UX Industry Growth

As iOS and Android apps reach a saturation point, developers are beginning to realize that without great UX, they just can’t survive in the marketplace.

The most recent apps First User Group worked on are not early entrants, but rather have dozens of competitors across both platforms. One app we recently evaluated  has nearly 300 competitors in the iOS and Android ecosystems.

We’ve always been fascinated with cycles and how people react to them, and we remember a similar time of explosive growth in the world of UX–the early days of the dot-com boom. As the web exploded, creating a website—any website—was the norm. Meanwhile, early web visitors wanted an intuitive experience without having to learn new technology or having to install browser extensions,  especially without obstacles. After a year or two of frustration, web developers began to call upon Experience Design experts to solve these challenges and convert web visitors into real customers.

UX as an industry is about to explode. Again.

We’re now seeing developers get frustrated with mobile apps the same way they were frustrated with early web properties.

Simply producing an app is not the challenge. Creating an experience that provides value to users is.

And the marketplace is proving that the app with the best experience wins. Android and iOS platforms have reached maturity and offer developers a default user interface. Our suggestion is yes, use these tools. But an increasing number of app developers with needs beyond the standard UI are beginning to call Experience Design professionals to get apps done right. The new ecosystems are tough, and if an app gets a few bad reviews out of the gate, it’s very difficult to recover from.

Just like the dot-com boom, we expect to see this surge of business continue over the next few years as the development community and more sophisticated platforms deliver an ever-better experience. But in the current cycle, Experience Design Professionals are adding tremendous value to the ecosystem by creating standards and flows that will be with us for years to come. This is an exciting time for Experience Design. Again.