Emerging technologies like voice UI (VUI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are characterized by novelty, growth rate, and impact on human life. With so many new inventions, it is imperative for design practices to quickly transform their process to adapt to these new technologies.
Emerging tech calls on designers to think “beyond the screen” and take a deep dive into a new world of possibilities to create rich immersive experiences powered by voice, AR/VR, and AI.
Voice-based interactions are quickly becoming a standard way of interacting with experiences for many people. Voice-first devices, such as the Amazon Echo, help people find information and complete tasks such as checking the weather using voice inputs alone. Voice-based interactions are also extremely valuable in certain situations, like when driving a car, because they are much less distracting compared to interactions with traditional graphical user interfaces.
AR/VR devices are also having a significant impact on education and entertainment. Through the use of these devices, it’s possible to immerse users in experiences within augmented or virtual worlds. Today, you no longer need to imagine what the world of ancient Greece looked like based on pictures or video you’ve seen. Instead, you can simply put on a VR headset that will transport you back in time virtually so you can see and experience it with your own eyes.
AR/VR devices are also very helpful for designers; they can be used to explore and experience products as they would look and behave in real-world settings, in a simulated environment. We can expect more significant changes in industrial design and architecture due to this technology as well.
Meanwhile, it’s hard not to notice the fast development of AI and machine learning. The significant evolution of smart assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, makes it clear that AI will power the next generation of digital devices. In a not so distant future, artificial intelligence will be able to predict and solve key problems for us, even before they’re evident for us users.
Even the most advanced technologies are nothing without great design. Experience design plays a vital role in the successful creation and adoption of emerging tech; at the same time, emerging technologies are really the next great frontier for user experience. Many common design language decisions and heuristics related to emerging technology are yet to be well-defined.
Now is an excellent opportunity for designers to use the knowledge they have about prototyping to build engaging and innovative user experiences with new tech. Read on for more details on the many new forms of emerging technology, as we regularly post about the latest discoveries and developments in UX design knowledge.