User Experience Is Now Table Stakes

Nowadays, intuitive, beautifully designed experiences are simply the cost of entry, and the trends that clients, and the tech industry at large, value and look to next are often in the rear view mirror by the following year, quarter, or even week. Designers must pick them fast and add them to our cache of talents. It’s not that these are going away, or have become less important.

On the contrary, User Experience (UX) is one of the most important, all-encompassing factors for companies to embrace. Now, digital experiences are so ubiquitous that we the consumers start to take for granted all the thought and nuance behind every decision happening on the other side of that screen covered with all your finger smudges. But if the work isn't there, we’d never use that app more than that one bad experience. This is how essential, yet “table stakes,” UX has become.

On Our Tools

The adoption of technology in our every day is pushing the evolution of what we create faster and faster. Thus, we as digital creators are evolving too. In our need to move quicker and with more purpose, we adopt new learning methods and become more comfortable with ambiguity, our roles change, and hierarchy flattens out within agencies and consultancies.

There may be nothing truly new under that sun up there in the sky. Evolution of design has brought the classic “creative brainstorming” out from behind the curtain and into the boardroom.  In a push to move faster, get more collaborative, add more value, and for everyone to gain a deeper understanding more quickly, we've had to grow out of the old. Design thinking, methodologies, and innovation workshops are essentially well-organized, more repeatable, and more scientific ways of brainstorming which allow clients to participate.


On Tech

IoT, machine learning/artificial intelligence, AR/VR, and voice are just better ways of connecting the dots, utilizing newer tech to reach old problems.

For example, yesterday’s smart toaster will become a bun warmer that alerts the shift-manager to bun usage each hour. The restaurant owner will not have to place an order, because the truck driver will already be on the way since the distribution center heard from the bun warmer immediately. Analytics informed the farmer of this month's trends before her tractor was trained on locational awareness and weather patterns since it runs on its own all night long.

The UX in all of this removes the friction points for users, increases their familiarity with patterns, establishes trust, and ultimately determines the success or failure by embracing the gap between people and the mastery of technology’s limits.

UX, simply put, is essential. Understanding all the steps in a consumer’s experience, the alternative routes a problem could go, and serving it up in a thoughtful way they will intuitively understand is basic, but imperative. UX is understanding that the quick-touch, zero-lag response of your phone is significantly different than that of the giant touchscreen in your hotel lobby or mall, and focusing on experience teaches designers how to think about the consumers of the future before the future technology even arrives.

As we all grow in machine learning, voice commands, and augmented/emerging technologies, it all has to work in the hands of consumers. Thus, empathy, human-centered design, behavioral economics, and just plain listening are not just critical, they are basic cost of entry table stakes.

At Vokal, we design all of the above and more. And we have all the intuition, ambition, and capabilities not only to imagine the impossible, but to create it and hold its hand as it enters the world. Beautiful design, seamless experience, and wow factors come nicely bundled in every product and service we touch. They too are table stakes at Vokal.