Designing For The Future And What That Means:
When I entered into the BDW program, I fully expected to be learning the skills to be a UX designer. I had some assumptions that came with the prospect of learning UX design. One such assumption is that I would only be learning to design for screen based artifacts. This made sense as most user experiences that involve technology also involve a screen in one way or another however, one aspect of this program I’m quickly learning about is that a user experience designer will also design for experiences off screen. While screen based design is an important part of this program, it isn’t the ONLY platform to design for. As our technology continues to evolve and in some cases, leaves screens behind, user experience designers will be essential for shedding light on the path forward. This is the conversation I did not expect to be having.
It’s exciting that the program we’ve embarked on recognizes that not all user experiences come from screen based products and our program is arming us with tools to look at that emerging world and jump right in. What will it mean when everyone has an amazon Alexa type device to talk to? What part will neural technology play in our future? What impact could these experiences have on us and why? These questions are important as new technologies that will change the way we interact with each other and the world around us continue to emerge.
Every new piece of technology has an impact on us as a society in ways we cannot always foresee and they are not always positive. In addition to talking about how we design for the future, UX designers must also strive to understand what the impact of new technology might be, and how that impact might be avoided as part of the UX process. Additionally, it is also important to be able to think about ways technology, both new and old, can alleviate some of the negative impact past technologies have created. Designing for the future means designing to make positive impacts on our relationship with technology, each other, and the world around us.
It’s an exciting future and it truly doesn’t feel far away. With this type of thought and discussion we can try to solve problems in new and exciting ways, and perhaps even tackle problems we hadn’t thought about solving before.