Ask any Gen Z or even Millennial: What makes a business stand out? And you’ll likely receive answers that touch on accessibility and relatability. Two of these factors weigh heavily on modern consumers because they want to support brands that share their ethos or values, and they also want them to be easily obtained.
When you think about how people used to walk to stores and browse around with no internet references, that’s archaic behaviour because everything now is driven by technology. A simple meal is no longer just walking into a restaurant or cafe and just filling up your tummy, it’s a flurry of searches to make sure that it checks the consumer’s expectations, whether from the yummy factor to how Instagrammable it is. If you think that travel is safe from this consumer behaviour, it cannot be further from the truth.
People don’t go anywhere without first doing their due diligence and a lot of their final decisions are based on what they’ve read online, whether from building a travel guide or what is trending on their social media feed. None of that is possible if UX or UI hasn’t evolved to become integrated into our everyday lives.
Imagine if Web2 was still as clunky and user-unfriendly as it used to be. Nobody would be relying on these technologies, but the fact is that technology has caught on and it’s almost become second nature to the average joe.
The Fear Is Real
Technology isn’t just changing human behaviour on the consumer end, it’s also changing employee behaviour. Freelancing and contracting have never been more rampant and it shows.
Quiet-quitting, which isn’t exactly as straightforward as the term implies, is a culture that has caught on with the younger generation. Instead of working overtime and accepting projects or tasks that aren’t in their job scope, they’ve chosen instead to work within a strict boundary of what is expected of them.
Business managers are noticing that employees are no longer committed to the money and if you want to find real commitment, you need to hire based on passion instead of qualifications, which can be difficult when it comes to the hiring process.
Companies are trying to downsize, which means that they need individuals who are willing to take on multiple roles and responsibilities in order to reduce costs, but the job market is not forgiving and companies are finding it harder and harder to find qualified candidates. Without committed employees, companies cannot grow.
While UX is important, design school is unable to keep up with the market’s current demands. Technology and consumer behaviour are evolving at an exponential rate and entry-level designers are finding it harder and harder to penetrate a market that is five steps ahead of what they are being taught at school. Being expected to upskill oneself might have been a given in the past, but today, with quiet-quitting culture at the forefront, it is becoming a struggle for both employee and employer to find that balance between what the other wants.
But at the end of the day, every industry is bogged down by the importance of UX: it is an essential part of the design process, and those who prioritize UX in their work are likely to see more success in their careers and in the products they create. By understanding the importance of UX and investing in the necessary resources and support, both designers and employers can create products that are effective, intuitive, and enjoyable to use.
The Assistance Provided by Technology
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to upskill in today’s landscape. Youtube videos and information-sharing platforms are a dime a dozen. Furthermore, there are plenty of tools to help both employers and employees to work collaboratively and coherently.
Let’s not forget that the implementation of web3 will be opening more doors for uncharted territory. A virtual world may be the motivation that employees need to increase their commitment to their work. Artificial intelligence is also paving the way for a more convenient and hassle-free way of working.
Automation has become a big part of human civilization, starting with the industrial revolution, and now we’re seeing predictions of a technological revolution. Just think: Original articles can now be penned by A.I., fully fact-checked and grammatically correct while being as engaging and as entertaining as anything that a human could produce.
What’s to stop A.I. from creating flawless UX in the near future? The need for designers would all but disappear and it would solve the problem of every employer: How to cut costs while retaining efficiency and still deliver results?
A Changing World
In some people’s eyes, technology offers a volatile environment, but the truth is that we need to adapt accordingly. The change will always be scary, but humans are highly adaptable and when we are able to accept what we can’t change and work it to our advantage, that’s when we’ll begin to reap the benefits of all that the world has to offer. Opportunity is everywhere, it just depends on the individual and what they decide to do with the hand that they are dealt.
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