The innocent Past —
Looking back, it is interesting to know how UI has grown and out grown usability. Then it was the conservative world and relating ‘experience’ to the outcome of interaction was not heard of.
The cliché Present —
Experience is a marketing need. And with the term marketing we unleash the boundaries of experience. It should no longer be restricted to UI. It is now in all the customer touch points. It is now the ‘customer experience’ and to be specific it is about the ‘delightful’ and positive moments.
As we are now in the middle of this vicious cycle, every time we craft a new experience we are raising the bar. ‘No rule’ is the only rule.
Going parallel with this evolution is data. Customer data is now bigger and better and also device ecosystem has grown many folds.
Still in the nascent stage today are the allied technologies that require minimal user interface i.e. NFC payments and the QR codes.
The exciting Future —
Android, Apple and Microsoft will continue to play a vital role in the customers’ digital life. The device ecosystem will get stronger and stronger.
Since the devices have their closed ecosystems and also they have their UI and OS rules set, it will leave less room for UI ‘experience’ till the point everything becomes drab and boring.
(Raised eyebrows) So I am saying that I will be jobless???
NO! I can’t imagine myself doing nothing 🙂
So, till the time UI experience is taking a break….customer experience will be flourishing under the ‘internet of things’
Here I come 🙂
Interaction design is leading to its penultimate stage of establishing the brand.
The story starts with apple and Microsoft.
I do not advocate Apple since I see it is as a rebellion just trying to create ‘I am different’ statement. I hate to fumble with the shift and control keys that work different than the conventional window shortcuts. As a user it challenges my muscle memory and wastes a lot of time.
Nor do I say that Microsoft was the leader and had benchmarked best practices. The famous ‘start’ button is widely known.
Then came android, it is learnt that android interactions are not consistent. Once it scrolls and later it expands. The UI is looks copied from apple. Nothing great or different, I haven’t seen or experienced Nexus though.
Coming back to apple, the interactions have not changed … but they keep coming up with newer hardware after every 6 months. So they are making sure they have eye balls atleast. It is baffling to note apples ever increasing sale numbers despite the recessions!
The latest entrant Microsoft and their metro UI, now the battle gets serious or rather meaningful. It is all new OS coupled with the metro UI.
Till now UI was not taken as seriously, it had to look good and serve the purpose. Well fuctionally it has to do the needful. But with windows 8 I see that the UI is used as positioning strategy. It seems to seamlessly align with the touch devices, Kinects and other MS products. It has become a binder for all the experiences. The aim is to create a strong ecosystem of products with unified experiences.
MS has changed the game and the rules. Till now we were talking about user experience , but now on we will be talking about the user brand experience. MS has successfully created a niche by devising ways to speed ahead in the rat race. Now suddenly apples and oranges cannot be compared J