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GOLD COAST, Australia, October 29, 2019

Gartner Identifies Top Digital Experience Trends for 2020

Analysts Present Latest Research on Digital Trends at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019, October 28-31 on the Gold Coast, Australia

Gartner, Inc. has identified nine digital experience trends that organizations need to explore in 2020. CIOs should consider these trends in their strategic planning over the next 12 months as the span of digital touchpoints continues to increase.

Gartner’s digital experience trends fall within two broad categories — how digital technology is experienced and how digital experiences will be built. The way in which engaging digital experiences are crafted is becoming increasingly formalized, which means that delivering a digital experience that ensures a measurable outcome will require both creative excellence and consistent process execution.

Speaking at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Australia today, Brian Prentice, research vice president at Gartner, said digital experience is a key aspect of workforce digital dexterity — the ability and desire to use new and existing technology for better business outcomes — to close the skills gap and drive competitive advantage.

“Willingness to engage with digital technology will become a key factor in determining any IT system’s ability to successfully deliver business outcomes,” Mr. Prentice said. “Digital experience is no longer limited to the domain of born-digital companies or outlier enterprises in specific industries. CIOs must ensure that their organization puts as much effort into understanding how people interact with and experience digital technology as they put into tracking technology itself.”

Gartner’s top digital experience trends for 2020 (in no particular order) are:

1. Multiexperience

Multiexperience refers to the various permutations of modality (touch, voice and gesture), device and app with which users interact on their digital journeys. A multiexperience strategy involves creating fit-for-purpose apps based on touchpoint-specific modalities, while at the same time ensuring a consistent and unified user experience (UX) across web, mobile, wearables, conversational and immersive touchpoints.

2. Interfaceless Machines

Manufacturers across industries are abandoning on-machine controls or traditional interface models in favor of apps that run on their customers’ mobile devices. Larger screens on mobile devices, high resolutions and rich device APIs allow for device control experiences far beyond what can be achieved with on-machine interfaces. This opens up whole new avenues for advances in a product’s industrial design, while still allowing manufacturers to compete on new functionality made possible by added microprocessors.

3. Agent Interfaces

Agent interfaces employ artificial intelligence (AI) to predict what users intend to do from user input and other contextual cues. This information is then used to assist by either easing or automating the execution of those efforts. It shifts the attention of users from how a tool works to what they want to achieve with the tool. Agent interfaces represent a whole new paradigm of human-computer interaction and have broad implications that will greatly influence how enterprises interact with customers, offer services and provide tools to employees. Conversational UIs (or chatbots) are good examples.

4. Facial Recognition Payment

This is a digital experience trend emerging in China, which will disrupt the widespread use of QR code payments and further diminish the use of bank cards and cash. Facial recognition payment is already happening outside China, particularly through Apple’s Face ID with Apple Pay, with the trust existing between the user and the ecosystem provider (such as a bank). In China, however, consumers are required to give up privacy for an added level of convenience, with the trust primarily between the organization taking payment and the ecosystem provider. Facial recognition payment offers CIOs a whole new perspective on enhancing digital CX and driving business growth.

5. Inclusive Design

Inclusive design is the principle that the best way to serve the needs of the broad community is to consider the special needs of all possible communities. Originating as an approach to design for people with disabilities, inclusive design will expand to accommodate cultural sensitivities and behavior patterns. Designers need to consider features and capabilities that accommodate all segments that are potential customers or users of their products.

6. Insourced Digital Design Services

Digital design is the process organizations use to create the best digital experience for their customers, employees and other stakeholders. It has been undergoing a shift from being a service delivered almost entirely by external agencies to a capability provided by internal digital design teams. This trend is most pronounced in industries facing a rapid rate of digitalization. As digital touchpoints increase, insourcing digital design reduces costs and supplier complexity while increasing operational efficiency and digital experience innovation.

7. UX Research Renaissance

UX research and associated testing methodologies uncover human insights that are essential for successful design, development and innovation initiatives. Increasingly, the value of understanding users, what they do and why they do it is seen as a differentiator for organizations. UX research identifies both the features and the designs that products or experiences should have to drive usage, customer satisfaction, loyalty and ROI.

8. Design to Code

A new generation of digital design tools is emerging that allows designers to generate presentation layer code directly from screen designs and interactive prototypes. Design to code enables the dynamic and ongoing creation of templates, modules and components — both as design patterns and reusable code.

9. Design Ops

The need to define and implement design systems in the business has led to the creation of the design ops process and the emergence of tools to implement governance over the design process. Design professionals can create and deploy design standards, such as layouts, color palettes, typefaces, controls, components and other elements, and control them across multiple business units, applications, endpoints and other design variables.

“Compelling digital experiences are ultimately functions of digital design,” Mr. Prentice said. “This process contextualizes both existing and emerging technologies in ways that are relevant and meaningful for people. A whole new set of digital technology to support both the individual tasks of designers and the efficiency of the overall design process is emerging. This combination of process formalization and technology will allow digital design to scale significantly.”

Gartner clients can learn more in the report “The Leading Trends in Digital Experience — 2020.”

About Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo is the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives, uniting a global community of CIOs with the tools and strategies to help them lead the next generation of IT and achieve business outcomes. More than 20,000 CIOs, senior business and IT executives worldwide will gather for the insights they need to ensure that their IT initiatives are key contributors to, and drivers of, their organization’s success. Follow news and updates from the events on Twitter using #GartnerSYM.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo include:

November 3-7: Barcelona

November 11-14: Goa

November 12-14: Tokyo

March 2-4, 2020: Dubai

May 11-14, 2020: Toronto

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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