Let’s take a look at some UX predictions for 2016.

A stronger focus on testing and quantitative data

Paul Rouke, Founder and Director of Optimisation at PRWD

UX designers will be held more accountable and will validate their design ideas by focusing on quantitative data through A/B testing, not just qualitative insights or UX best practice.

This simply needs to happen if brands don’t want to get left behind their more ambitious, in-tune competitors.

We’ll also see a continued increase in brands investing in resources to better understand both the conscious and sub-conscious actions of their prospects and customers, in order to deliver more persuasive, emotive, influential online experiences.

Alon Even, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Appsee

There will be an increase in the use of app UX analytics solutions, providing app makers with the reasons behind the user behaviour and a deep understanding of what is working and what is not within their app.

Delving into the user behaviour will help them to continuously refine and optimise their app to deliver the best possible UX.

“The encryption Streisand effect”

Josh Payton, VP of UX at Huge

We’ll see the encryption Streisand effect.

As uninformed politicians everywhere continue to wrongly vilify encryption and internet privacy as the tools of terrorists, I think John Gilmore’s statement that “the net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it” will start to prove itself out ever more broadly.

Snapchat has already become mainstream, and the world is awash with anonymous or otherwise private tools, apps, and websites including Burn Note, Line, a hundred versions of the Smart Hide Calculator, TOR, Silk Road, Bitcoin, etc.

As ‘the man’ continues to try to tame the internet, I think we’ll see some of these niche privacy protection apps become very popular and broadly used.

VPN services are probably the most obvious overt encryption technology ready to go mainstream.

If you look at apps like Popcorn Time and Smartflix, both are abstracting away the ‘advanced’ technology of BitTorrent and VPN respectively.

These are two of the most obvious examples of innovation outpacing what are arguably arbitrary modes of censorship/control/regulation which are geared towards protecting private interest and not necessarily improving the experience of the end user or serving the public good.

The continuing improvement of mobile UX

Alon Even, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Appsee

As location-based advertising becomes more refined, so too will the user experience be enhanced.

In-app advertising is going to become more relevant, contextual and effective, hence providing the users an overall better UX.

Specifically, Beacon technology installation will be increased in such locations as hotels, airports and malls, where app marketers can benefit by knowing the precise locations of their users and send them push notifications and/or in-app messages in real time.

The more precise the location-based advertising is, the more it will contribute to a better UX, thus resulting in an increase in user engagement and in-app/store purchases.

James Abbott, Director of Digital Strategy and Optimisation at A Hume

Personally I hope we’ll see an improvement in mobile payment provider support.

From a friction removal perspective, I’d love to see what could happen to mobile conversion if Apple Pay or PayPal launched something that enabled pin code verification or fingerprint scan authorisation for online purchases that would automatically provide the billing details with an option of default shipping address or manual entry.

This would potentially greatly reduce the requirements for forms, which, on mobile, still prove to be quite challenging.

Touch-free input and increasing use of gestures (mobile)

Alon Even, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Appsee

Moving your eyes to pause a video on a mobile screen and non-tactile inputs and gestures were on the rise in 2015 and will continue at a rapid pace in 2016.

We’ll see more ways to input data into mobile devices and other sophisticated touch-free ways to interact with mobile devices. This will further tie mobile devices to their owners.

Apple’s 3D touch technology where the app responds to different pressure will also be a trend to watch out for.

UX design will move into the browser

Nick Marsh, Head of Product at Lost My Name

For me, I think that 2016 may, finally, be the year that high resolution design and UX work moves into the browser.

Services like Figma are very exciting. There will be huge productivity gains if design teams can more easily collaborate on pixel perfect, interactive designs using shared stylesheets.

I hope this happens – it’s the missing piece of tooling.