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The Future is Now: 10 Design Predictions for 2017

The Future of Minimalist Design

Minimalist design has been evolving more and more as time has passed beyond the skeumorphic error set off by the first generations of iPhones. Ever since this transformation of interface design in the current technological era, we have seen minimalism progress more and more off of the idea of "flat" design. As we immerse ourselves more, with new 4k smart televisions, next gen gaming consoles, and computers that have developed beyond core processing, and as well as the continuation of vehicles with Ui screens, we find ourselves moving passed an era of just scan readers that dawned just a short 10 years ago or so. Information is constantly being transferred from person to person faster than ever before, and as a result, the way humans take in this transfer of information has also adapted. An instructor once told me his opinion that, iconography is taking over to a point that we as humans are headed back towards hieroglyphics to communicate, and this movement were all just presets to what should be a huge era of minimalism in design.

More Micro-interactions

Micro interactions, if done correctly, can enhance user experience, and can be very eye catching. Micro-interactions allow for a transfer of information in real time to a user. It can live life in a way, to a design. It in a way, "shows" buffering, loading, refreshing, a tab closing,

Video Becomes King

Video is always eye-catching, and can be very entertaining. If used on a homepage, it can definitely catch the eye of the user, however, in my opinion, not every user wants to come on to a website and have to deal with a video. It can be also be as distracting as it is appealing. This concept has potential but only if used correctly and is not over used.

Rich Colours and Dramatic Typography

This type of typography has been around for years. Big san serif type and an eye catching color, all big and bold, simplistic and clean. This trend will continue this year, however, I feel like towards the end of the year, we may start to stray away from this.

Tailored Illustrations

The article claims illustrations can be bring more personality than traditional photography, which is true, however, I do not see much usability improvement from illustrations. They can serve as good places for the users to rest their eye, so my theory is illustrations should be used to support content or layout, and should not be over done, and distracting similar to video.

Long Scrolling and Parallax Technique For Websites

Long scrolling can make it hard to find specific areas of a page, but it can make navigating a site more straight forward, but it does have issues. You can often lose your place, or the user may find themselves skimming over important information.

Cards Will Still Be a Big Thing

Cards are good for grouping, and if parallex is still going to take off, we are going to need a way to group information on the web, and cards are a great way to solve this issue, however, like color and type, this trend has already been around for a while now.

The Rise of Conversational Interfaces

Augmented/Virtual Reality

Augmented reality is only at its beginning, 2017 will be the year where this becomes more standard, and there will be some big improvements on this new technology this year. We are still not at a place where we can expect to this every where, but we can definitely expect it to pop up in some interesting places. Youtube will be showing virtual reality based videos, but it is not going to be a must have item for another year or so. This technology can be used in education.

Boom of Prototyping

Prototypes are going to start to look more and function more like finalized designs. This is going to allow for improvements in testing, and should allow for better feedback and improved designs, allowing for the creation of new design trends that way even deprecate video is king and bold colour and type.

How to Beat the Imposter Syndrome Feeling

"Approximately 70 percent of us will experience a period of self-doubt at least once in our lives."

The feeling of "Imposter Syndrome" is one that I believe even I have personally experienced, and I can see it to be a real thing. It sort of goes along with the whole idea of how you only see the tip of the iceberg. You observe the success of something more than you can observe the actual work that it took to get there. Famous designers and design work, and even any other form successful work in general, is only accredited when it comes to a final finished and professional end. However, what is often over looked is all the deleted versions, all the scrapped work that started the project, the hideous hole in the street that turned into the bridge that can now support multiple tons of load. Where people can find themselves lost is by going through this process to the final product, and this is where designers can find themselves having symptoms of the imposter syndrome. This also goes beyond just single individual progress, it can even translate to overall quality of work that people feel like they present to the table is under par. Everyone, goes through moments of self doubt. Its only natural, if you did not dislike your own work, you wouldn't have a drive to self improve. This is actually a good thing, even though having self-doubt is not necessarily a good feeling, but there are many ways to cope with this feeling. Its all about being better today than you were yesterday, and yes, it is OK to trip a couple of times along the way. Everyone does it, what is important is being willing to get back up and try again. The time that you decide to not get back up, is the moment you lose your self progression, and this is where the Imposter syndrome can take over. Below is a list of 5 methods from the article to cope with this, and my opinion on these.

Learn to be a healthy perfectionist

This is when you are not afraid to fall down along the way. Failure is a natural thing to go through. (These individuals agreed with questionnaire items like “I should be upset when I make a mistake.”). This is not the way someone should feel about failure. I mean, obviously you shouldn't want to fail, but when it does happen, just know that within failure, is the opportunity to self progress, and to then go back, and re evaluate, re analyze, and reproduce, and it is within this process of going back over, where you can find yourself fixing this failure, and learning why you failed, and you will be able to take from that, and apply it else where, making you better than you were yesterday, and that is how to be a healthy perfectionist.

Avoid defensive pessimism and self-handicapping

Defensive Pessimism is fearing the worst and trying to avoid it happening, and self-handicapping is is when you deliberately imperil your own chances. This means, that you should be more self allowing of making a mistake. Like I said, through making mistakes is when you may find periods of self progression. Self handicapping is all about work ethic. Do not set yourself up for disaster. Do not wait until last minute and always try to stay a step ahead of the game. By staying a step ahead, gives you more room to make a mistake and being able to fix it, which can keep you out of that "failure zone" if you will. Its all about remaining diligent, without over working yourself, keeping you right out of range of both defensive pessimism and self handicapping.

Listen to other people’s honest stories

Listen to other people's honest stories. Its as simple as it gets. People who reach out with advice, are typically doing it out of self experience. When listening to advice, it is important to realize why these people are telling you their stories. The article says "in reality, behind the most impressive professional resumes there will be a litany of set-backs, direction changes, and moments of doubt." It also gets into how, in the creative career, you may find yourself meeting people of higher experience as you move through the ranks, and the results of this can make you feel like you are not progressing, which is not true. As a creative person, as you move through the ranks, you need to remember, that you moved on for reasons. Do not compare yourself to those around, just remember to always try to be better today than you were yesterday, and you may find yourself moving beyond the individuals that you once lowered yourself when comparing them to yourself.

We can help each other

If we can learn how to give and accept criticism in a productive manner, then we can all work in an environment where we all help each other. Learning how to give and receive constructive criticism could be talked about in a two hour long seminar with ease, but to put it simply, its all about telling people what they could improve on without completely bashing their work, and learning how to receive criticism without thinking everyone hates your work. If we can all find a way to balance this out, then the work environment can become way more productive.

Adopt counter measures

"counter measures, such as going for promotions and looking out for exciting job opportunities. The truth is, the more successful you are, the more likely it is that you will end up feeling like a fraud – it’s just such a common experience. Soak up the self-doubt and then take the leap anyway. That’s what everyone else is doing." This could not have been said any better. Never stop, keep going, you never know what you might find along the way. Seek opportunities as they are presented, and never lose sight of your goal. Life can feel like one step forward and two steps back, but that does not mean that is always like this.

Voice Ui's and Web Design

Voice Ui can eliminate these issues over a tradition APP:

  • Complex interactions: Are you making something where the user has to take a lot of steps to find something relatively simple to express in words ('Show me all the red dresses in size 12')?
  • Hands-free: Is being able to maintain use of both your hands advantageous?
  • Platform integration: iOS and Android now have APIs that allow you to make your app's content and functions available to use via voice.

The article also claims that voice Ui is not the answer to every interactive, so the tradition APP will not go away. For me it reminds me of the idea of minimalist responsive design, when you leave only the important parts of a desktop deign when going mobile. The same will apply. It will only be implemented in Voice Ui, in situations that are ideal. VUi's can make a situation where you need to interact with a device, but also require your hands to free. Imagine the potentials in the medical field, battlefields, and other intense positions. The writer of this article says the Echo makes kitchen life way easier, just imagine the future.

What is UX Writing?

The author defines it as "UX writing is the act of writing copy for user-facing touch points." To me, this sounds very similar to Information Architecture. Deciding to use the term "Start" instead of "Begin", or even "Begin" instead of "Start" if the aesthetic and experience needs have elegance. These people write the copy of interfaces, and within this copy, there needs to be a reflection of the design as a whole and company strategy. This involves research and collaboration, UX writers are an active part of the UX team. These people take word selection to a whole new level, and their word selection needs to backed up. UX writers can even find themselves writing user friendly training materials.

Zero Ui (but 100 Ux)

Designing for Screen-less Interactions

Haptic Feedback

Simply put, gestures need to be easily learned, and then easily executed, and there also needs to be feedback back to the user upon successfully completed gestures. Gestures can be represented through iconography. Just look at simple swipe for paper towel dispensers. There is a clear icon to swipe, usually in a location near the sensor, and when the user successfully swipes, the light on the sensor sometimes changes color for feedback, and then the towel is then dispensed. In this case, the haptic feedback would be the light changing colors. The feedback would not be the to dispensing of the towel, even though some may argue that it could fit the roll. My counter argument towards that statement is, well what if the machine is empty? someone may argue that you can still here it turn, and then my argument would be what if the dispenser is higher end and is more silent. In other words, you can not let expected output to be the feedback. The feedback needs to be back up the expected output, that is what makes it feedback.

Voice Recognition

"Designing the conversational UI requires additional user research to find out how users will phrase and construct their queries or statements. One of the difficult parts of voice recognition is the need to adapt the system to regional dialects and slang."

I love voice recognition systems. They can pick apart keywords in a statement to execute certain commands. I also noticed, that my iPhone has adapted a bit more to my accent. When I hand my phone off to a pear that has an accent different from mine and they try to execute a voice command, Siri tends to mess it up. These systems need to adapt to dialect and slang and to me, that is just an outstanding feat for the technological world. Continuing the usage of these voice activated systems will allow for more multitasking in huge fields like medicine and military operations. These systems also allow for non visual feedback, which can have many upsides. Users can keep their attention focused in other areas, while receiving system feedback.

Context Aware

"The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way." - Don Norman

The more context-aware a device is, the less need for an interface there is. The no click Domino's app remembers your order, and puts it in when you open the app, and it gives you feedback when your order is ready, without having to interact with the app at all. If you do not want to order pizza, simply close the app. Even smart thermostats are context aware. They learn patterns of the house, and can adjust themselves for optimal temperatures while still being cost effective. The thermostats can detect when you are home so they are not running extra power to the house when not necessary, and all of these changes can come with no interactions from the user.

Glance-ability and Ambience

Ambient devices work on the principle of glanceability, with no need to open applications or read notifications. One glance should provide the user with the needed information.

Gesture Based Interactions

There needs to be a balance between teaching the gestures and providing feedback to the user on successfully completing actions and tasks.

Gesture based interactions can be a difficult to master. The user needs to be able to understand what gesture to perform and when. The user also needs haptic feedback upon successful interaction. Devices that use gesture based interactions, some lack screens. This makes it even more important to provide haptic feedback, because the lack of the screen takes away a huge visual element for the user.

Eliminating Bias in Design

This article's example of hw he showed his color variations to a client, and they literally all looked the same because it turned out the client was colour blind, and what makes it even worse was that the UX Designer spent hours creating color pallets, and variations, just to realize that they all looked the same to the client. This to me is a exactly why UX is becoming a growing profession. 

The Unconscious Bias Blindspot

The Blindspot in Design

Overcoming the Blindspot

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