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Rethinking Design: Five Trends That Will Enhance Human Experiences In The Future Technology will not only become more inclusive, but will also allow businesses to focus on emotional intelligence.

By Amol R. Kadam

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The dawn of the 21st century has witnessed a massive digital revolution that is still revolutionizing different industries and sectors across the globe. From healthcare to textiles, there is no sector today where businesses are not harnessing the power of technology.

I always think that humanity has witnessed a wide spectrum of revolutions– digital ones as well. But what is the one thing that differentiates the incumbent transformation from the others? And when I think about this, only one aspect comes to my mind: human experience.

Today, we are not just concerned with providing a good quality product at a competitive price. While that is important, customer experience has become a focal point as well. With the advent of technology, several new strategies can be used for improving human experiences by prioritizing human emotions.

This is why I believe that human experience is the new battleground where only companies with robust customer-centric strategies can win. Therefore, the focus on improving human experience has gained momentum, and the new frameworks that have been developed and that are still in the pipeline have immense potential.

This is why I have shortlisted below five trends that I believe will enhance human experiences in the future. Technology will not only become more inclusive, but will also allow businesses to focus on emotional intelligence.

1. The digital and physical worlds will increasingly intersect The distinction between the digital and physical is already a thing of the past. As the world is evolving at an unprecedented rate, it is not wrong to say that all the innovation is actually happening at the intersection between "online" and "offline."

From multinational companies to entrepreneurial adventures, we can see it happening around us. The trend is likely to continue in the future. As the focus on providing holistic customer experience increases, traditional frameworks will merge with better innovative technologies.

In fact, the process has already started. Take telemedicine for instance. In many parts of the world, patients cannot access doctors. To solve this problem, healthcare professionals introduced telemedicine– a framework that utilizes modern technology to discuss medical solutions with patients who cannot access a healthcare center.

But this was only the first step. Today, better frameworks are being developed to solve several healthcare challenges such as the development of improved data security models, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual reality (VR), and so on.

I find the use of VR quite interesting in healthcare. Did you know that it can be used by doctors to practice surgeries? There has been software developed that are training healthcare practitioners and surgeons to improve their performance. And according to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, there was more than a 200% performance increase in VR-trained professionals as compared to the traditionally trained surgeons.

As for other segments of the business world, we can see how physical components in supply chains are being replaced by digital ones such as sensors. Organizations can easily manage costs and keep a track of the inventory without any hassle. Algorithms are being used for supply and demand predictions as well.

Trends like these are likely to evolve in the future, and further innovate the business world. With the fusion of digital and physical worlds, companies will continue to harness the power of technology to predict the outcomes of their objectives, improve customer service, boost productivity, and enhance return on investment (RoI).

2. Consumers will demand even more personalization How many of you have seen "How was your experience?" in forms or emails sent to you? While you may think of it as just another task, it shows how companies have increased their focus on the personalized emotional experience.

As we get more connected, user experience (UX) is becoming more emotionally intelligent. Apart from meeting only the needs of the clients, the focus on providing a personalized experience will definitely become the top priority of companies. It is not just about products anymore. It is about customer experience (CX). How are your customer experience strategies are better than others- what are you offering?

As time passes, the competition in the personalized customer experience background will also increase. This highlights how the focus is not just on the user experience, but also on the overall customer experience as well.

Designs must be simple, personalized, and easy to use. Many designers tend to overcomplicate the designs in order to make them stand out- I have seen so many UX professionals make that mistake. When a lot of information is present on one page, it becomes confusing rather than simple. If you cannot find something easily, you will just move on to another site, right?

Companies are already starting to understand this. This is why I believe that providing a personalized, yet simple, user experience will be another top trend that we will observe in the coming years.

Related: Five Key Trends Shaping The Future Of The Hospitality Industry

3. B2B tech will become more consumer-oriented If you think that the traditional face-to-face aspect of sales is still a viable option in 2022, think again. As individuals interact with each other on the internet, digital interactions are now much more popular than physical ones.

Do you want to attend a meeting? Schedule a Zoom call and bring all the stakeholders in one place. Do you want to announce a promotion or a new product? Simply post it on social media. Do you want to evaluate your team's monthly progress? You can use software for that. These are just a few examples of how interactions have become more digital now.

This is the main reason why the consumerization of B2B technology is a top priority. In the future, we will see consumerization spreading towards customer experience. The reason behind this is that if clients do not find a certain product at store A, they will go to store B. Consumers today browse on their phones and make most of their purchases online. This is shopping– digitally.

But this is already happening. Now, companies are recalibrating their CX strategies to cater to the needs of the clients. Whether they want personalization or product diversity –or anything, really– companies must be ready for that.

4. The UX will become more emotionally intelligent Creating business value requires companies to become emotionally intelligent. I have come across so many research studies that highlight how teams are unable to work together, if the focus on fostering an emotionally intelligent culture is low.

Emotions clearly play a major role in all aspects of life. So, why leave it out of customer experience? We do make most decisions based on our emotions. What we choose to wear, or what we choose to add to our shopping carts, all decisions are driven by how we feel.

On a personal level, this may not sound like something that you need to work on. However, on a business level, companies are now prioritizing emotional intelligence to boost sales. If decisions are driven by a feeling, then why not focus on that? In the digital age, companies can definitely leverage that.

Emotional intelligence algorithms have already been developed, and they are being improved to allow organizations to attract more clients. In the future, the challenge will be to design products and services that generate positive emotions in the clients. And what is the best way to do this? Emotionally intelligent CX.

5. Design will need to be more inclusive and accessible Technology has allowed us to connect. Whether you are in Poland or Kenya, location simply does not matter anymore. Today, we see UX and CX designers working on making technology accessible for everyone. And this is not only a victory for marginalized communities, but also for people of determination, who will now be able to use products more effectively.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal should be to make sure that all products and services are accessible for everyone. When people feel included, accepted, and respected, they tend to associate with the brand more.

Moreover, to attract diversity, organizations must overcome any type of unconscious bias, and get in touch with customers so that they feel respected. Many companies are hiring people from different backgrounds and ethnicities just to bring this change internally. After all, a company can think holistically if it is run by people from different backgrounds.

On the consumer level, I believe marketing plays a major role in highlighting how much a company values diversity. I now see people in the beauty industry manufacturing products for all skin complexions and types. Campaigns with slogans like "all types of beautiful" and "we're worth it" show how organizations are appealing to their clients by showing they promote inclusivity. In the future, we will definitely see many more campaigns like this. UX and CX will become further diverse and inclusive to feel everyone welcomed.

In our current day and age, as a brand, remember that you speak to your customers with your products, services, and strategies. As such, providing a holistic customer experience is not just something companies can sideline– it is a priority. But despite the hype around it and the positive results it can bring, many companies are still quite slow in incorporating the transition. But I always think: how long can they delay it? Architecting human experiences is more important than ever. Whether you start by creating emotionally intelligent designs, or by promoting diversity, you must start. This revolution is coming, and only those who will win who will act on time.

Related: Four Digital Marketing Trends Startups Should Take Note Of In 2022

Amol R. Kadam

Co-founder, RBBi

Amol Kadam is the co-founder of RBBi, the region’s first, specialized user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and digital performance marketing agency, operating in Dubai since 2011.

Coming from a strong creative & usability background spanning more than 16 years, Amol has conceptualized, designed and managed the production of several digital projects for a global range of clients from banking, hospitality, travel, real-estate and more. Amol’s areas of expertise include user experience, usability, online branding and strategy, information architecture, interaction design, online and offline interactive media, digital media. Among other strategic tasks within the agency, his role involves creating usability and UX road-map strategies for interaction media.

Amol is the holder of a master’s qualification in HCI. He is also a certified usability professional and a registered member of Usability Professionals Association Worldwide.


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