5 Tech Trends in 2020 We Need to Consider as a Design Team

I often forget how fast the world is changing. Technology today is unfolding around us to change our lives for good, and it’s vital for UX Designers to keep up-to-date with the latest digital trends, also known as tech trends, in the industry. From gadgets that control our smart-home devices through the power of our voice to cryptocurrencies, the latest trends are full of possibilities that new technologies bring to human-machine interactions. 

I picked five tech trends of 2020 that keep us steamed up, the newest technology they use and how they affect our work as designers:

  1. 5G
  2. AI and automation
  3. VR and AR
  4. Fintech, Healthtech,  Edtech
  5. Blockchain

iot internet of things smart phone connected to other devices

IOT – where does it stand in 2020?

In 2020 the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to impact the UX Design industry. Starting a list with the Internet of Things in 2020 sounds much like a cliché, as the world was buzzing for years around the revolutionary changes it would bring to us. But as we can see, it is connecting us to the world more than before.

We experience digital products and services on a whole new level: 

  • through discrete interactions
  • through gestural designs

 So it’s crucial for designers to learn and understand these new technologies and the way people will interact with them.

1. 5G 

5G Organic Network Speedmeter by Igor Ollé
5G Organic Network Speedmeter by Igor Ollé 

No wonder everyone is so excited about it. It was overhyped in 2019, not because of its mind-bending technology but because of its timeline. The fifth-generation of mobile networks could finally be available to the general public in 2020 and brings a lot of opportunities. One of 5G’s main advantages is speed, which is 100 times faster than 4G.

We are expecting less or no loading time at all and more reliable connections, which comes to the advantage of autonomous things.ux-technology-5g-tech-trends5G will enable quick transfer of data between systems and this will result in fundamental changes in many industries. Additionally, it will benefit self-driving vehicles by improving efficiency and safety. What is more, faster communication between a vehicle and the surrounding sensors will be provided which will result in better detection of obstacles and more accurate navigation.
Last but not least 5G opens a great number of possibilities for AR and VR too. Due to this speed, we will be allowed to have real-time physical interaction with both real and virtual objects and entities.

With 5G, streaming is going to become easier than ever. Even though not that long ago online streaming wasn’t taken so seriously, more and more businesses like leading TV networks already have their own online streaming services.ux-technology-ux-tech-trends-5gGoogle has been showing off its game streaming service which will be – sorry for the poor choice of words – a huge ‘game-changer’ in the future. Imagine playing your favourite games without having to download them. No discs or consoles, just simply stream the games you buy on servers in the cloud.

2. AI and automation – where do we encounter it?

AI remains one of the cool tech trends. Chatbots have become the most common example of artificial intelligence used in average consumer products. They are integrated with websites or messaging apps to help businesses automate their regular tasks from getting customers information about best hotels or lowest flight prices, all the way to booking them.What is more, AI delivers information much faster at all times. This way customers can receive more thorough and immediate care than they got previously. If it is built correctly, it can also result in reduced or no human error at all.ux-technology-ux-tech-trendsIn 2020 Artificial Intelligence is going to be used by more and more organisations as a service. Bigger companies now supply algorithms and infrastructure so smaller businesses can apply AI to their processors.

Autonomous entities without human direction commonly known as AuT

This buzzword has been all over the internet. In the past year, we have seen many assistive features powered by artificial intelligence like smart dashboards, which are mostly seen in self-driving cars’ interfaces. What is more, heads-up displays showing even more information due to smarter cameras and sensors. But 2020 looks even more promising to drivers. Even though the appearance of these vehicles is disputable, their infrastructure is getting amazingly advanced. We are getting closer, as we speak, to seeing fully autonomous cars on the road.

self-driving-car
Source: Ansys

A system that can automatically bring together data sets and come up with insights for a user’s query is also blooming. This is the world of analytics and business intelligence. And while this is great news for everyone working in the tech industry, we should consider how to make it visually consumable for the end-users be that a dashboard or a reporting tool and so on.

As AI becomes infused in most of the products we use, designers should consider solutions which provide value both for businesses and customers allowing devices to anticipate our thoughts and needs.

Devices with visual recognition

While autonomous vehicles will be able to see and avoid anything that could be an obstacle, more and more devices have built-in face recognition technology. This helps to distinguish elements on images like people, objects, plants, or even texts. It won’t be necessary to spend so much time observing CCTV cameras because they will be able to alert us about any strange activities.ai-on-mobile-phonesProbably in some time, more stores will be automated to replace long queues for checking out and speed up retail transactions with the help of computer vision, deep learning and sensor fusion.

3. VR and AR – how did it progress?vr-and-ar

The technology is here and markets are ready. It has already started to change everything. Jobs, industrial work, leisure activities and with the new marketing possibilities, our whole life. In 2020, as it costs less with improved usability, it has also become accessible to the average consumer. 

Virtual and augmented reality gives a whole new dimension to UX design too. With all the tools, which are already on the market (or under development), you can give a hyper-immersive experience where all senses of the human body are influenced. The question is: How can you control them without having an actual interface?

ux-technology-ux-tech-trendsBoth VR and AR can bring back in-real-life solutions. Classic UI practices won’t work, as we can’t think in one flat screen with limited ends anymore, now the user will digest information in a 360-degree field. So the biggest UX challenge is to create a new visual grammar. Additionally, new principles and the appropriate tools are necessary to provide intuitive and reliable experiences. All of these are promising, but we still got a long way to go until we reach the “Iron Man glasses” technology.ux-technology-vr-ar-ux-tech-trendsHowever, more and more companies implement the idea of overlaying things onto the real world with the help of a device screen so people can try on their products before buying them. So it seems, AR/VR industry will remain one of the biggest tech trends in the upcoming years.

4. Fintech, Healthtech, Edtech – what sort of tech is used within them?

While IoT and VR/AR are hard-core geek stuff, there are plenty of other sectors that are on a doorstep of (r)evolution. Healthcare, financial management or education – just to name a few – started going through great digital transformation. More and more fields are reaching “digital business maturity” by integrating digital technology in all of their areas especially banks. The market itself will shift around them. So let’s see what the latest trends in.

FinTech 

  • Extremely fast payment processes – money transfer or loans
  • Mobile banking – smartphones have become a very efficient solution for customers to access and handle their money on the go
  • Cloud and Quantum Computing – and what do financial services have to do with this? – it helps institutions process transactions or other types of data in no time

tech trends fintech financial technology Yota Mobile Network Operator Concept — Navigation by nick taylor for CreativePeople

Yota Mobile Network Operator Concept — Navigation by nick taylor for CreativePeople

There are independent solutions for money transfer, loans, cash management, daily banking and investment, but they have one core element: they are putting the customer experience into the spotlight. FinTech startups can take advantage of their newly built and streamlined operation to offer a smooth alternative for everyone.

This trend is set to continue in 2020, giving us plenty of exciting possibilities to look forward to. With the revolution of Fintech, cyber crimes will also rise giving another priority to focus on for vendors (for example, 20,000 of Tesco Bank’s customers’ accounts got robbed over one weekend ). Security will become even more important with the new regulations coming into effect and with the promise of open APIs – some also predict 30% of jobs will be automated in banks in the next couple of years.

Healthcare tech trends

The biggest question is how augmented reality and machine learning can bring meaningful improvements to healthcare. Our smart devices are becoming our personal nurses. More and more of them will be able to monitor us which will lead to more precise diagnoses and treatments easing the work of medical professionals:

  • Algorithms aiming for better diagnostics – algorithms which can spot
    DNA mutations in tumours, heart attack predicting algorithm, algorithms for diagnosing skin cancer and many more
  • Sophisticated patient care – an AI system developed to catch depressive behaviour early on and help reduce the emergence of severe mental illnesses
  • Predictions for diseases – echocardiograms produce sound waves to paint the heart’s picture which helps cardiologists identify whether the patient has any heart disease

In the years to come, consumers will be pushed to interact even more with their devices, make more measurements like glucose monitoring, heart rate monitoring or remote blood pressure tests.

Big data entering practice’s operations can possibly turn healthcare into health issue prediction – with that we could save 50% of the global healthcare budget which is now affected by the current inefficient processes.

Educational technology

Over the years the number of EdTech tools has grown significantly thanks to educators who are willing to embrace new methodologies. So let’s see what are the newest technologies used in EdTech: 

  • AI – with the help of AI, students become more inspired and motivated to get engaged during their studies. Machine learning can evaluate students’ competencies and tailor materials so that they are effective and useful for each individual.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality – due to the realistic scenarios, students can decode and memorise their study materials way faster.
  • Learning Analytics – students leave their online footprints all over the internet. Educational institutions will use consumer analytics to optimise learning by analysing students’ learning behaviour and habits.

5. Blockchain

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Finance Money BlockchainThis term was very popular throughout the years, especially in the world of cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology enables holding immutable data in a secure and encrypted way. In short, it’s a transparent way to transact data. Because of this, characteristics information can be transacted and authenticated in a fraud-proof way. Recently we encountered it in other areas too, like banking and insurance, but it also has many educational uses. 

Blockchain will help educational organisations in secure student record transfers. This technology will also be useful for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and ePortfolios to verify skills and knowledge.

2021 Tech trends are looking promising:

  • Voice search: it will be one of the top tech trends. By 2020 half of the searches will be performed through voice.
  • Smart cameras: smart cameras will advance even more in the years
    to come, people see them as a way to not only interact but to control their
    own security.
  • Autonomous vehicles: things are looking bright for self-driving cars.
  • Quantum computing: experts believe that this category of computing
    (it occurs in the form of subatomic elements resembling that of physics)
    is massive and dynamic as compared to traditional computing and will be increasingly important going forward in all related industries.
  • Blockchain tech: the business value will scale up and the technology will be popular in most of the industries like health and medical, government, production and manufacturing, and many more.

Find out more about the exciting AI Blockchain projects which are happening in 2020 from LiveTiles.

Final thoughts

As was the case with the mobile revolution, and the web before that, due to machine learning, we will have to restructure and rethink what will be feasible in every experience we build. In the last 30 years, as seen in old science fiction movies, we portrayed many of these techs as a replacement of human mind or as a mangle of humanity but today we all realise humans and technology have capabilities of complementing each other. Also keep in mind that new technologies without a proper human-centred design that solve the consumers’ problems or help and ease their lives, won’t be able to stick around as long as expected. I hope the years to come will be about calming the hype down and focusing on how these innovations can help to create even more amazing and user-friendly gadgets.

Learn more about current and future trends in UX/UI

Want to know more about the UI trends of 2020 and what are the things that people love? Read our article about 10 UI trends of 2020.

Wandering what could be UX design trends of 2020? A new design language? UX of self-driving cars? Or chatbots? These are cool things, and many people will list them as the hot UX design trends of 2020, but we think there have to be more out there. Here is our ideas about UX trends of 2020

Planning a design OR research project soon? Get in touch with UX studio and find out how we can help you conduct usability research and create a powerful UI that will appeal to your target audience.