From Ux perspective, Jakob Nielsen, relates uber and an autonomous car. “User experience wise, honestly, when you think about how uber works today, it could as well have been an autonomous car. They send you a car with the person at the steering wheel, but if that was a computer instead of a person, from a user perspective, the passenger perspective, the user interface would be about the same.”
5 Long term (25 years) challenges:
Knowledge worker productivity
Any company that pays employees more than what they produce will go out of business. So, to advance in any business, we have to produce more than what is being paid for producing. This works well with older businesses like agriculture where few farmers produce more than enough food for all of us. They keep being better and better at doing farming. However, this is far from truth for a knowledge worker. Knowledge worker productivity is not improving at a rapid pace. And this sorry state is because of computers. Because people spend endless time spending on computers suffering bad designs without being productive. And also, because we really don’t know how to truly support creativity or decision making with computers.
Enabling the bottom 95% of the people
Only a fraction of the population knows how to do advanced things with computers – things that require real decision making, while rest of the majority of the people can only go through simple, linear steps, scroll through timelines or click and add to shopping cart etc. Computer does not have that liberating ability by empowering the majority. “Computers are too difficult and they are not designed for the way most people think and work. Computers are possibly designed for the mind of those few percent of top engineers, but they are not designed for the broad public. Therefore, most people are really entrapped by computers rather than being empowered by computers”
Better design for old users
All rich countries are rapidly aging societies because people live longer and longer and “computers are not well-suited for this aging population” Most of the products are aimed at young audience. While there is an increasing number of populations that is getting older and with special requirements and special needs.
There is a huge spike in private data security breaches in the recent years. The solution is not in creating longer passwords with even stranger characters or forcing the people to change passwords every month or week. This forces people to write down the frequently changing passwords, because human mind can’t remember those long arbitrary passwords. So, a usable security should make the security built into the system as a whole and take into consideration the human nature and human factors.
“Computers are too difficult and they are not designed for the way most people think and work. Computers are possibly designed for the mind of those few
of top engineers, but they are not designed for the broad public. Therefore, most people are really entrapped by computers rather than being empowered by computers” percent
“computers are not well-suited for this ageing population”
Talking about usable security, Jakob Nielsen says “Most break-ins happen because of human elements, not because somebody cracked the code”
“it’s just a disgrace how much bad design there is in the world, and how many usability problems we continue to meet again and again.”
“Like any new technology, in the beginning, the products suffer from being driven by technology-focused design rather than human-focused design”
“it’s just a disgrace how un-empowered people are when they have a big screen”
“User experience wise, honestly, when you think about how uber works today, it could as well have been an autonomous car. They send you a car with the person at the steering wheel, but if that was a computer instead of a person, from a user perspective, the passenger perspective, the user interface would be about the same.”
“You ain’t seen nothing yet. The last 70 years of user experience-that’s nothing. In the next 30 years – that’s it.”– From Jacob Neilsen, Keynote Speech, “10 UX Challenges for the Next 25 Years”
A proper UX methodology should be in place that is pervasive in design. So much bad design is still present in this world and even when we are aware about it, we either do nothing about it or do some about UX work either not fully or wrongly. So, we want to get the full scope of that design thinking lifecycle that includes early focus on users, good usability testing making sure that an all-pervasive UX work is done across platforms, on all devices and eco-systems.
Short term (5 year) challenges:
The challenge of the present stage of AI development is that products suffer being driven by technology-focused design rather than human-focused design”. It’s a nature process of evolution of any technology. Eventually the design focus would shift from technology to humans, because otherwise, products that are only technology focused will fail in the long run.
No screen UI and Multidevice UX
The user interface is no longer just a computer screen. We are in a world of omni channel user experience with many screens.
There is very little UX work being done on how to really take advantage of the big screens. With lot of work being done for mobile or small screens, it does not mean that making the little design bigger will meet the needs. Showing the same interface much bigger on a big screen is not the way forward. We should be able to show lot more effectively making use of the big screens. This can be – better dashboards, better information displays and better support to quick decision making etc. However, this does not mean that we should throw more content on the screen. This will only overwhelm people. This is the reason why designing for big screens is indeed a human factor challenge.
Make technology work
Stop accepting the limitations of technology as the end or common norm. Microsoft word is a 34-year-old product and still when you run a print, at times, the picture goes in the wrong spot or there is some or the other error and it takes hours to figure things out. So, fix the bug or improve the existing features need to be more important than adding new features. Once it works without bugs, then we can think of new features.
Evangelize UX methodology
More than lip service, we need to focus on better use of user experience.
Jakob Neilsen also outlines few developments that he has deliberately avoided and states out very interesting aspects to support his omission.
He sees autonomous cars won’t pose fundamentally different UI challenges to the user.
Scalability of UX
This is something we have to address as we scale the experiences. He presents a very interesting example of 50000 people at a football stadium at the end of the match when requesting for uber together and if 50000 cars arrive at almost the same time, then how will each individual will be matched up with his or her car? These are scalability issues of user experience which can be addressed through omnichannel and pervasive design that also take into consideration the physical environment as well as the digital.
This is another area which could have been included under the challenges but with autonomous cars looking like a possibility of near future, there may be no drivers in the future. However, it is a serious issue in the near future because of the number of people killed in the road accident every year worldwide. In the last few years the numbers have increased, because of the driver distraction resulted from smartphone usage. Smart phones are killing 5000 people per year in traffic in the United States alone.
Mobile App makers? Have you thought how many people are you killing?
“Smart phones are killing 5000 people per year in traffic in the United States alone. Worldwide probably more than like a 100 thousand. This means that you guys working on a mobile app or mobile website, you have got to think about how many people you are killing. Because it’s true. and it’s sad, but it’s true.”
Deep design and not surface design through evangelizing the user experience design is the way we can address both the longer- and short-term challenges.
UX has come a long way and its progress was influenced by PC and Web Revolutions
PC revolution when computers became personal rather than just only for business, it meant that computers needed to be designed for normal people. The person who bought the computer was also the user. The person who bought the software was also the user. So that made them design and want to buy good software. In the enterprise world, the person buying it are not as same as the people using it. Therefore, often, we get low quality software in that sector because they ignore the user.
Web revolution that pushed UX even more because with a personal computer world, a person buys excel and starts using it and then he realizes he does not know how to make a pie chart with it. It’s so difficult and the user realizes that there is a learning curve involved. With PC, it was always first pay the money, then have the user experience. But on the web, it’s the reverse. First have the user experience and then you pay the money. Because the user first visits the website, the home page, checks the content, and asks himself if any of these that he finds there makes any sense to him, can he find the thing he wants, can he navigate easily? Once the user is satisfied with all these questions, then he/she pays the money. So, on the web, user experience is the first and money is second. That made UX come up front and provide higher visibility for business and more investment for UX in businesses. That led to faster progress of User experience in the last decade when the web proliferated across all businesses.
This is a must-see keynote from one of the biggest names of User experience domain. He takes us on a roller coaster ride through the history of user experience and lays out the key challenges that the domain needs to address in the coming 5 to 25 years. He elucidates the challenges through using beautiful examples, anecdotes and excellent data from the history with a touch of humour all the way. This is power packed with ideas and facts and he concludes his keynote, referring to the progress UX is going to make in the next 25 years, in one line “You ain’t seen nothing yet. The last 70 years of user experience that’s nothing. In the next 30 years – that’s it.”
Jakob Nielsen, Usability Pioneer, Cofounder Nielsen Norman Group