As screens are replaced by spatial computing through mixed reality, the demands of UI/UX design will expand to include a much richer sensory experience.
In this world of infinite choices, people gravitate towards--even demand--fast, easy, and aesthetically pleasing products and platforms.
How many times have you gone to a website, waited a few seconds for the page to load, abandoned ship, and clicked the next result?
If one choice doesn’t immediately give the user what they’re looking for, or if they hit a simple roadblock along the way, it’s incredibly easy for them to make a different choice--after all, one Google search can produce trillions of results in a matter of milliseconds.
Herein lies the importance of user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design. UI/UX is user-centered design in both aesthetic and effectiveness; it’s what makes websites, applications, and devices easy to use. It covers everything from load time, to button placement and color, to how much content appears on a page.
If done effectively, it should mesh perfectly with the psychology of the user, anticipating their train of thought and always imperceptibly pushing them towards conversion--towards taking the action you as a business owner desire. It makes users want to use your platform/product, and it makes it as easy as possible for them to accomplish what they set out to.
UI/UX can mean the difference between closing a sale and losing a sale to your competition.
Internally, it can also mean the difference between organization and chaos in your business, between streamlined systems and leaving time and money on the table. Having easy to use systems in place within the structure of your business can reduce downtime, increase productivity, streamline training, reduce maintenance costs, and structure growth.
It’s well known that investing in technology improves business performance and reduces expenses over time; it’s also well known that investing in ease of use for technology systems creates an even more significant return on investment. According to IBM:
“Every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10-$100.”
Thomas J. Watson, the second president of IBM--responsible for growing the company tenfold--frequently taught and talked about the importance of UI/UX. He was convinced that user experience was responsible for making Google, Apple, and Facebook as successful as they became; none were first in their field, but their level of simplicity and ease of use was first in their field--which, according to Watson, propelled them to massive success.
Research by Forrester has shown that companies that invest in UI/UX see a lower cost of customer acquisition, lower support cost, increased customer retention, and increased market share. The top 10 leading companies in user experience outperformed their peers in the S&P index with close to triple the returns.
IBM studies also tell us it’s far more cost effective to consider user needs early in the design process than trying to fit them in later.
The most successful corporations invest heavily in UI/UX, and they tend to do it early on. During the first year of Amazon, Jeff Bezos invested 100 times the amount in user experience than advertising, and Air BnB’s founder credits UX with the company’s rise to $10 billion.
As screens are replaced by spatial computing through mixed reality, the demands of UI/UX design will expand to include a much richer sensory experience. Without the physical sensations offered by screens and keyboards, designers will need to find new ways to create a sensory feedback experience for interacting with holograms, giving users the illusion of physically touching them.
When pressing a virtual button through mixed reality, the user will want to feel as if they’re physically pressing a button; a virtual keyboard will need to mesh with the user’s senses to make it as easy to use as a physical keyboard. It’s a completely new way of interacting with computers that requires a much more intricate approach to design.
According to management consulting firm Korn Ferry, there will be a 85 million tech worker shortage by 2030, and the learning curve for engineering easy to use mixed reality platforms is great. Those who can accomplish this task well will be few and far between. At goHere, we’re passionate about user experience and excited to continue innovating in this new frontier.
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