For too long, the user experience looked like a reflection of developer browsing habits. Developers created the experiences that they would like to have when navigating a site or experiencing an app. The problem is that developers tend to be a homogeneous group in terms of gender identity as well as racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. On the other hand, users come from every background imaginable, with different priorities, concerns and user habits. Expect the 2020 user experience to engage multiple users on different levels in ways that can increase engagement and productivity.
Gradual Progress Toward Greater Inclusivity
Developers and the software companies that employ them are beginning to appreciate the need for inclusive development and the creation of software solutions that address issues and concerns typical developers are not aware of. In response to these blind spots, software companies have invested in coding equity programs. This effort aims to create a pipeline of highly qualified but historically underrepresented individuals into the tech field. However, these efforts might not yield easily quantifiable fruit in time for the 2020 user experience. Until these efforts have peaked, there are other ways software developers can use existing technology like AI to create inclusive UX in 2020.
With a burgeoning population in Southeast Asia, developers are beginning to see the adoption of multi-lingual interfaces. Some interfaces are not merely translated word-for-word from English to another language. Rather, AI practices and data collection studies have determined the ways in which users verbally and textually engage with websites and apps. Multi-linguality is a mesh of English and other languages, a kind of language that has organically developed among international users of English-only sites and apps. Multi-lingual sites embrace user idiosyncrasies and use AI to generate chatbots that engage with users in terms they understand, freely using words borrowed from many different languages.
An assistive workflow scenario requires at least two actors. One person might initiate a digital task, but another user will be able to or required to complete it. This is helpful when a more experienced employee is tasked with training a new employee. Suppose an invoice needs to be sent to a third-party contractor. One employee can prepare the invoice, but the invoice will not be sent until someone from accounting, or a supervisor can send it.
Assistive workflows can engage users and improve UX in both practical and social ways. On the practical side, it can be used as a check and balance to prevent fraudulent activity, making users feel safer and protected. On the social side, it is useful for teams working in different time zones. Assistive workflows can provide a more collaborative environment that encourages productivity and improves morale.
Overall, the 2020 UX experience will be one that improves the experience of users who have not always been the beneficiaries of innovative design and development.