What Will Interactive Design Look Like in 2024?
As part of our series on design in 2024, Design Bridge and Partners’ digital creative director Jessica Tan offers her view on what interactive design might look like next year.
What do you think interactive design will look like in 2024?
At the risk of sounding predictable, I believe that in 2024 AI will continue to drive innovation in interaction design. Already there are a myriad of AI tools allowing us to generate sitemaps, wireframes, create personas and user journey mapping, UI designs from prompts, and even code blocks. These tools will become sharper and more useful, and more robustly integrated into mainstream tools such that they become part of our everyday workflow. Getting ideas into prototypes and designs will be quicker than ever before.
Beyond efficiencies, however, I also like to dream about how far AI can take us- designers should have a field day with the possibilities: imagine ubiquitous, completely responsive and hyper personalised experiences driven by AI that has built a deep analysis of user preferences and behaviours.
With the launch of GPT plugins, we can also imagine building UX around natural language responses of AI. Instead of forcing the user to interact through screens, they could converse directly with the site or app to get to where they want – would this be a new paradigm of interaction based on words instead of graphical interfaces? And if so, it would be exciting to start thinking more deeply about how humans talk to technology.
But what I’m personally looking forward to in 2024 is developments in mixed reality. It’s been a bumpy ride but mixed reality experiences are turning out to be something we can’t ignore. With the recently released Quest 3 by Meta and the highly anticipated Apple Vision Pro, they are pointing the way to a future with augmented rather than completely virtual reality. It is here where we can start exploring another paradigm shift of interaction in spatial design – how do we design for satisfying, useful digital interactive experiences that overlap our actual physical reality?
As a VR gamer, I think innovations in UI and UX in mixed reality are way overdue. Typing on a standard keyboard is particularly painful in VR – even with hand tracking. It seems ridiculous to force users into actions like pressing buttons and grasping for tiny scroll bar arrows – actions tailored for the precise movements of a mouse rather than fingers. There is a lot of room here to rethink a new paradigm of UX – perhaps the world is finally for a Minority Report style OS.
What was your favourite interactive design project of 2023, and why?
I loved Outreach – a little gem of a storytelling web experience by Studio Gruhl and Rocani Studio inspired by true events around Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever observed by humankind to pass through our solar system and dedicated to the scientist who discovered it [Robert Weryk]. While it’s not the smoothest experience in terms of navigation, it has a decidedly unique design aesthetic, beautiful sound design and an intriguing story that unfolds in the simplest way, recalling the nostalgia of text based games. I also liked the well-executed, responsive use of WebGL and it really appeals to the science geek in me.