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User Experience Best Practices in 2020

User experience or UX design continues to transform companies and the products created by it. In 2020, there have been some noticeable trends that have already been implemented by businesses. Here are a few trends we predict for the rest of 2020, and some ways you can implement these choices to further your companies inclusivity, and cross-functionality.

1. Business Designer

A business designer is someone who has the mind of a business professional and the heart of a designer and combining the two into a long-lasting lifecycle of a product or service. Although the two seem like completely separate approaches, but a true business designer can use human-centered products and make it succeed in real life. This year, read about business design and how it can help your company, as many of these designers are employed in companies to create fascinating projects.

2. Computational Design and AI

Computational design is moving to a more user-focused experience with the advent of AI. These AI machines are human-made programs that mimic human decision making, which can explore different possibilities faster than humans are capable. Many top UI design companies are attempting to use these practices to sped along with projects, which means more business is accomplished. Learn about computational design, and follow leaders in the field and what they’re contributing. Learn to use programs like Rhino or Dynamo to play with the idea of using AI in our daily lives.

3. Data and Design Integration

Being in a creative industry means collaborating with the brains behind the projects. For example, computer coders will work with graphic designers to create a moving object in a video game, while giving it structure and personality. Collaboration deepens and expands these projects, but you can’t simply add a data professional and a design professional to a team for different functions – they need to work in tandem with one another. This shift from an island mentality to a squad mentality will help communication between teams, and bridge the gap towards integrated collaboration. Learn to think about design quantitatively.

4. Inclusivity in Design

There’s a call for more collaboration between UX design (experiences for the users) and universal design for accessibility. The problem with more user experience practices in the early years was the focus on “normal” individuals, but there was little focus on people who could greatly benefit from inclusive design. It makes more sense to start the design process from the needs of the few, rather than the needs of the many because it opens more doors for marginalized groups.

In Alan Cooper’s book “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” he states that focusing on the needs of the few actually produces a more universally useful product. This has been shown primarily by innovative designs such as the Swiss Army Knife and the OXO Good Grips peeler. You must consider all of your users to be a successful business, so learn more about what the needs of the few need and branch out from there.

5. Specialized UX Professionals

As industries grow and adapt, so do the needs for people to fill those jobs. Whole businesses are devoted to user experience currently, and it’s unlikely to stop for years to come. Some insurance and finance companies hold a significant staff of professionals, but of course, there is more demand in computing industries like Google and IBM. If you are an individual looking to break into this industry, deepen your skillset. Take courses in data analytics, then look at mastering design platforms. If you’re a business, look to make room for these staff members on your payroll, as they will benefit your company long-term.

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