The future can reveal itself in ever fleeting glimpses. Fortunately, a select group of marketing and tech executives had a bird’s eye view of it at our recent invitation-only Mobile Summit.

The event featured one session, presented by Michael Griffith, that expanded on the future potential and the ultimate vision for UX.

 

Consider these four immediate (and indelible) takeaways on future app development projects:

  1. Envision solutions designed as systems that have the flexibility to support all platforms and devices.
  2. If content is king then context is queen, all in the form of micro-experiences.
  3. Location, time, events, and algorithms are the initial drivers of the context revolution.
  4. Go beyond how it works on a screen. Also, think NO screen.

 

One of our own, Michael Griffith, led the “Emerging Experiences and Micro UX” session. Griffith provided examples such as Evernote, Neato, and Diptic, which all shared a common theme: the utility of getting what you need from the app on top without a levels-deep foray through cumbersome navigation and other options. To put it more simply, these applications offer the user a simplified experience with an intuitive interface that allows the user to take full advantage of what the app has to offer without having to sift through multiple layers of menus and options to complete desired tasks.

How will these shifts and trends realistically play out? Let us count the ways. Perhaps motorcycle helmets with built-in operating systems, or apps that actually share real-time data with each other; the possibilities are endless and offer the potential to create an entirely new experience.

All of which make emerging experiences and Micro UX trends not only important to watch, but also stay ahead of. (If that’s possible.)

 

Inventing micro UX for the Watch

Griffith even shared his quick take on the Apple Watch. Putting aside the price tag, this smartwatch moves the needle in some remarkable ways. Take the Glances feature for example. Glances are to the Apple Watch what widgets are to the phone. The user gets full functionality without actually launching an app. (Some relevant examples included weather, stocks, and sports scores.)

 

Enter a multi-nav approach

Of course, with every new technology, comes now design. Below are two of the most used techniques for designing navigation through applications and now watches.

 

Hierarchical navigation: think list view.

diagram representing hierarchical navigation

Paginated navigation: the ability to swipe through a number of screens.

examples of paginated navigation icons

It doesn't stop at the navigation though, even the way the wearer touches the Apple Watch will have different results. For example, pressing more firmly or forced touch actions will trigger a different outcome than just the normal tap.

Curious about our perspective on the Apple Watch?

 

Four Apple Watch predictions (bank on them)

  1. Early adopters? Likely fanboys and fitness band wearers.
  2. Primary use cases will be notifications and payments.
  3. Micro experiences will drive contextual experience design.
  4. Some industry players will benefit, others will be left behind.

 

All in all, the Mobile Summit was a real success when considering the ideas shared, the observations made and the conclusions drawn.

What micro experiences are you most excited about? Share your voice via Facebook or Twitter.