Five challenges the Interaction & User Experience Design Industry face

August 22, 2016

We were invited to do a talk at Brunel University at the end of July to speak to the students of Brunel’s first ever Digital Service Design MSc, course. Alongside the Publicis’ ad giant, (not this one), this one: BBH we were tasked with not only presenting an honest view of the industry and our current challenges, but providing mentorship to students, coaching portfolio best-practice and providing internships. As part of our talk we discussed the current landscape of service design, key challenges we face and thoughts on this new era of design. This is what we shared…


1. Agency model dying & creating your own IP

Moving into a new agency model, where funding your business by creating your own products, content creation and other Intellectual Property will become increasingly common. The successes from UsTwo help demonstrate this. Partnering up with clients like our pals at Browser, instead of pure service-selling, will ensure reliable revenue income.

At Furthermore, we’ve embraced this and are working on the development of our own product right now called, Go Jauntly (more exciting info on this to follow). With this new way of working, we’ll have to adapt internally. Collaboration for us is key as more people will have input in what will be produced.

With this, knowing when to “kill your baby” (not a real baby, just your idea-baby) is crucial and evidence-based design will come into play even more here too. The team will be doing more and more ‘hack days’ where we ideate, prototype and test our ideas all within one day. We’ll be wishing for one week design sprints all over again :)

2. Fragmented user journeys & clever but lazy users

We can already see a evolvement in how we’re using our portable devices, and how they are able to do ever-more things in our everyday lives. This will create new and interesting interaction paradigms. We can start to see this in practice with the tap from snapchat and the swipe from tinder, replacing scrolling. We’ll have to start thinking about the different ways users are going to use their phone, and design new and better paradigms.


4. Data-driven design & Emotional design

This is a huge one, but something very crucial that we always need to have in mind… We’re looking at a landscape where technology is constantly evolving and growing super-fast, but conversely human behaviour and routines are much slower to change. So an interesting challenge for us is creating ways that ease users into new tech, delivering special experiences and keeping them onboard and coming back.

Whilst data driven design is hugely important we must balance this with delight. No matter how well-functioning a product is, if it looks like poop, people won’t use it. Creative flare mustn’t be forgotten and the user’s emotional response to a product or a service is just as important as what the metrics from the A/B test say.


5. Designing for no interface & new human experiences

We’re moving towards a post digital era where AI and chat bots are completing tasks. There’ll be less interfaces and you won’t need to download another new app. Amy the ai bot will soon be organising your meetings and you’ll be ordering products with emoji. VR will turn into Magic Leap’s, mixed reality and a contact lens will enhance your environment with little or no gestural interactions.


Buckle up people, we’re looking in for a super exciting future within our brilliant design community.


// Hana Sutch, Managing Director & Mikaela Larsson, Interaction Designer

This post was originally posted on Medium, follow us here.

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