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Evolution of UX in 2016: The Apps New Role

  • 31
  • January 2016

According to the experts, we’re on the horizon of a shift in the thinking of UX, where the app doesn’t matter as much as the experience the app offers. I know that sounds unusual, so stay with me here. It’s likely that apps as we know them fade away completely as our mobile computing gets stronger and more personal.

It’s becoming increasingly relevant for apps to deliver information and features directly to the user on the device, instead of drawing them into the interior of an app. We can even see this bearing out in popular apps who define their single purpose and deliver it immediately upon opening the application. has a great example: “Some users might still occasionally open that beautifully-designed weather app to check the forecast, but the most useful thing the app can do is to send users a notification 15 minutes before it rains.”

The users are the ones steering apps in this direction. We pull out our phones, check something, snap a picture and post, or scroll a feed quickly at leisure. The interactions are shorter but more frequent. As apps continue to accommodate the reality of how we use our smart phones, they will increasingly make that content even more easy to access.

That does mean the era of mobile UX is over, but that designers should be considering two things if they want to keep up. One, the app should deliver the most relevant quickly executable feature immediately upon opening. Two, the app makers should be strongly considering ways the app can deliver content within the device’s infrastructure – what kind of notifications and reminders keep the app useful, even when the user doesn’t open the app.

UX is still paramount, but where the UX lives will continue to shift. The problem solving of the UX will be about creating the tethers from the app to the device to the user and not about solving complex architectural issues within the app itself. Will apps eventually “die?” Not anymore than software has “died,” which is to say not at all. It will evolve and as our interactions evolve, our mobile UX will evolve.

(Do you have an idea for an amazing app? Rocksauce Studios wants to hear from you!)