Emerging Technologies in the Digital Space Must Integrate Seamlessly With the Human Experience
Some aspects of designing and developing digital products are simpler than they used to be (for example, website templates or using cloud technology instead of setting up your own servers). However, the technologies behind building custom solutions that satisfy both business needs and user needs are far more complex. More significantly, the human problems to be solved for are nuanced and complicated. Offline tasks are now performed in the digital realm and the offline and online worlds must meld together like never before.
In addition, customer expectations are higher. Digital experiences should meld seamlessly with the entire customer experience—since people don’t separate the two. A digital experience is simply a human experience. However, even though customers have higher expectations, their technical expertise is nowhere near the level of the people responsible for creating the technology.
Because of this disparity and the reluctance to include the user in the design and development process, digital experiences often ask too much of users. This is especially relevant to emerging technologies in the digital space that blur the lines between humans and technology. As we talk to bots as if they were humans, rely on artificial intelligence to provide critical insights, trust driverless cars, and take for granted the utility of augmented reality, user’s expectations of a seamless experience will only increase.
The success of these emerging technologies will depend on how seamlessly they integrate with the human experience.
First, despite a technologically advanced world, a seamless human experience doesn’t assume or require technical competence. In fact, the most successful technologies will be so thoughtfully crafted it won’t matter if you’re an experienced or novice user. In contrast, technologies that assume technical competency or ask too much of the user will risk viability, serviceability, and security.
Second, a seamless human experience emphasizes trust and transparency. For users to adopt emerging technologies, they must establish trust in the same way we establish trust with fellow humans. This means familiar, predictable behavior and an established code of ethics. Similarly, there must be trust and transparency between individuals and entities who may not—and are not required to—exchange identifiable information. Technologies such as blockchain have the ability to make this possible.
Incorporating the user into the design and development process is the best way to ensure adoption and continued use of emerging technologies. This does not mean you are asking your customers to dictate new technology and features—a common misconception. Instead, the empathy your team develops by immersing themselves in the end user’s world will help them more effectively untangle complex issues. Smart companies will not put the burden on the end user. Instead, through their empathy and user-centered design process, they will speak their customer’s language, emulate behaviors in the real world, and employ the human senses in a way that is both utilitarian and captivating.
Are you building new, groundbreaking technology? Through our user experience workshops, your team can learn how you can incorporate the end user into your design and development process to encourage adoption and ensure long term success.