The future of UX design
The evolution of retail technology solutions is driven by a concept known as digital anthropology, which combines cultural anthropology with the digital realm.
Digital anthropology focuses on how people use and interpret technology, considering the context and environment of specific social groups. It explains the slight variations in how different countries and social groups use and relate to technology based on their digital experiences. This anthropological study of the human-digital-era technology relationship is increasingly influential in designing software solutions, driving user-friendly innovations in the retail sector.
To enhance user experience (UX), developers utilise computational tools and algorithms to analyse large amounts of data gathered from field sites or online social communities. But developing human-centred technology poses numerous challenges. One of the most important ones is the understanding of the end-users. Neglecting to consider it is a common pitfall when diversifying retail technology, resulting in product failure and limited reach to the majority of users worldwide.
Cross-cultural design presents complex challenges in terms of language and culture. Designers at multinational companies often work with geographically diverse teams and create digital products for global consumption. However, many designers focus only on their local culture, traditions, and language, without taking the diversity of their audience and their different needs into consideration. Many designers feel that designing products for different cultures means only translating the language and inserting new pictures. The reality is much more complex and successful cross-cultural design with excellent UX goes beyond simple translations or superficial cultural representations.
Being inclusive and aware of the audience’s needs and expectations pays off in multiple ways, allowing brands to meet customer needs authentically and achieve commercial value through localisation.
When considering cross-cultural design and its importance one needs to think also about its financial aspect: as stated by the Localization Industry Standards Association, a potential return on investment in localisation equals about $25 for every dollar spend.
A great example of creating a cross-cultural design environment is IKEA, which encourages its users in various regions to adopt and connect to the services their provide. They have been successfully doing it for a few years, paving the way for other global businesses.
Creative software design
In the ever-changing business landscape, where digitisation demands immediacy, personalisation, and convenience, competitive advantages are no longer solely based on superior features or services. Industries like retail, telecommunications, and consumer products have already begun converging, driven by the increasing demands of customers. However, there is often a gap between the inherent value of the technology developed and its effective utilisation. Design thinking, a non-linear and iterative process, helps teams understand users, challenge assumptions, and create innovative prototypes and tests to deliver truly innovative solutions.
The future of tech
To achieve their future goals, companies need to embrace a next-generation operating model that integrates digital technologies and operational capabilities to create value and provide compelling customer experiences while minimising costs. Inclusive design, considering the spectrum of human diversity, is essential for improving user experiences and creating a sense of inclusion. It also helps brands establish themselves as market leaders by demonstrating their commitment to accessibility and equal opportunity, which is preferred by a majority of consumers.
Overall, the future of technology and UX and their impact on various industries relies on understanding human behaviour, embracing inclusive design, and adopting new operating models that integrate digital advancements effectively. Only by doing it companies can achieve a truly international success.