28 Jun USER EXPERIENCE: USING UX TO MAKE TECHNOLOGY HUMAN
Redefining User Experience (UX): The Race to Make Technology More Human – While technology continues to get more powerful and the stuff of science fiction is already here, the future actually lies in making high-tech solutions more approachable and user-friendly more than actual high-tech advancement. Sure: We all love folding TVs and smartphones; mind-blowing VR and video game systems; etc. But tomorrow belongs to those devices which most bring usability to the forefront and push the technical wizardry to the background. Think about what a game changer it was for the iPad to make computing simple enough your grandmother could enjoy it, and smart speakers to make your voice the main control method. Now extrapolate these concepts to host of other devices and consider: Do we really need more power and performance – or, rather, more intuitive ways to produce meaningful results. I often refer to the idea as reducing science friction: The learning curve and difficulty associated with using a device. Multiple partners have asked us to think about how to leverage better user experience as a driver of customer uptake.
Goodbye, Internet of Things – Welcome to the Internet of Everything – Up to 75 billion devices will soon be connected and sharing information online, and we already have entire industries that are being upended – e.g. consumer lending, where scrappy startups like Upstart are using data analysis and non-traditional variables like work history, education, and even your social media interactions to rate loan applicants using alternative methods to credit score, or the field of smart cities (where intelligent energy-grids automate power management, smart cameras regulate the flow of traffic, and self-aware trash bins can tell city waste disposal teams when they need to come do a pickup). Given that (a) we’ll soon be able to add context to every interaction, a la Amazon or Netflix recommendations and (b) many industries, such as the field of insurance, are basically just big data problems (and based on complex calculations at their core, one has to wonder: What happens when everything we interact with is suddenly talking to one another? It’s a question a major utility provider and management consulting firm recently asked us to consider.