of 20 and 80, realize that a new generation of users is coming up that has different expectations than you have for technology. People who are 35 and up are used to designing for people in a different generation, but if you are younger than 35, especially if you are in your 20’s be aware that you (like everyone else!) have generational biases and expectations that are different from the teens of today and younger. Spend some time watching people who are 10-20 use technology so you can start to understand their mental models.
3. Read at least 3 new books in 2017. There are so many great books that have direct applicability to UX out now. It can be hard to make time to read a book, but it’s worth it. Make a list of the top 3 you want to read and then set aside some time every week to make progress.
Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology, is Chief Behavioral Scientist and CEO at The Team W, Inc, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin. She consults with Fortune 1000 companies, start-ups, governments and non-profits. Dr. Weinschenk is the author of several books, including 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People, and How To Get People To Do Stuff. Clients include Medtronic, Walmart, Disney, Amazon, and the European Union Commission.