There’s a revolution happening right now and were at the heart of it. Over the past 5 years, the Digital Industry has been shaken to its core. We’re talking massive changes that every business has had to contend with and it’s all centered around UX/UI design.
Almost every company as we speak is expanding them in house resources and UX/UI is firmly the fastest growing tech sector. Even compared to just a couple of years ago, things look very different. Whole teams have started popping up everywhere, dedicated to putting customers first even in large organizations who have been insular for so long.
Every startup now is customer-focused and if the big boys don’t keep up they’re gone, no excuses. Just take a look at Blockbuster, HMV, Clinton’s, Borders and Kodak to name just a few.
There has never been a more exciting time to get involved in digital transformation and there are no signs of things slowing down. We are just on the edge of disruptive technologies such as IoT which is the Internet of things, Blockchain technology, and 5G. With all of these major shifts happening right now companies are forced to embrace digital transformation otherwise they will be forced out of the marketplace.
User-Centered Design is imperative and disruption is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. Failing fast is a mentality many entrepreneurs are embracing and one of the most important elements of success in today’s quick-moving environment. As the pace of change continues to accelerate its vital that companies move forward quickly and are prepared to fail.
Gartner, an American research and advisory firm suggest that over 8.4 billion things are connected to the internet today, up 30% from last year. With all this data we could reach overload.
This connected network of devices is commonly called the IoT which stands for the internet of things. Over the coming years, this is going to be helped along by 5G technology, the 5th generation of mobile internet. This brings with it much faster speeds and the ability to have many more connected devices. To put this in context, you will be able to download – not just stream – a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds. The same task would take closer to 10 minutes on 4G. This will certainly see a revolution in the way we design for mobile. Things that we don’t do now because of speed and size limitations will be removed and create unbelievable opportunities for new experiences.
UX and UI are crucial to making sense of all this information. As we move forward it’s more important than ever to design for real people. Systems are getting ever increasingly more complex, each device is now connected to a host of others and really making this usable is crucial. If something isn’t instantly accessible then we will reject it. Every year our tolerance for poor experiences is becoming less.
During our lifetime we probably thought we wouldn’t see a disruptive technology as big as the internet. It has changed our lives and connected the planet in a very short space of time. Is it possible that something could be as big in the very near future? I believe it could be and you may not even have heard of it yet, it’s called the blockchain.
The first revolution the blockchain is powering is a digital currency. This has been led at the forefront by Bitcoin. You may have seen it in the news, it’s been on an amazing run over the last 8 years with a single coin increasing in value over a million times. Imagine if we all knew that back in 2009.
The most interesting thing about bitcoin though is the technology behind it. In essence, the blockchain, which powers bitcoin, is a public digital file that records information. In this case, the blockchain records financial transactions. Everyone can get access to information. With powerful cryptography making sure that the blockchain is correct and unhackable there is no chance of an error. This may sound small at first but it could transform the world.
A real-world example is the banking industry. The big story is that you can transfer value through software alone, said stern on CNBC’s closing bell. With over half the world’s population not having access to banking, including up to 80% of Africa, the blockchain could revolutionize the world. All you need is access to a computer now to transfer and store money. No bank is needed in the process from storage to sending a transaction. As computers become cheaper this will have dramatic knock-on effects.
This is just the first example of this, things are going to change fast. The blockchain could also be used by governments as a foolproof election system, a store of people’s identities online and a record of land ownership to name just a few use cases. Goldman Sachs even put out a blockbuster 88-page note to clients declaring that the technology “can change well everything.”
All this technology around blockchain needs to be designed and built around users. With unlimited use cases, only the ones that add value to people’s lives and solve problems will thrive. Everything essentially comes down to solving problems for users which is the purpose of the user-centered design process.
Over the next few years, things are only going to move faster. With UX/UI the hottest jobs on the market it’s never been a better time to learn the skills that will help you get started in the industry or grow your business.
Next up we are going to take a closer look at your career path in UX/UI. It’s a subject that always seems a little mysterious. Internally companies always keep you in the dark about your true potential and the competitive market out there. When is the right time for a promotion? Should you go freelance? If you’re ready to find out I’ll see you in the next section.