The State of UX in 2018

As we look back on 2017, some pretty great things happened in the field of UX: the number of practitioners has continued to grow, new specialists (like UX writers) have emerged, and the lexicon of interactions has evolved with shrinking interfaces.

With such an exciting year for UX designers, what can we expect heading into 2018?

A tectonic shift. Here’s why.

When we think of UX designers, it’s almost always someone responsible for the design of apps and websites. The screen is their medium for engaging our attention, senses, emotions and perception.

UX might seem like a new thing (the term was invented only a few decades ago), but the design of experiences has been a part of every day life long before the digital age. It isn’t bound to a single medium. Nor is designing for
them.

Rather, experiences are spatial or time-based compositions that engage the senses, attention emotions or perceptions. Limiting what we consider to be an “experience” to only what we see on a screen is, at a minimum, undermining what it means to be human–our experiences extend beyond what Apple, Google, Netflix or Facebook create for our devices.

2018 will be the year that UX designers break from screens as the medium of their craft–creating experiences goes beyond making something “user-friendly” or “easy to use.”

Rather, with the array of emerging technologies, the design of experiences in 2018 will do what experiences like art, film music and architecture have done for us throughout human history–raise our spirits, improve our well-being and bring us closer together.

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