Creating digital experiences that resonate to human emotions is what UX is for; after all, whether or not a user engages with your site or app is what determines its success. Unlike other facets of software development that require intricate technical expertise, UX is something that needs much more than that.
There’s no doubt about the fact that digital penetration in today’s society is significant, and it is only going to increase in the future. UX is an indispensable asset for facilitating this, and knowing about the competencies UX designers must have so they can stay on par with tomorrow’s demands is essential for successful results.
So what should a UX architect’s future portfolio constitute? Emotional intelligence far outweighs technical expertise in the UX front, and emphasizing on soft skills can equip UX designers to embrace a more challenging yet rewarding future.
Empathy over skill
As Artificial Intelligence presents infinite opportunities to present digital experiences in the most human-like form possible, the role of UX is vital to serve such a purpose. Whether it’s a query system or recommendation app, Artificial Intelligence will need a relevant medium to communicate to its user – which only the right UX can facilitate.
So how can UX aid AI? What differentiates a UX designer from the most sophisticated AI technology is that any designer is able to feel, owing to being human. It is this quality that can further support AI to become better catered towards emulating human emotions than ever before.
Don’t be afraid to catch feels
Educating today’s UX designers on emotional intelligence is key to addressing the above need. Another thing to remember is that while AI can substitute actual people to perform tasks (this can also include automated design systems, where relevant technology permits the creation of artwork based on required parameters), it can never replace the sentiments of an actual human being.
With that being said, UX designers will have to embrace a supervisory role that is based on empathetic attributes. Visual designs can be automated, but user-centric research and quality assurance cannot.
Visual appeal isn’t everything
In the world of design, it has been common practice to preach about how visual appeal ‘always comes first’. While this is important no doubt, there are other facets which are substantially accountable to successful aesthetics and subsequently, successful user experiences.
For one, the right words help articulate what one might have to say to its user with better clarity. Oftentimes, speaking the lingo with as little as one or two words within a design can go a long way to impact the user in a way you intended. This is also known as microcopy, a means that conveys something meaningful to a user with just a glance, and within a split second. In addition to that, voice-based search is also an experience of its own for a user, which needs guidance from a UX expert just as much as a screen-based system.
Make marketing and business objectives less of a priority
The above title may seem atrocious in today’s competitive business environment. However in the interest of sustaining quality, thriving UX, marketing objectives need to go on the back burner. In the process of developing a customer-centric design, UX designers are rightfully capable of empathizing with their audience. This can oftentimes clash when business owners and marketers express their objectives which focus on better sales, less costs etc. on a quantitative level.
Focusing on empathizing with one’s user pool and improving on emotional intelligence are by far the most crucial requisites for UX designers not just for the future, but also today. It’s not breaking news that users are repulsed by excessively pushy websites, apps or ads that persuade them to buy a product or subscribe to a service.
With an abundance of brands out there in the digital space, consumers are spoilt for choice; this means that even the slightest distraction can cost businesses sales conversions. As multiple brands offer the same product, users are attracted towards seamless digital experiences – which is how successful brands are differentiated from their counterparts, in turn.
These are subconscious elements of how users choose one brand over the other, and coupled with short attention spans owing to the ubiquity of content across the digital landscape, prioritizing on user-centric experiences is a no-brainer, without any doubt. Sure, adhering to agile concepts of developing a digital resource matters, but it shouldn’t allow any compromise to quality i.e. personified digital user experiences.
If marketers and business owners take a step back and allow UX personnel to execute their strategies in a way they deem fit, it’s certainly a win-win for both parties.
Continuing the focus towards principles that help UX designers deliver what they have dedicated themselves to delivering (memorable digital experiences, of course) is the foundation for digital design. AI has been a major influencer in moulding today’s user experiences, and seeing its potential, will continue to do so even in the future. Understanding that UX designers have power over AI to control its outcomes via strong human sentiments is indeed a starting point for getting equipped to face technological design during the years ahead.
Another aspect that will keep UX designers on track to pursue emotional intelligence and prioritize it above all else in their work is the absence of distraction – from business owners and marketers. As corporate objectives are added to the mix, UX designers lose traction in terms of delivering experiences that are unique and streamlined; something that is absolutely essential to impress users and retain their trust for the long haul.
Ultimately, giving UX architects the opportunity and encouragement to further increase their knowledge in human behaviour, patterns, habits and emotions far supersedes the need to learn any technical skills for the future. With limitless options on products and services available online for the average consumer, user experiences that touch the heart are what stand out for users – and what makes them choose one above the other.