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What will be the most important user experience trends for 2017?

It's always supposed to be the year of the user, but in 2017, it's finally going to happen. And this focus on user experience is going to change everything about software design.

Next year, it's going to be all about the user. You've heard that before, but in 2017, it's really going to be...

true, and here's why: a confluence of consumer demand, the internet of things (IoT) and technological breakthroughs are going to force -- and enable -- everyone from developers to testers and even operations folks to put the user experience (UX) first.

Obviously, these user experience trends are going to mean sweeping changes in how software is designed, developed and tested, and, eventually, even alter the release process. "Next year is going to be the year where user experience, real-time user experience, will drive software development," said Robert Stroud, a principal analyst on the infrastructure and operations team at Forrester Research. And no one will be guessing about user experience trends. Next year, we'll see developers actually meeting with real users, watching how they do things and maybe even taking field trips to see it all in action. And then it's going to mean keeping the image of that "ideal user" alive throughout the design process.

But the biggest challenge, Stroud said, is making sure the applications work as expected. User experience is so tricky -- one happy user does not guarantee another -- and if there is no actual user interface to test (as in many IoT devices) the problem is even more difficult.

So, to deal with these user experience trends, developers are going to need real-time customer feedback. "One of the challenges with product teams is that developers are still not getting real-time customer feedback and the UX data they need to drive iterative product development," he explained.

UX-UI collaboration

A new generation of application performance management/monitoring (APM) tools are promising to bring real-time metrics back in to the organization, but the risk is that they end up in the hands of the business people, not the developers. "APM companies are trying this, but we're still not seeing the data get back to developers in a usable format. That's the next challenge when it comes to UX."

Next Steps

Getting tipsy to tackle UX testing

Mobile UX in your future? Preparation is key

The meeting of IoT and user experience designers

This was last published in December 2016

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In what ways are you planning to put the user first in 2017?
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CUI - conversational user interfaces. Finding new ways to leverage existing business system's application data (securely) to increase UX/CX.
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Just plain bad mojo to let user drive.have seen multiple project failure because the ux is thought first without full understand of end to end architecture.
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Great read. Thank you!!! 

We put users first for years – along with Economic Buyers, as there’s never just a single dimension at play here (to Techguru1987 re: E2E architecture – Right!) 

Our mantra: Bring to market solutions that Economic Buyers will buy and the intended users will be delighted using.

The goal: Dive highly differentiated market position, as measured by higher Win/Loss ratio, faster TTM (Time to Market), and lower COGS (Cost of Goods Sold).

We pursue these with clarity over certain key points:
1. It is about Return on Adoption. To everyone.

2. UX is how it WORKS (for the user)

3. UI is how it LOOKS (hence UI is part of, and not to confuse w/UX…)

Therefore:
1. Properly executed UCD (User Centered Design) produces a high-fidelity UX prototype (because the devil is in the details... and figuring this out at dev time will take more time and money…)

2. The UX prototype serves as a key asset of the product specs, dev process, and QA

3. Successful UCD requires UX-led orchestration of cross-functional collaboration (Product Management, SMEs, Sales, Dev, Creative, Users, etc.) from project initiation to after GA release

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