UX or user experience has transcended from being one of the tick boxes in the design cycle to the forefront of key differentiators for businesses around the world. Be it tap and pay or a well laid out storefront or even replacing buttons with gestures – we come across marvels of UX design in many more ways than we notice. In fact, the best user experience designs are the ones that seamlessly integrate with user behavior and habits. It is therefore termed as science and not merely an art form.
In an experience-led economy, UX has gained unprecedented clout and with each passing day, it is growing. The challenges it needs to solve are getting bigger – be it capturing attention amidst a barrage of competitors or simplifying a complex process into steps that are easy to understand and recall; or even increasing the urgency to extract action from the visitor, etc. In this context, here are the five top trends that each Indian business have to incorporate, not only to thrive but to survive in the next few years.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. UX metrics are the signals that show whether a UX strategy is working. Using metrics is key to tracking changes over time and setting targets. Most digital focused organizations track metrics like conversion rate or engagement time and tie these metrics back to design decisions. Today, Indian businesses simply cannot afford to have a lack of alignment to UX metrics and approach the evolution of their digital channels in an ad hoc way.
The ‘less is more’ design philosophy is a bed rock of good UX design. Apple & Google are best in class examples of using whitespace (empty space) to hyper- simplify a digital experience. However, whitespace is still a hard sell in India. Some India businesses (especially large incumbents), still believe in the ‘Let’s just fill the empty space with banner ads’ approach.
Ease is no longer enough to acquire and retain customers. The dominance of mobile interfaces has ensured that ease of use is now a hygiene factor in UX. So, when all competing digital products offer the same amount of ease of use, how does a business differentiate and create loyalty? The answer lies in understanding that all decision making in human beings is a result of our subconscious beliefs and underlying emotional drives and blocks. Using persuasion design techniques to map the emotion landscape for a given context and using it to craft a digital experience can generate the desired amount of influence and nudge the user towards the desired behavior.
Today, users in the Indian digital ecosystem are most comfortable conversing in a hybrid mix of English, internet slangs and their local language. Vernacular or and vernacularised English (Hinglish for example) is increasingly becoming the dominant language of conversation on Indian digital platforms. Indian businesses that will be the first movers in addressing this user need and provide content that ‘speaks in the users language’ will reap huge benefits.
Chatbots for Customer Support
Over the last 3-4 years, Chatbots have gone past the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ phase on the hype cycle and are now slowly emerging out of the ‘trough of disillusionment’ and into the ‘slope of enlightenment’. Gone are the days when most digital focused businesses were in a mad rush to launch their Chatbot offerings and saw an intelligent conversational interface as the silver bullet to solving all their UX problems. Business have realized that a conversation is not always the best way to do something because conversational interfaces alone cannot make a digital experience easy, efficient and natural.
For common and frequent tasks users still prefer to point and click using graphical Interfaces instead of typing which requires more time and energy. But all is not lost for Chatbots. They are making a comeback as the weapon of choice for customer support especially for use cases which cannot be templatized into a canned service request. Thanks to improved artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, chatbots today are playing a major role in streamlining and optimizing customer service operations.