Most of the materials written about the history of user experience design have a historical perspective without considering the future of this industry and expertise. In this article, we intend to examine the past and future of user experience expertise with a hundred-year perspective from 1950 to 2050.
Where does UX design come from? What was the need for user experience design? What path has this specialization taken until today and what path will it take? You will read the answers in this content.
User experience design and product design are not just about creating a satisfying experience for users. It has a deeper and more important effect.
Table of Contents
The dawn of user experience design
In 1993, Don Norman first coined the term User Experience for his group at Apple Computer. But this profession was used exclusively almost 40 years ago. Trying to distinguish between traditional methods of product optimization and what we now call user experience is a difficult task.
In 1945, Bell Laboratory paid attention to this specialty by hiring a psychologist named John E. Karlin. In 1950, the same team created one of the most widely used products of the past few decades by working on the desk phone keyboard. In the past years, keyboard technology may have changed, but its shape has not changed. This shows how much their work has been done in producing a practical and suitable product for the user.
The reasons for the rapid growth of UX design in the 90s
First – the revolution of personal computers
The spread of personal computers among people, the increase in users, and the demand for people as users and customers caused the digital service industry to endure a lot of pressure to improve the user experience of its products. Before these years, there was user experience. But the users of computers and websites were not ordinary people. Instead, they were bank employees who worked with a dedicated user panel out of duty.
During this period, each user became a potential customer who will not buy the product if he is not satisfied. Before that, the user and the customer were two people with different access to technology on the web. At that time, the users, who were the same employees, did not affect increasing the company’s sales. But now the users, who are the general public, decide whether to register an order or not, based on the quality of the user experience. This issue, i.e. the direct effect of people’s use and satisfaction on sales, increased the motivation for the growth of user experience expertise in this industry.
Second – Web revolution
The revolution that took place in the World Wide Web created a new lifestyle for people that is, searching on the web and shopping online. Before this period, the customer first bought the software, then installed and used it. Only after installation, he realized that the user interface or user experience of the software he bought is useless.
This arrangement changed with the development of websites. The first user enters the digital product. If the product is easy to use or offers newer services than the market, then he will buy it. So, user experience became the gateway to money for companies. For this reason, managers paid more attention to their product’s UI/UX design teams.
Third – very strong press coverage
One of the most important reasons for the huge development of UX design expertise was the very strong press coverage. Although almost 50 years had passed since the emergence of this specialty at that time, it was considered a new and emerging specialty for the general public. Press coverage, especially due to the expansion of startups, made UX a new and hot topic.
For example, an article, by the New York Times reviewed 10 website design mistakes by Jakob Nielsen. These conditions and the coverage of this specialty by the best practical and specialized magazines worldwide made many businesses feel that we need such a specialty.
Today’s state of the user experience
In general, three paths represent the growth of user experience expertise in the last decade. Of these three paths, only one of them is tangible for experts, and the other two paths can be seen by checking global statistics and information.
The first path – increasing the number of employees in the company’s user experience department
The first path that defines UX growth is the increase in user experience team members. Little by little, business owners have concluded that they need to increase their user experience team. Because it is the best option to improve the quality of the UX product.
The second path – diversity in companies that want UX
If the first path can be observed directly, to check the second path, one should constantly check the user experience designer recruitment ads that companies publish. We see a huge variety of companies wanting a UX design team. Previously, the advertisement for the recruitment of this specialty was mostly published by information technology companies. While today, various industries want a user experience design team.
The third path – the growth of UX in different countries
The third path through which the development of user experience passes is the increase of influential countries in this field. Previously, only a few countries, the United States, England, Germany, Canada, and Scandinavia, pursued the development of human resources for this specialty. But now countries like China have been added to this list. In 2016, experts from 69 countries came to participate in the international UX conference. But this number reached 75 countries in 2017. This growing trend indicates that the user experience is now not only in the hands of a few countries, but the whole world is familiar with it.
The bright future of UX Design
The path forward for user experience design is very clear. The number of websites and applications in the world is increasing every day. Artificial intelligence has also entered human life and it can be said that it has made us more dependent on technology. All this means that technology businesses will grow, and when a digital product is going to be designed for humans, UI/UX design is needed.
The user interface design is to ensure the usability of the product for the user, and the UX design is to ensure that the user does not have any problems throughout the interaction with the product and that the use of the product (website and application) is useful and satisfactory for him. So, if businesses want to launch a successful and profitable product; they need a UI/UX design team.
Developments in this field are very fast and artificial intelligence has made the task of user experience design a little easier and faster. Of course, this does not mean at all that artificial intelligence is going to replace designers. UX designers must prepare themselves to use artificial intelligence and collaborate with him.