How COVID-19 Has Changed UX — For Good


Abhinav Raj

Abhinav Raj, Writer

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way people interact with digital products. The fallout of the pandemic put various new and unfamiliar obstacles in the way, UX design is experiencing a transformation at a pace never seen before.

COVID-19 became an unlikely harbinger of technological transformation—initiating a tectonic shift in our behaviours, preferences and way of life. 

The pandemic catalyzed the adoption of digital technologies—and a greater share of digitally enabled products means that a greater number of customer and supply-chain interactions are taking place in the digital space. 

Companies have moved to remote work 40 times faster than expected. (Data: McKinsey&Co., 2020)

Coupled with the rise of hybrid and remote working, the digital progression moving forward at a breakneck pace. The scale and the pace of the change beckons a UX intervention to ascertain new technology is usable, accessible and desirable. 

UX Skills Have Surged in Demand 

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Under significant pressure to execute a large-scale digital transformation, businesses are confronted with under-optimized products and services—a phenomenon that has induced a greater demand for UX professionals. UX Design Institute Chief Executive Colman Walsh has predicted that COVID-19 will further accelerate the growth of the UX industry. 

“If anything, Covid-19 is going to have a positive effect on the UX industry. It will accelerate its growth because it is accelerating much of what was already happening in the tech sector,” said Walsh in a statement

“So as more and more industries and companies improve their online capabilities in the aftermath of Covid, this can only be good news for anybody working in technology, including UX designers.”

Greater number of people moving into UX 

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The UX research and design boom are not lost on the masses. The exponential pace of its expansion has captivated and brought new talent into the field of UX design. Growing digitalization beckons a growth in demand for UX professionals. 

According to Jakob Nielson, the UX industry will employ over 100 million professionals. Given the current scope and pace of expansion globally, the projection seems more than likely to be accurate. 

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the UX industry.  

The Rising Need for More Empathetic, Inclusive Design 

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Amid the digitalization boom, companies have hastily deployed digital products that are under-optimized and lack empathy. 

Empathetic design is imperative to delivering a great user experience, as it allows for a greater understanding of interactions 

According to a study by the UX Design Institute, the cross-functional collaboration will acquire a more significant role in delivering an empathetic user experience. When UX teams provide individualized services to the diverse functional arms such as marketing, operations and IT, design empathy is achieved—exponentially improving the lives of users. 

As the world economy recovers from the fallout of the pandemic, the UX boom will continue and will be characterized by the demand for UX professionals and UX education. The companies that capitalize on the existing and budding UX talent stand to gain a competitive advantage that will set them ahead of their arch-rivals in the industry.