Not Just Tech: The Vast Landscape of Untapped Markets in Need of UX
User Experience has been gaining ground, carving out its place at companies through the creation of new job titles and entirely new departments. This rise to the top has been long awaited by many. UX is the key ingredient for a business to sustainable and evolving success. So why is it that UX is only becoming a big deal within tech-centric companies?
Humanity is made up of users, clients, patients, guests and patrons who experience things every day — and yet almost all industries are not hiring for UX roles. In 2013, The Documentary Channel put out a piece on trends in UI, Interaction, & Experience Design. At the end of the documentary, experts speculated on how UX would evolve to incorporate the mundane, non-digital world. Now it’s over two years later and we haven’t seen much traction. The longstanding industries that create the world around us still haven’t embraced UX.
Other industries are in need of adopting a serious UX focus.
The digital space is leading innovation. To stay relevant in this next phase of human development, it is imperative that industries come over to the digital world. UX opens up mainstream access to digital success.
There is a large void that businesses aren’t filling. Although every company has varied titles that handle leadership, finances, administration, sales, development, and marketing; there is another role that needs to be adopted into this group of essential personnel. UX professionals fill the gaps between all other positions within a company. They ensure that output is relevant and successful. Below are just a few of the endless industries that will flourish once they buy into UX.
From salons to handymen, services are never going anywhere, yet they typically get the least amount of research into how they can be optimized. Word of mouth has made it to the digital space via online directories such as Yelp and Angie’s List, but are glorified yellow pages the best user experience? Service providers need to understand the end to end user experience and seek out connections with the products that they interact with.
UX’s application to the service industry has the potential to connect services not just to users, but to relevant products as well. A streamlined interaction between AC unit, new homeowner, and technician or hairdresser, busy mom, and shampoo would be revolutionary in making the mundane a pleasantly thought-free experience.
Google Maps factors in the bus schedules in calculating the length of your commute. You can use your phone as a boarding pass. But these digital transitions are futile compared to the potential for marrying transportation with technology to improve people’s everyday experiences. Remember Solar Roadways? Although a lofty concept, it is ideas like driving on sensory tiles that would truly improve the UX of driving around in your car.
The jobs to be done are ever present for public transportation, interstate highways, trains, airplanes, trucking and every other way to get from point A to point B. When an industry is so ubiquitous, it is alarming that there is no user experience influence behind it to ensure that it adapts well with the changing society that relies on it.
Healthcare is probably the closest “non-tech” industry that is starting to embody UX. With a growing collection of products tackling healthcare related niches (GoodRX app for cheap prescriptions, Clue app for period tracking, Fitbit and Jawbone wearables for fitness tracking) corporate healthcare is starting to connect the dots. This is the beginning of hospitals adopting third party services that help their patients have better experiences in and out of the exam room.
But there are so many more benefits that would happen if hospital networks added in house UX departments to study and improve their systems internally. UX would help optimize the relationship between the network of stakeholders: doctors, nurses, patients, caretakers, EMTs, etc. UX could create clarity and cohesion between a patient’s insurance, hospital, and pharmacy.
UX will help broaden and improve our digital world.
When companies across the board have UX teams, whole industries will change for the better. With intentional user researchers and experience designers, standardization will start to take place. Users will have a more reliable experience at the hospital, at the airport, etc. With a data-driven network of UXers, industry innovations will be more on target, and more quickly adopted.