Life for everyone has changed a lot in this pandemic. With sanitizers being placed in every retail store to the addition of an extra step like contactless delivery and temperature checks by brands like Swiggy and Uber Eats, it’s clear that many businesses will have to adjust to the new reality of millions of people wary about the environment and self-isolating at home. This includes the impact the pandemic has had on the UX industry and how it will shape the future of this industry. Let’s look at it in detail.
1. Increase in the use of digital mediums
Be it increase in the use of digital banking tools or online grocery portals, people are looking for more solutions online. In fact, several studies show a 76% growth in the online grocery market as compared to last year with aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy also starting with delivering groceries. What it means for the UX industry is they’ll now have to come up with user experiences that can handle this increased traffic and come up with different ways to make the experience as easy as possible.
2. Surfacing of new audience
The elderly have had to adapt to a new world overnight. Earlier, they could easily go out and get help with digital tasks or get those tasks done manually but with restriction on the streets and self isolation being advised, they now have to learn digitization themselves. While ordering groceries from an online portal may be a cakewalk for us, it’s not the same case for them.
To simplify the user experience for this new audience, you can:
- Decrease the total number of options so as to avoid overwhelming them
- Have bigger buttons with contrasting colors
- Have buttons that are easy to understand. Like the ‘bell’ icon for notifications or the ‘envelope’ symbol for mails.
- Have illustrated guides in an easily accessible place to help them learn the process.
- Have a chat box or a person to help resolve their queries
- Gradually introduce new features instead of introducing everything at once
3. Increased concern for cybersecurity
With the rise in the demand for digital mediums, more and more digital solutions are coming up every day. Cybersecurity has become an important concern with this increased dependence on technology. UX can help in this by making the site as secure as possible and conveying the same to visitors. The interface of user experience needs to convey security.
While many visitors often tend to view security procedures as obstacles in their user experience, UX needs to provide a streamlined, pleasant and hassle free experience so as to prevent users from taking security shortcuts at the expense of cybersecurity.
4. Going beyond designing beautiful interfaces
The pandemic has led to UX shifting to a more empathetic version. It’s more about helping people achieve their goals and making their lives easier. While some applications are adding a security step in their process like contactless delivery, others are adding informational interfaces to spread awareness among users. This comes in the form of recommendations regarding COVID-19 and precautions that need to be taken.
The goal of UX has shifted to make the experience feel more secure, trustworthy and easy. Instead of just a consumer centric experience, the approach is to build a human-centric one as well.
5. The demise of touch
Due to the pandemic, our reliance on touch is being challenged in order to keep the surfaces sterile and germ free. UX has come up with solutions to deal with these challenges as well. Be it number plate recognition systems to open gates for parking or elevators that accept voice commands, many things are changing for the better. This has paved the way to touchless interfaces on countless apps and programs that will help in the future as well.
6. Reemergence of IoT and Virtual Reality
With the increasing reliance on technology, many businesses are taking advantage of it to protect against another such crisis in the future. This means IoT and Virtual Reality are sure to reemerge and UX must learn to live closely with such technologies. The future may very well be about intelligent objects and immersive distance learning. People will no longer be limited to just their mobile or laptop screens. Every stage in the user journey may see unparalleled changes and UX will pave the way for new possibilities at every stage.
If you need help shifting to the UX needed in today’s time, reach out to us at [email protected].
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