An excellent experience does not necessarily involve a couple of applications and gadgets. In reality, it is best to have no interface at all sometimes — or at least one that is less evident to the user.
Sometimes referred to as "Zero UI", invisible or hidden interfaces are a hot topic in the design community. And that's why, as linked devices such as the Nest thermostat, Amazon Echo, and Fitbit are becoming increasingly widespread, traditional interfaces such as screens are becoming less practical.
The benefits of unseen interfaces are not just trendy new gadgets, traditional products that still depend on screen-based interactions can also learn something from this fresh trend. Let's look at what makes unseen interfaces such a trend and how they can assist or harm UX.
The glamour of Invisible UI
It's hard to imagine getting attached to something that users don't often communicate with. That's until you remember how good a user-free communication can be!
Interfaces that weed out as much unnecessary effort as possible are really just seeking to achieve what any UX champion is striving for: a delightful, usable experience that solves a problem users have.
A screen-free mindset for a globe full of screens!
It is a good vision of the future, but what about all the applications, sites, and goods that still depend on a screen for user interaction? Sometimes interfaces can add additional measures, but they're also integrated into a lot of the technology we're using today — and they're not likely to go away anytime soon.
The good news is that it's not because your product needs an interface that you can't aspire to make it as unseen as you can.
The idea of an unseen interface is not only the recent UX design fad: it is a fresh way to approach the user experience thinking beyond the screen.
First coined by HUGE CEO, Aaron Shapiro, the notion of anticipatory design encourages the design of products and experiences using accessible information to anticipate what clients would like to do next. With invisible interfaces in mind, this idea can be taken a step further to see where steps can be removed, further streamlining their experience.
Personalization is one-way companies use to connect with their users to provide them with the information they need in a way that they feel is genuine. It also occurs that you can function in a different manner to have more invisible UI. The onboarding method is an excellent place to begin collecting data about your customers for future interactions that can be saved and pre-populated.
We talk a lot about Empathy in the UX community, and there's a good reason for it: it's at the heart of everything we do to delight and engage users. Empathy can be one of your most powerful tools when it comes to interface. Understanding what your users want, need and can do with your product will help you design it to fit their lives, rather than forcing them to adapt to the use of your product. Staying empathic with the needs of your users will keep you focused on finding a solution that works best for them.
Not everyone is prepared to totally remove the screen from user interaction. But that doesn't mean that invisible UI still can't give designers precious insight. By concentrating on the experience and not the interface, you can guarantee that your customers stay at the heart of your mission. And whatever interface you use is going to create their lives easier and better!