Make your customer experience even more digital in 2020: an expert’s view on the trends

9 January 2020


We are living in a fast moving world where experiences are becoming more and more digital, with growing expectations of customers and end users. We’ve entered a new year, new challenges are imminent, and companies need to be prepared for their next step in the digital era. So it’s a good time to have a look at some digital experience trends and expectations for the coming months.

Digital ecosystems and micro-moments

Digital platforms will still be on the rise in the coming year. They will become even more complete ecosystems that connect people and experiences, both online and offline. This means that companies need to be aware of micro-moments – the moments when people turn to a device to take action on whatever they need or want at that time. Customers want to be served anywhere anytime, and they don’t hesitate to look for alternatives on the spot when they don’t immediately find what they are looking for. On top of that, they also expect companies to give them a consistent user experience throughout their complete journey.

Personalized user experience design

As a consequence, user experience design will become even more important. Companies should no longer spend time on developing just a set of features for their end users, but instead pay attention to the complete user journey. A well designed user experience will have more impact than individual functions, no matter how innovative and useful they may seem.

On top of that, most users expect these experiences to be more and more personalized. Data and research are being used to get better insights into the behavior of users, and AI helps companies drive personalization. Even so, the best user experience design is a user-centered process that goes even a step further and takes the natural environment of the user into consideration. This will make user experiences different depending on the settings where they live, work, learn, or play. Solutions will no longer be based only on insights into how and why different users interact with a product or service. UX designers are going out into the field, and contextual enquiries help them to discover how the user’s environment can affect things like their choices, decisions and behaviors. In the end, people are experts at what they do.

Making use of UX research, data science and artificial intelligence will help companies to offer their customers an optimal user experience. However, companies that empathize with their users will create unique experiences.

smart watch

New devices and immersive technologies

Another trend that is becoming more and more important is device-agnostic experience. All sorts of different devices are sneaking onto the market, and the rise of wearables and voice assistants is changing the way customers interact with products and companies. Services and products need to be available anywhere and at any moment, and preferably through a seamless experience. This also means that companies should look into new technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR). Enhancing the user experience by regarding the outside world as a part of the digital ecosystem is no longer science fiction. Visual search based on images will help companies increase their visibility and increase ecommerce traffic, mainly through social media channels. Artificial intelligence will help companies get even better insights into customer behavior, and will be an enabler for better personalized experiences. Innovative user interfaces like chatbots will be more widely used to increase efficiency, and will evolve to full conversation platforms with emotion detection based on facial recognition.

The challenge is to be aware of this evolution and to take it into account when designing products and services, because this is what customers expect. It’s no longer only about responsive design and mobile first – we are now entering the era of journey-driven design.

old man

Inclusive design and accessibility

Of course, companies will have to make the digital world accessible for everyone, and UX design teams should aim to build accessibility into their designs.

It’s a fact that there are over 80 million people across the European Union (EU) living with a disability. It’s also a fact that life expectancy in general is increasing every year. This means that disabled and older people are a growing part of the customer segment, and they deserve the best possible customer experience, just like any other customer. That’s why accessibility of products and services is becoming crucial for many companies, making it one of the bigger challenges for the coming years. Building accessible platforms for all customers is not as straightforward as it seems. Companies will need to think about content and media in a whole new way, and will have to integrate innovative technologies like speech recognition, gesture interaction, facial recognition and eye tracking throughout the complete customer journey. Accessibility is becoming a standard part of the design routine, rather than an occasional afterthought or add-on.

So, 2020 will have some interesting trends, and the challenge for companies will be to keep up with these evolutions. However, by gathering the right people, establishing a creative and innovative mindset and working with competent partners, these challenges will soon become opportunities.

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