Regardless of pandemic and other major challenges of 2020, there has been some good news as well. The UX designer industry continued to boost and become a strong field leading to a brighter future. Today, we are going to take a closer look at 2020 to understand what we achieved.
Then we will look ahead to what 2021 has in store for UX success. Based on 2020 stats and performance, there are predictions for 2021 and what the UX designer can hope for.
Modifications to the Novel Normal
People across the globe have been part of the work from home or remote working experiments. This has seemed successful experimentation with extra efficiency and productivity achieved. Since the vaccines are now in making and soon to be available all over the world. This means that there would be a slow but definite return to the traditional office setting.
Even though some businesses are interested in continuing the remote working model. But, the majority are ready to return to the formal setting, cautiously, following all the SOPs. Certain companies are exploring various workings settings that are more flexible. They are considering to revolutionize working situations than those followed back in 2019.
So, here are some adjustments that are expected to be adopted in 2021. These modifications are going to be the new normal of the tech industry.
● Hybrid Collaborative Model
COVID-19 forced everyone to sit in their homes and work remotely. Employees shifted from traditional markers, whiteboards, and Post-It notes. They adopted Freehand, Miro, and Whimsical as their new tools for work. With these tools, remote workers are now able to brainstorm, perform affinity diagramming, and sketch their ideas.
These collaborative tools were known and used before the pandemic as well. However, they gained impressive recognition and rapid adoption after it. Now the product UX designer teams can’t think of any other alternative except these. It is expected that when the pandemic ends, the majority of the people will love to continue working from home. However, there would be others who would come back to the office.
In such a situation, it is vital to have a collaborative model to keep up with the remote working members. The physical offices must optimize and adopt a collaborative framework to form a hybrid meeting space. It will benefit both the in-house members collaborating with the remote working staff.
2021 is looking forward to a more inclusive and cooperative environment. Businesses are inclined towards investing in beneficial hybrid technologies. Microsoft Surface Hub and the Google Jamboard are the latest technologies. They are going to make hybrid collaboration a success.
● Hybrid and Online Events
Throughout the world, 2020 did not start as expected. In-person conferences and events were cancelled due to the health crisis. Therefore, by late spring all the conferences and events started live streaming. Though the online events caused a disruption causing problems for in-person events. However, these also caused a unique opportunity to get connected with the global community.
Many events started streaming using Zoom or the GotoWebinar application. These platforms enable everyone to attend the events irrespective of their locations. Upon the success of these applications, 2021 is hopeful to organize many UX events entirely based on the digital medium.
CHI 2021 is organizing a hybrid conference model in Yokohama, Japan using an online medium. It will involve a real-world conference that is combined with an online event. Local in-person will attend the conference along with other remote attendees.
● Digital Alteration and Revolution Opportunities
Without a doubt, the digital revolution has already been brewing for many years. But the pandemic accelerated the pace of this change. According to Satya Nadella, CEO- Microsoft, they have experienced a phenomenal digital transformation in just two months. This transformation was two years’ worth. Now they have more than 75 million active users daily on their platform.
Surely, COVID-19 had the greatest impact on the businesses. Therefore, the UX model has to adapt to the new normal at any cost. Carmelina Piedra, the Head of UX in Panduit, says that the digital transformation was relentless because of the pandemic. It is a recent situation before that companies used to focus on enhancing the in-store experience. For instance, Starbucks always focused on modernizing its customer experience. In-store kiosks, tablet POS systems, etc., were augmenting the shopping experiences. No matter how fascinating the in-store kiosks are, considering the situation at hand they are of no use as customers are unable to visit markets. In a situation like this, teleassistance can be the next revolution. Telehelp or Teleassistance design patterns and products will eventually evolve and can also bridge back to brick-and-mortar use cases as when the world comes back to normal.
There isn’t any hesitation in saying that the global health crisis has been one of the catalysts that have accelerated the digital transformation in 2020. Moreover, professional designers are reshaping the revolutionary transformation for 2021. After the pandemic is over, more opportunities are open to taking jobs in the field of UX. Without any doubt, the brick-and-mortar model can't be change. However, digitization has paved the way to success and more businesses are now open to embrace it to survive the competition.
Resilient Market for UX Designer
Undeniably, the pandemic has impacted lives and employment in 2020. However, the professional UX designer has remained in demand in every condition. However, many renowned businesses laid off their experienced designers owing to the economic slump. For instance, Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber are some well-established companies that went through the downsizing phase. However, 2021 seems to be hopeful for UXers with career stability as the demand for enhanced user experience has grown during these challenging times when every business is striving to go online.
● Fresh and Junior UX Designers Will Continue Struggling in 2021
Unfortunately, 2021 is going to follow the same path as that of 2020 for new-entry UXers. It can be a little hard for beginners to break into the fast-pacing UX industry. If you are a UX beginner, you can take advantage of completing an online boot camp while being at home. Tech giants and other technology institutes are expanding their horizons by training the developers. Now you can get certified UX courses from Facebook, Netflix, Google, and Cornell University. By 2021, it is expected that more corporations will take the initiative of training new designers.
The entry-level designers are however suffering the most. With an oversaturated job market, individuals lack the experience and qualifications every employer desires.
The Ever-Developing Design Patterns
Google, Microsoft, and Apple are big tech players in the market. They are here to guide how the designing patterns are evolving. Ben Virdee-Chapman, VP Marketing & Product at HiConversion has considered that “2021 will be the year of ‘Fast UX’.”
● New Iconography by Google
In 2020, Google modified the design of its old Google Suite icons. They are describing this effort and approach of iconography in three words. Uniformity, minimalistic, and indistinct. The core goal of an icon is simply to communicate a concept. The better the icon, the easier it would be for the audience to understand it.
After modifications in the icons, Google is facing a severe backlash. Some experts categorize it as UX fail of 2020. Everyone is skeptical that either Google is going to continue their new design or they will listen to their users. 2021 is expecting some answers from Google.
● Microsoft and Apple Going with Soft 3D Skeuomorphism
Apple’s most recent macOS is called ‘Big Sur’ which comes with a new design pattern. Microsoft is following a similar approach with a newly designed system called ‘Fluency.’ Both icons said goodbye to the trend of flat designs. They are using some aspects of skeuomorphism that have heightened shadows while adding depth to it.
Even though it is too early to tell how the users are perceiving the icons. Yet, as per some news, the users are not loving it all. Let’s see what 2021 holds for both of the brands.
The Bottom Line
Nevertheless, we are hopeful for 2021 user experience enhancement. Due to pandemics, the rapid growth of UX has already paved a better future for the industry.
Businesses are coming up with new and modern UX solutions to facilitate their customers. If you have any UX designer project, connect with Tkxel today to buckle up for 2021’s enhanced UX world.