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Every industry in the world has been affected by Covid-19.

While some companies are thriving in the current climate, others are struggling to survive with forced remoteness.

Industries like travel and tourism have been hit hard, their future largely dependent on the easing of travel restrictions. SaaS companies like Netflix, however, have seen rapid growth (it has gained 16 million new customers since January 2020, BBC). Companies have had to quickly create or extend their online offerings since Covid-19 hit.

This mounted pressure for online services has increased focus on the value of UX, a promising sign for the future of the technology industry.

To help you understand what that future will look like, we created ‘UX after Covid-19: What can we expect?’.

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This report features insights from UX leaders including:

Giles Colborne (CEO, cxpartners)

Giles Colborne (CEO, cxpartners) is a renowned UX author, speaker and digital agency owner. He gave his perspective on the increased demand for UX services and the unique challenges faced by professionals both in agencies and in-house teams. 

Becca Finnegan (Senior User Researcher, Deliveroo)Becca Finnegan (Senior User Researcher, Deliveroo) discussed how her role has evolved with food delivery service, Deliveroo and described the challenges of remote user research.

Gareth Dunlop (CEO & Founder, Fathom)

Gareth Dunlop (CEO & Founder, Fathom) has worked in design performance for 20 years. He discussed how his agency has been impacted by the pandemic and potential long-term changes to the industry. 

Mark Campbell (Consultant, Morgan McKinley)Mark Campbell (Consultant, Morgan McKinley) explores the current UX hiring climate and forecasts what UX job seekers can expect over the next year.

Colman Walsh (CEO, UX Design Institute)Colman Walsh, (CEO, UX Design Institute) has worked in the UX industry for over 20 years. He founded the UX Design Institute in 2017 to meet the increased demand for UX professionals. He outlined why continued growth in the software industry will fuel the need for UX professionals. 

Main findings include:

More demand for UX skills.

Demand for UX and digital services will increase as companies expand their online offering. With the total number of internet users around the world growing by 301 million since April 2019 (We are Social), both in-house teams and agencies will be under pressure to timely deliver services.

Colman Walsh (CEO, UX Design Institute) believes “it’s hard to think of an industry that won’t be revolutionised by software in the near future – just look at the transformation of the finance, healthcare, travel and entertainment industries, among many others.”

The UX Design Institute has seen a 220% increase in student numbers from April 2019 to April 2020, indicative of the wider growth of the UX industry.

Projects determined by talent not location.

Practicing remote UX will become more commonplace, with increased collaboration across different time zones and disciplines. As this way of working becomes more accepted by employers, employee location won’t hold as much power in hiring going forward.

Mark Campbell (User Experience Consultant, Morgan McKinley) comments that “when it comes to UX and design in general, collaboration is so important. You really do that better in person but you don’t have to do it in-person.”

More empathy required.

UX will continue to develop as a cross-functional discipline. UX professionals must practice greater empathy with different teams, from IT to marketing.

Giles Colborne (CEO, cxpartners) stresses that “UX designers need to empathise with the technical architects of a product as much as the end user. If they don’t have that ability, they need to learn it quickly.”

Continued software disruption.

Industries slow to embrace technology must evolve their online model to remain competitive or risk becoming obsolete. UX is now viewed as a competitive advantage.

Gareth Dunlop (CEO & Founder, Fathom) thinks this is already clear: “Amazon is winning big because for 25 years it’s been doing experience really well, Zoom is winning big because its platform is easier to navigate than its competitors.”

Fewer barriers to user research.

As remote user research and remote UX tools become more ingrained in UX practice, it will become easier to conduct remote usability tests. Plus, many participants may find remote user testing more convenient. However, this brings new challenges for user researchers.

Becca Finnegan (Senior User Researcher, Deliveroo) explains “with user research you gain a lot from being in the same room as someone. As a researcher it’s your job to break down the walls a bit. It’s easier to do that in person.”

Interested in learning more about how Covid-19 will impact the UX industry?

Download our report, UX after Covid-19: What can we expect? to read more insights. 

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