The term “user experience” has grown in popularity over the last decade. As we near the end of 2019, reflecting on the term and where it started gives us guidance on how it will continue to evolve in the new decade. Research suggests that the emphasis on experiences over products cannot be underestimated by brands. While both of these tangible elements of the user experience play a role in unlocking consumer loyalty, experiences are proving to be more effective for tapping into the modern consumer’s drive for inspiration and meaning in their purchases.

Generational Shift in Values 

From generation to generation, several changes in values and trends have impacted consumer habits and preferences, Not only does this affect brands in most categories, but it also influences the spending behavior patterns of consumers across the globe. One of these shifts in values is consumers’ gravitation towards Experiences versus products where 76% of international consumers prefer spending on the former compared to the latter, according to a recent survey.

This trend can be attributed mainly to Millennials, who are expecting more and more from brands that continue leading our economy’s technology & data resurgence. The pace of technological growth in international markets has left consumers hungry for the next breakthrough yet grappling to keep up apparently.

While the technology renaissance of the early-2000s and its introduction of more advanced products was compelling enough for Gen Xers consumers to trust, experiences now broker a consumer-to-brand relationship that’s more emotionally relevant (and sustainable) for Millennials and Gen Zers. From the modern consumer’s perspective, Products are replaceable and will phase out while Experiences will last a lifetime.

User Experiences Best Practices 

User experiences not only have become a top best practice, but some would also argue that it is the only way to practice web design and branding in 2020. People no longer want to be sold to. They want to interact with a brand and engage in overall messaging & tonality, swept away by the feeling received from that relationship with a brand.

Minimalism is one design practice that will consistently foster the comfort users are seeking when interacting with a brand. With brand clutter at an all-time high, a minimalistic approach to user design helps more consumers sort through brand attributes that click with their emotions.

Personalization, also powerfully complements the user journey. Syndication of data and the ability of brands to now understand users before they reach them has enabled consumers to block out noise that doesn’t relate to their interests. 

UI/UX of the Future 

Experiences are shaping the way users interact and explore brands. It no longer is just good enough to implement some user experience practices but to be experts and innovate strategy to lead the way in design and development.

“As new products reach heightened levels of sophistication and innovation, so must the way we as designers think about the people who will be using them. With every new piece of technology, our roles, not only in the industry but also in society, evolve; this infinite potential for growth and advancement excites me every day,” says ArtVersion’s User Experience Designer.