The world has changed vastly and will continue to do so more rapidly and vividly when it comes to interacting with technology in our everyday lives. The changing needs have finally made us focus on what makes this technology work. The two key factors which often stand out in such confabulation are – first, ease of access and second, security. These two significant ideas have elevated User Interface (UI) to a pedestal to give an outright User Experience (UX). More so, in the recent times of pandemic when the world is staying connected with the aid of technology.
Work from home, live concerts in the comfort of home, virtual house parties to virtual gaming is the new normal life under lockdown. The adoption of technology has seen a maximal increase in such crucial times when social distancing is a requisite. But the ones availing this technology should be vigilant and the ones proving such technology services should be responsible. For instance, we can take the example of the Zoom application, where user experience does not complete the full circle in-spite of its attraction and convenience to use, due to glitch in its security.
As per a report released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, titled “India’s Trillion Dollar Digital Opportunity”, India has the potential to quintuple its digital economy by 2025 – i.e. in the next 5 years. Presently, the Indian economy stands at $200 billion and the report states that the move from the “business-as-usual” onto the digital trajectory would create an economic value of anywhere between $500 billion to $650 billion by 2025.
However, UX/UI remains at a nascent stage
In the entire 296 paged report, the word “user experience” only appears five times while the word “user interface” does not appear at all. The word “interface” appears in pre-teens and that too often in the context of specific products. The words “website”, “design” and “experience” are also used sparsely. The word “Artificial Intelligence or AI” is used more than the word “website” (other than those used under reference). This is a clear reflection of the state of UX/UI design in the country, which despite being the foundation of shaping the digital experience, driving engagement, and forging user behaviors – is often overshadowed by buzzwords and macro trends.
UX or user experience is the science and art of crafting digital experiences. UX design facilitates a digital experience that is easy, engaging, and habit forming. As per NelsonHall, the current market size of the global User experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) industry is $5308 million – expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.4% to $10956 million by 2022. Indian UX industry remains fragmented and nascent as compared to the developed countries.
UX/UI narrative in India is poised for tremendous growth
As the digital economy of a nation begins to take shape, there are some key trends that are not only making UX/UI relevant but also shaping a distinct growth trajectory for the industry in the coming years.
India as an experience economy: The world economy has reached the fourth stage of evolution, Experience economy. Today, businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product: the “experience”. Accessibility, interaction, and trust are the cornerstones of the experience economy. Businesses are also reinventing themselves, as the users become more demanding. Gone are the days when just building a digital product or service would ensure that users will come. Clean code, fast servers, big discounts are table stakes. UX is the new battleground for companies.
Attention is the new gold: Lots of options and a host of colors, fonts, layouts, texts, animations – and the list goes on. On average, Indians spend close to 5 hours on their mobile phone – which is not only the primary surfing platform but also now for streaming media content. The abundance of options has made customers extremely demanding and choosy. So much choice required a digital experience to be nothing short of extraordinary to catch the user’s attention, earn their trust and loyalty. At the same time, smaller screen sizes have forced digital experiences to be absolutely laser-focused and clutter-free. Smaller screens and even smaller attention spans are now demanding an experience that is not just simple but Hyper-Simple.
Top companies are UX obsessed: Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon are poster boys of the digital economy. Their journey from the garage to global domination is fantastic case studies for what happens when companies make UX their single-minded focus. India is now on the radar of such companies as the next big growth market. In the past five years, most of the large corporates across sectors namely finance, retail, telecom, media, and tech –have been on a mission of digitizing their offerings as well as engaging with their stakeholders with greater efficiency.
Be it their websites, apps, or in-store kiosks – the UX design’s footprint is getting bigger and prominent. The Indian private sector is presently leading the UX/UI narrative in the country – with companies going beyond offering websites with standard templates for disseminating information – to offering digital presence across key platforms – thereby seeking to transform the user’s intent to know into the intent to buy, transact, engage or contribute. However, in the past four years, with the democratization of data led by affordable high-speed internet, the governments (both at the state and central level) are also sprucing their digital presence and platforms to engage beneficiaries directly – thereby reducing pilferage and improving the precision of delivery.
India as a global UX design hub: The growing relevance of India as a consumption market, the internet-savvy customer segment, vernacular and regional complexities, and digital as a great leveler – all of these and more are putting India into the global UX design map. UX/UI in a fast-growing digital-first economy can propel India to be a key player globally in the coming years – led by the urge to replace or replicate the complicated physical touchpoints with more efficient, unbiased, and cost-effective digital interactions/ platforms. The key ingredient to achieve this goal would be an institutionalized approach to develop, train, and nurture talent and skill sets that can cater to the ever-changing and ever-demanding UX/UI landscape.
India is poised for an orbital shift in terms of digital adoption and transaction
Being a late mover has its perks in terms of a lower cost of replication, access to the latest technology, and evolving user habits. As the potential evolves; so, will the complexities but the growth will eventually come through to put India on the map of UX design and also lead to an evolved, consolidated UI/UX landscape in India.