Amazing product with terrible usability? There’s no such thing! If the user experience of a product is bad, the entire product is a failure. In order to avoid failure, you should focus on optimizing your UX. Here are some of the hottest topics in user experience and interface in consumer electronics in 2018, according to the UX geeks of SwipeGuide.

 

1. Breaking new ground – with your voice

Thanks to Alexa, Echo and other intelligent personal assistants, the consumer electronics sector is breaking new ground through voice-user interface. This is an incredible feature in situations when the consumer isn’t able to type and simplifies the user experience significantly. And as we all know, simplicity is key in user-centered design. Not only consumer electronics is experiencing this revolution – our user guides and work instructions will be voice-controlled in 2018!

 

2. Head in the cloud

Cloud-based apps sprang up like mushrooms in the tech sphere in 2017. As it seems now, 2018 won’t be any different. The storage space many apps require is enormous, so cloud-based storage has become a necessity. The rapid growth of the IoT portfolio also adds to the popularity of cloud connectivity. When you use a wide array of interconnected devices, it’s both smoother and safer to have your devices connected to the cloud. The SwipeGuide Instruction Platform is a secure and user-friendly cloud-based instruction CMS that helps companies create amazing visual user guides for their consumers in a hassle-free way.

 

3. I like to move it (but not too much)

It’s proven that video and moving images, such as animated gifs, work to grab someone’s attention more easily than static images. However, there’s a limit to this as well. If a moving image is too distracting, it actually has a negative effect on the viewer and is experienced as overwhelming and unclear.

This is especially true in instructional design. At SwipeGuide we have incorporated these learnings in the design of our user guide templates, by breaking them down into a step-by-step approach to perform a task in the most logical way possible. We accompany every instructional step with a clear and simple animation or a static image to support it. Clarity should always be the main priority.

 

4. Save my time

The best websites and apps present their information in a way that’s easy to consume and understand. This means that text and visuals are presented in a friction-reducing manner that ultimately saves the viewer time. Everyone wants to reach a goal as fast as possible and that’s why time-saving design is one of the most prominent user-centered design topics at the moment. When performing any new task, for example when installing the air humidifier you just bought, time-saving design in the user guide allows the user to take a limited number of steps from opening the package to actually using the product.

 

5. Mixed reality to the rescue

We’re on the verge of an AR breakthrough. Even if this has not truly happened in the mainstream yet, mixed reality is already rooted in our digital society. Thanks to faster processors, higher quality displays, and better cameras in our mobile devices, mixed reality allows us to perform tasks faster and easier.

SwipeGuide is currently working on an image recognition prototype based on mixed reality. With this feature, you can use your mobile device to recognize a product and your phone, after which it will open the user guide for this specific product. Mixed reality will also help the user to perform the tasks by pointing out, on your screen, where on the product you have to press, twist or turn.

In a future iteration, we would love to see this working with AR goggles, instructing users from getting a product, to actually knowing how it works, with minimum effort and maximum efficiency.