The state of User Experience (UX) has changed over the past five years. UX practitioners are expected to be multi-faceted individuals who can maneuver between customer experience, design, and in some cases, front-end development. The latter has to do with a slew of tools in the market that allows UX practitioners to not only sketch concepts quickly, but also to create working prototypes. Five years ago static wireframes were the norm; nowadays, creating fully functional prototypes in different form factors with reusable components is becoming commonplace. Tools such as Sketch, InVision, and UXPin are the norm, and new technology is popping up regularly. The pace of change has forced UX experts as well as companies to adapt more quickly to changing market demands. This new reality has blurred the lines between what it means to be a UX Designer.
Additionally, the role of a UX Designer has become more ubiquitous in the market with the advent of online education and certifications. Educational institutions such as General Assembly offer ten-week courses in User Experience. This has opened the door for new practitioners to enter the market. While the pool of talent has grown, so has the expectations companies have on UX experts to do more and in more diverse areas of focus. This requires practitioners to stay up-to-date and for companies to remain dependent on experts. The advent of automation in the User Experience space has also started to gain awareness where changes to systems and new applications can be enhanced at a much faster pace, creating competitive advantages for companies.
I think it’s safe to say that User Experience is here to stay. The value gained from improving applications by focusing on the user has been cemented. I can’t help but think of the 1:10:100 rule which was popularized by IBM Watson, it goes like this; “The 1:10:100 rule for change, it will cost $1 to do initial research, $10 to change your design and $100 to change your product.” User Experience is all about designing the right solution the first time to help reduce cost on the backend and to delight the users. Where will the next five years lead us? If the past is any indicator, the sky’s the limit for User Experience. There will be more options than we can currently conceive. The key is staying up to date.
About the Author:
Jason Moccia has over 20 years of experience in the software development field is the CEO of OneSpring LLC (www.onespring.net). OneSpring helps companies to work smarter by providing an entirely new approach to designing solutions.