We are on the cusp of a new era in technology. We've weathered the mobile and social revolutions, and are poised for the virtual and augmented revolution. But what does that mean for user experience? For the past decade, UX has been firmly rooted in the world of 2D. Sitemaps, wireframes, user flows- all two dimensional constructs to organize information for a two dimensional web. What's going to change?
The Interface is Dead, Long Live the Interface
With virtual reality and augmented reality, we are seeing a shift in what is possible on an interface. How about subtle finger tracking?
With the kind of technology in Project Soli, we may not need peripherals anymore. How about hand tracking in VR?
For the remaining few who are still not impressed, how about eye tracking?
The interface is about to change quite a bit as we shift to more hand and eye-centric methods of interacting. Expect to rethink your interaction design within the next few years.
Data Visualization Goes Virtual
Charts and graphs aren't going to be enough to represent real time or big data. We've gotten a taste of something better. Soon you will be able to represent data for 1,000 people by seeing 1,000 digital people. Here's a showreel that gives us an idea of the possibilities.
How about visualizing a database in VR?
UX professionals are going to need to form close partnerships with motion graphics and 3D modeling professionals to visualize data in new and more personal ways.
UX Architects Will Become Environment Architects
Everything up to this point has been blueprints. Schematics, wireframes, concepts. In the coming year, user experience designers and architects will be building worlds that users will be experiencing from the INSIDE. If you haven't seen Mike Alger's thoughts on this- have a look:
Are you ready?
UX isn't dying, but it's about to fundamentally change. Are you prepared? The ones who aren't will be caught off guard and left behind. Start buying VR and AR devices now and begin testing them out. We have a lot of work to do to determine the UX best practices in virtual reality.