In 2009, when we issued the first yearbook on User-friendly Interface in the Czech Republic, there were only about twenty professionals focusing on the area in the Czech Republic. Today, according to data from Glassdoor, a global leader in the area of information about jobs and employment trends, the position of UX designer is the 25th most sought-after job world-wide. Google’s entry into the world of education resulted in more than half a million certificates being issued. The field is still evolving and so are the requirements and outputs of these creative activities. Let’s have a look at which ones we found the most interesting at the moment.
1. User interfaces as brand bearers
The more we can learn about users from research, the more time and resources development teams have to focus on the form and consistency of user interface outputs. In order to achieve the best possible user experience, all outputs need to have a unified design –companies cannot afford to use a different tone every time they speak to the client. Still, many companies only focus on the appearance and controls of the application, and at best perhaps also on the corporate colors. However, the brand essence carried by the user interface is an important communication dimension not only towards clients but also within the companies themselves. One such example is Nike, whose user interface is always easily recognizable already at first glance.
2. Design system as part of UX delivery
In order for a brand to maintain its uniqueness, it is not possible for the look of individual technological solutions to depend only on the supplier or the platform. Design System Management (DSM), which is a set of standards for large-scale design management, is becoming increasingly popular. The tools created in this field provide non-stop access to the current design manual, even to third parties. This ensures visual consistency across various interfaces and digital channels.
3. Increasing reliability through user experience
Just like before, users who make a purchase get not only the product but also the buying experience, only this time in a digital environment. The fact that the consistency of the appearance and controls are crucial for the user’s relationship to the brand has been confirmed by many studies. For example, according to Adobe Trust Report (The digital economy is personal, 2022), 57 % of users claim that as soon as a company breaks their trust, they will not give it another chance. 70 % of users then stated that inaccurate personalization reduces their trust in the brand. This goes hand in hand with the handling of customers’ data. Here it also holds that the more transparent the digital approach to the processing of the customer’s data, the more willing the customer is to share their date with a company they trust.
4. Typography – small details with fatal impact
Typography is a small but crucial detail for branding. The more text is transferred to digital equipment, the better the required quality of the text. A UX designer has to keep in mind that today text is used in various situations and places: a driver watching the dashboard in a car, a jogger setting the pace in their application, someone reading the news on the phone during their morning commute, a warehouse operator checking the data from a scanner, an operator configuring a machine in a production plant… All these situations have one thing in common: the user often holds the device in their hand and reads from a shaky screen. This of course places higher requirements on the font than when used on a static device. At Cleverance we often create new fonts on the basis of the client’s requirements to ensure legibility and readability of the text in highly demanding conditions.
5. Limits of internal UX teams
Many companies that desire to forego UX consultants and create their own internal UX teams quickly find out about the limits of such an approach. The expectation that a single internal UX expert can cover all UX skills often proves to be unrealistic. Sub-fields of UX such as research, copywriting or design are so specialized that not even one expert can manage to master all of these on the required level. This is why many companies now have UX teams with several members, and it’s becoming more difficult to find specialists with the expected skill levels and experience on the job market. As a result, the internal team often focuses on only one area of UX, for example research. However, without a high-quality designer, this only leads to theoretical results. A significant handicap of these teams is their narrow (albeit understandable) specialization on a specific product of the company. Designers and researchers then lack a comparison to, insights from and the best practices for other areas. That is where technological companies come in again, as the variety of the projects they handle can enrich companies with new approaches and nicely complement internal UX teams.