The Past, Present and Future of UI/UX Design (A Brief Decade Overview)

This post was originally published in our blog here

Who would have thought 10 years ago that UX design would have been one of the hottest career paths of the day?

Gone are the days where only a few designers and few design disciplines existed in the tech world. Now there are thousands if not millions of designers contributing to the tech industry, and doing a great job at it.

How It All Started:

Though the actual entry of UI/UX design is debatable, many will say it became mainstream with the entry of smartphones, shaping the people’s view and use of digital interfaces.

In 2007, when Apple launched its first iPhone, a major shift took place that shook the entire tech industry. Apple’s iPhone gave users the possibility of having a mobile screen where users could do everything as they had done it on their PCs or laptops, on the go, making it faster and easier for users to complete their daily tasks.

Josh Clark, the creator of the popular running app Couch to 5K and founder of the design studio Big Medium Said “Mobile normalized the idea of computing beyond the screen”.

The screens on mobile phones, were smaller than on desktop and more varied in terms of size.

The experience now, wasn’t just to click a button with a mouse, it shifted into the use of fingers to swipe, tap, and hold, often while in motion as users use their smartphones while walking, driving and even standing in line at the airport and so on.

With this launch, tech companies had to give more attention to users’ behaviours on these mediums. This led them to start doing more and in-depth research on user behaviour, prioritizing user needs as they built products.
This propelled the birth of UI/UX design as a career path in the tech industry.

The tech industry has witnessed a lot of improvement because of the entry of UI/UX. Companies now aim to design products to meet users’ specific needs and solve their problems through the design thinking methodology.

A survey carried out by Figma in 2017 showed a significant increase in the hiring of UI/UX designers by top tech companies as they sought to not only improve user experience, but to innovate and improve their competitiveness in the industry.
The result of the survey is shown below:

Credit: Figma

The Present State of UI/UX Design

With the increase in the number of UI/UX designers every day and with the speed at which new software such as Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, Protopie, Framer and Invision are being developed and launched into market, the design industry has become more sophisticated and more relevant than in the past 10 years. Even more interesting is how this has given birth to new careers like UX Researcher, Prototype Expert, UX Writer, Usability analyst and lots more.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality has recently also emerged and through the boost of the UI/UX industry, and is taking the world into a new era of screen-less systems known as ‘’Hologram Technology’’.

Holography is a photographic technique that records light scattered from an object and then presents it as a three-dimensional view. This, as you can probably tell, is way more sophisticated and advanced in technology than screens.

Also Read About Top UI UX Trends to Watch in Product Design in 2020

The Future Of UI/UX design

With the recent development in the design industry, the future of UI/UX will be even more sophisticated and technology will blend more seamlessly into the UI/UX system.

As the world is becoming more comfortable with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality(VR), Augmented Reality(AR), Voice and Internet of Things (IoT) based devices, the design industry will design less for graphics and more for practical and seamless usage, changing the way we approach UI/UX design.

Websites and mobile applications won’t be designed the way we design them now, an artificially intelligent algorithm might take over UI designs as we’ve seen in some applications like UIzard, Sketch to Code and other upcoming software.
While UX designers focus on the broader experience and its user journey, design challenges will be less about driving conversions and sales rate in an E-commerce app, and more about how to help shoppers have the best impression of a product from searching through checkout, (this is already happening). The current approach is more towards sales and easy money but in the future, this approach will become more user-centric especially in a world where reviews, ratings and word of mouth are keeping huge sectors like e-commerce, hospitality and entertainment alive.

We will expect homes to respond to touch, voice and even by our mere presence in a room.

Our homes will become smarter with UI/UX used in a plethora of devices based on technologies such as AI and IoT. Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Nest will continue to evolve as the time goes by and technology evolves. We will expect homes to respond to touch, voice and even by our mere presence in a room. And as Virtual Reality systems become smaller and more integrated into our bodies (think VR contact lenses, identification devices or nanobots), huge television sets and screens, in general, will disappear. Instead, the interface will be projected over our field of view and integrated with objects in real space, this is also known as Augmented Reality.

The future of UI/UX Design is exciting to say the least. We hope this begins to prepare you for what’s to come.

Also, Check out our post on The Steps We Take at DODO to Become the Top UX/UI Design Company in Lagos, Nigeria

Please comment below and subscribe to our blog to get the latest tips and tools on how to create stellar experiences for your customer, straight to your inbox.

DODO Design Agency builds brands and experiences that delight humans and add value to businesses.