Anyone who has used technology in the last decade can tell you that it’s changed a lot. What was once a clunky beast of beeping and bopping devices is now an immersive experience that seems to know our exact needs before we even realise them. As technology becomes more and more accessible, software designers are tasked with making user experiences not just simple, but delightful.
Most people think that UX design is only about user research and wireframing. However, it is far more than that. UX designers are responsible for ensuring that the product or application is easy to use, intuitive, and actually solves the problem it’s been created to address.
By looking at what has happened we can take a safe bet on what will be the next steps towards better UX design.
How it started?
It’s difficult to distinguish between traditional human factors and what we might call ‘user experience’ in the creation of interactive systems, which are focused on human-centric design. Bell Labs was at the forefront of this transition, beginning with the appointment of a psychologist in 1945 to develop telephone systems: John E. Karlin. UX work began at Bell Labs in the 1950s, particularly in the creation of the touchtone keypad. Bell Labs was one of the pioneers of UX work, and its design has been integral to our lives ever since. Its significance has been proven by the fact that you are still using it. The touchtone telephone key layout has been utilized to generate about 40 trillion calls since its inception as a consequence of this early UX team.
The term user experience was coined by Don Norman in the early 1990s. The web revolution of the 1990s and early 2000s led to the development of UX. The notion of a “World Wide Web” has been around since the early 1940s when Murray Leinster penned a short story. However, its official invention is credited to Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, when he created a database of pages for a client by using hypertext. This idea later evolved into web pages. Designers worked on black screens with pixels during this period, which is why it is known as the ‘dark age.’ During this time, websites were made up of symbols, tabs, and the TAB key. This image shows what Google looked like in the 1990s.
Future of UX
UX and UI design have become commodities in today’s market. Users expect an enjoyable, straightforward user experience. It’s no longer the user’s fault if they are stuck using an app or surfing through a webpage, rather, it’s your company’s fault. Almost every company from Big-tech to startups, have become better at delivering a fantastic UX and no longer requires convincing its importance.
Credit: Google Material Library
Creating a baseline good user experience is not a big task today. Even junior designers have a robust design system and patterns that are readily available online like Google (Material Design) With minimum effort and time we can generate a library of design systems which people are familiar with and ready to incorporate.
This doesn’t mean that skilled UX/UI designers have no requirements. This only solves a part of the problem that we see from a visual perspective. Having a baseline UX also gives companies to lean on their budget and resources.
Today designers have to outperform than creating beautiful UX/UI. Designers and companies must focus on business understanding and stakeholder interest if they want to create a better UX. Spending time understanding business Strategy, Development and Marketing can help UX designers serve their goal more effectively.
As a designer of any kind, your real job is to be a creative problem solver. To really solve the problems that you’re hired for, you need to understand the bigger picture of why the product you’re working on is being made and where your company thinks it’s going. This will not only make life easier for you and everyone you work with, but it will also make you an invaluable partner to your product team.
Keeping that in mind we at Palette69 are focused on understanding creative business experience and aligning it with your product and branding strategy.