As devices, technologies and new UI paradigms emerge and converge, consumers’ reliance on screens as the primary interface will shift, and websites and screen-based interactions will move to a more peripheral function. This will be a challenge to digital-experience providers, who for the past 20 years have been designing around screens.
There are still many digital properties to build: websites, mobile apps, VR experiences. But building next-generation digital experiences will be more about physical and digital convergence than standalone pieces or Digitally Enabled Physical Experiences (DEPE), surrounding, full room interactions that will require agencies to have different skills sets and the ability to think way beyond the screen.
To make what’s next, here are five considerations for the future of design thinking that will facilitate the interaction between humans and machines:
From user experience to experience architect
As opposed to managing user interface and content relationships with users, experience architects will be more akin to conductors, coordinating content and interactions across technologies, interaction types and physical spaces.
From 2D design to physical design
Digital experience providers have primarily designed for screens. In the future, they’ll build physical environments that mimic the environments they are designing for and create tools that are not bound to screens themselves. At some point, these physical design spaces may be the showcase of agency environments and those creating Digitally Enabled Physical Experiences (DEPE).
From cookie messaging to behavioral signatures
For decades, digital experiences have been built around cookies. Agencies will be challenged to design for broader experiences, where people develop and carry around individual behavioral signatures, unique behavioral styles like speech, motion patterns and voice that can be instantly recognized.
From CMS to AMS (Application Management Systems)
Experience providers will need to create applications for plug-and-play programs that exchange data or signals. Software must be created that manages multiple-experience components (voice, motion, chatbots) that can be swapped in and out quickly. Similar to how digital-experience providers created content management systems, the next frontier will be application management systems.
From writing programs, to programs that think on their own
Cognitive computing is the future, making it virtually impossible to account for all the potential variations as the screen becomes less important: environmental changes, energy spikes, network access, the movement of people from the interaction stage. Digital-experience providers must have engineers who can program computers to think for themselves, rather than the other way around.