Post by
Nasir Uddin
May 3, 2024
UI Design
Read time
5 min

Just ten years ago, designing a website required special tools and coding knowledge in languages like HTML and CSS. But now, things have changed. With platforms like WordPress and Figma, anyone familiar with these tools can create a website on their own.

As more and more people use mobile phones and the number of websites keeps growing, the importance of usability and looks has become crucial for digital products. It can make or break a business. That's why a lot of money is being invested in research and innovation to bridge the gap between humans and technology.

That's why it's an intriguing time to ponder what lies ahead in the realm of UI design. With substantial investments being made in research and innovation, there is a palpable sense of anticipation about the future.

What exciting developments and breakthroughs await us? How will these advancements reshape the way we interact with technology? In this article, we will delve into these questions and embark on a journey to uncover the thrilling possibilities that the future holds for UI design.


Designing for Virtual Reality 

Contrary to what most people think, VR is not just used for fun. The technology is utilized to increase the efficiency and productivity of various fields and functions.

Take the automotive industry as an example. Companies like BMW have been using VR to review the engineering of digital prototypes of vehicles. This saves them money because they don't have to make actual prototypes. VR can make you feel like you're in a real place, so you can train in a realistic setting without the risks and costs that come with it.

So How Does VR Work, and What Part Does Digital UX Design Play?

Virtual reality (VR) refers to an artificial experience that entirely submerges the user in a virtual world. A virtual reality headset is required in order to provide a convincing 3D environment, complete with a stereoscopic 3D picture and stereo sound. Because this technology also includes input tracking, it is able to follow the user across the digital world and determine what they do there. 

For instance, when a player moves their head in real life, it will feel as though they are moving while playing the game. The user experience (UX) designs used for VR apps operate in a totally different way from those used for apps that run on ordinary screens. VR designs must use modern UX design techniques and think about touch, sound, and depth, among other things, to give a real-time feel. 

Integration of Brain-Computer Interface

At the F8 Conference, Facebook made an exciting announcement about their ongoing work on a groundbreaking technology called the brain-computer interface (BCI). This innovation aims to allow users to type using only their thoughts, utilizing optical imaging techniques.

Imagine a device that scans your brain, capturing your thoughts as you speak them aloud and seamlessly translating them into text. With such advancements, traditional typing interfaces may become obsolete. While the potential benefits in the field of medicine and healthcare are evident, recent BCI research has also focused on enhancing the quality of life for individuals with paralysis or severe disabilities. For instance, a paralyzed patient could operate a tablet without the need for any physical touch.

So How Will BCI Change UI For Designers?

With the advent of BCI, designers will witness a shift where a substantial part of the design process originates from the designer's mind. As a result, UI designers will evolve into specialized BCI designers, necessitating an analysis of how this transformation will impact their work. Moreover, the way information is processed and the incorporation of new sciences, like neuropsychology, will reshape Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design thinking.

Augmented Reality is Another Breakthrough

We all know little about augmented reality, maybe because of movies or TV shows. We've thought about a future where digital and real life are mixed, and you can do things like make hologram calls and go to other worlds. The filters on Instagram are a great example. AR is mainly used for fun and games, but we can't ignore how important it is in the fields of education, work, and medicine.

So How will AR Change UI for Websites and Apps? 

In the future, AR will eliminate screen-based work. Designers can place items and elements in space. This includes scrolling, tab-switching, and page-loading. UX design aims to lower the user's cognitive load and make tasks more efficient. AR could improve UX, but screen-less interactions may also create more challenges.

UI/UX design for AR is still in the experimental stage. So, it's still early enough to "break the rules" or even define what the rules are and will be. In line with design standards, technology will get better, and this will help make the next big thing in computing. In ten years, "air tapping" with AR smart glasses might be as natural as pinch zooming on a smartphone is now.

Gesture Recognition will be more Enhanced

Gesture detection isn't completely new; take the iPhone as an example. Users can use touch interactions with the screen elements by making motions on this device. Though it has found applications in numerous fields, including robot control, navigation systems, and medical research, it has yet to become commonplace in our everyday lives. But the next generation of user interfaces will be a touch-free interaction paradigm that will take people to a whole new level of engagement.

How will Gesture Recognition Change User Interfaces?

Touchless interactions will bring a new outlook to the human-computer interaction paradigm, resulting in completely unique user experiences. In recent years, the rapid advancement of gesture recognition technologies and the declining cost of sensors have enabled product designers to develop an entirely new spectrum of gesture-based solutions.

Gesture recognition UX offers tremendous opportunities to alter how we engage with technology. As gestures are not the same for everyone, it will be necessary to be as proactive as possible, and the learning curve will be severe. We are just at the start of a new computer era in which people will communicate with machines as they do with one another.

Voice User Interface 

Remember the first time you used Siri on your iPhone 4S? It was an incredible experience, no? And since then, we are all aware of how far we have come with Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortona, and a hundred more advancements.

One of the most prominent developments that will continue to dominate in 2022 is the voice user interface, to the point where mouse and keyboards will become obsolete. The facts speak for themselves: by 2022, 50 percent of households are predicted to own smart speaker devices. Not to mention the rise of voice notes on WhatsApp and voice search. Voice UI may direct and assist consumers in navigating complicated digital products without the need for other elements, such as screens.

How will Voice User Interface Change The Roles of UI Designers? 

The greatest benefit of voice UI is that it eliminates the need for a graphical user interface and improves the user experience of your website or application.

A small but increasing number of user experience designers have become full-fledged voice user interface (VUI) designers in recent years. Even though it may seem like a peculiar specialty skill, mobile design is a decade-old practice. Voice user interface design will soon emerge as a crucial strategic competency for the next generation of designers. All of these major changes will take us to the next level of the technological era. 

Welcome, to ZERO UI!

A transition from rectangular devices to a screenless world, where we will control our devices with just movements, voice, or just by thoughts! It doesn’t literally mean we will stop using visual interfaces. It will be a new paradigm in which the interfaces we are so accustomed to will fade into the background, allowing us to connect with our devices more naturally and simply.

In the amid of all these, data emerges as the foundation for future user interfaces, revolutionizing how we interact with technology. So this can raise the question Why is data considered the user interface of the future, and what does it mean?

This concept does not entail a complete abandonment of visual interfaces but rather signifies a paradigm shift where interfaces seamlessly integrate with the power of data. Data-driven interfaces offer personalized experiences, predictive insights, and intelligent interactions. They blur the boundaries between humans and technology, making interactions feel natural. Embracing data as the user interface of the future unlocks innovation, transformative experiences, and seamless integration of technology into our lives

Experts predict that to push boundaries, human and technology interaction designers will need to broaden their knowledge base beyond design to include fields such as psychology, biology, and data analysis. It may seem impossible to implement, yet many well-known companies have already begun doing so with their zero UI strategy.

For example, 

If you've ever owned an Amazon Echo, changed the channel by waving at a Microsoft Kinect, or set up a Nest thermostat, you've already used a device that follows Goodman's Zero UI philosophy.  It is about moving away from touchscreens and interacting more intuitively with the devices around us. With haptics, computer vision, voice control, and artificial intelligence, Zero UI gives designers a new way to work.

As these technologies become more intuitive and simple to use for the next generation of users, we will be able to enjoy a more visually stunning computing experience that will test our ability to keep up with the mass of data they have to share.

For future user interfaces, the amount of change that could happen is scary and exciting, and it's something to look forward to when new technologies and products break new ground.

Like right now, we have wearable computers. Who thought it would be there someday?  It is one of the most accurate examples of how UI has been reshaped. 

Wearable computers, often known as wearable interfaces (or wearables), are small, wearable electronic devices (mostly wrist)—for example, smartwatches, wristbands, rings, pins, and spectacles.

Wearable technology aids in performing manual work and keeps you on track with your daily activities. The majority of gadgets are put to use in the health and fitness industry, specifically for monitoring vital signs, serum cholesterol, caloric intake, and other similar metrics.

Connecting a wristwatch to a smartphone, for instance, grants the watch some of the functionality of the smartphone. Once paired, it gives calls, emails, messages, Twitter alerts, etc.

Examples of highly developed wearable technology include Google Glass and hearing aids powered by artificial intelligence, among others.

Wrapping Up

As we travel into the future of UI design, the demands on designers will continue to grow in tandem with the advancement of technology. To negotiate the complexity of creating across numerous contexts and devices, designers must accept the requirement for deep domain expertise and a varied variety of design techniques.

Technology is undergoing a transformation, with the possibility for self-regulation and complex improvements. To flourish in this ever-changing landscape, designers must develop both technical and soft abilities while adjusting to the needs of a dynamic world.

For experts, the future of user experience holds immense promise. Companies are increasingly looking for UX professionals with specialized knowledge, such as hybrid UX/UI design, interaction design, UX research, content and product design, or voice-guided UI. Moving from a generalist to a specialist can provide exciting chances for career advancement and variety.

To be successful in UX, you must embrace continual learning and develop your skill set. Whether it's learning to code, polishing design strategy and leadership skills, or researching analytics, now is the time to prepare for a rewarding and lucrative career in UI design. Accept the opportunities that await you, and let your passion for creating amazing user experiences propel you to new heights in the ever-changing field of UI design.

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Nasir Uddin
CEO at Musemind
Nasir Uddin, Co-Founder and CEO at Musemind, brings over a decade of experience in dynamic UX design. With a background at prestigious companies like Panther, On Deck, Microsoft, and Motley Fool. His leadership has transformed Musemind into a trusted destination for comprehensive product design solutions.
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