I vividly remember the UX scene some years ago. The user experience arena was saturated with new terms and trends were rising, as technology rapidly evolved and changed the way we interact with devices.

The tech industry hasn’t slowed down and new trends are continuing to disrupt the world and leave us in awe. From 3d printing to virtual reality, healthcare wearables, and financial services technologies, there is one thing we know for sure:

It’s all about the consumer.

Companies have come to an understanding that their consumers hold the power and their experience matters. In fact, according to McKinsey Research, “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.”

If 2014 was the “year of the customer” and 2015 was the “year of the experience”, as Saul Gurdus claims in his UX Magazine article…

What does 2016 hold for us?

In this compilation of user experience articles, we delve into the UX design trends and forecasts leading up to 2016 as well as key strategies and information that will arm you for another year of disruption.

Yes, the change has been continuous all these years and is expected to follow the same patterns. But, better insights, market understanding, and knowledge of the business and the user will always keep you a step ahead.

For all UX enthusiasts and professionals, here’s my Christmas gift to you – 7 user experience industry articles that will give you key insights into the industry and keep your momentum running after the holiday season.

With that, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!

1. UX Design Trends & Forecast for 2016

By Sophia, published on Just Creative

Even the experts who have spent ample time in the industry get wrong sometimes, when it comes to differentiating between UX and UI. This article kicks off with the difference between UX & UI and distinguishes the two artistically.

The article further delves into the key trends that will surface in 2016. It suggests that testing will become a key part and in-app usability testing platforms will grow.

While it is claimed that UX will become a standard parameter for websites, with the onset of AI and IoT era, technology will affect UX more than anything else.

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2. Psychology and Power of Closure Experiences

By Joe Macleod, published on UX Mag

Here’s the harsh truth that we’re all probably going experience – almost all of our projects will come to an abrupt end, and we won’t even design the ending. This evolutionary cycle leaves the customer in a state of ambiguity leading to an end of an experience.

In this article, Joe Macleod suggests that “closure experiences need to be designed well, not left in limbo.”

He discusses highlights from Daniel Kahnemans book, Thinking Fast and Slow, making two key observations.

First, that we lay down our memories in two modes: “our experiencing self” and “our remembering self”. The second observation is called Peak End Rule, which states that people judge experiences on their peaks and ending, not on their average.

Further psychological research asserts that a designer should aim for an increase in self-reflection by the user at the end of their experience.

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3. 9 Rules to Finding Your UX Professional in the Fintech Industry

By UX Crunch, published by Raphael Menachem

Finding a UX professional for a Fintech project is even harder than finding a UX professional for any other general SaaS project. Each Fintech business has its own intricacies and challenges, that’s why there are strict Fintech user experience design principles that must be adhered to.

This article provides you with the 9 rules of thumb for finding the best UX professional for your Fintech project.

We provide you with the tips to consider and view your prospective user experience candidate from many angles. Do they a background in cognitive psychology? Do they have the ability to understand and assess a business? Do they have user research experience?

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4. The 11 Most Inspiring Usability and User Experience Talks

By Markus Pirker, published on Userbrain

Once in a while you need some inspiration to keep yourself motivated for your upcoming user experience and research efforts. Haven’t we all suffered from designer’s block at some stage in our career?

Well, here you will listen to some of the best thought-leaders and UX professionals in the industry. And mind you, not all come with an experience in UX. Sometimes you need an outside perspective.

Tune in the soak up thoughtful insights from Daniel Pink, David Travis, Nir Eyal, Edward Tufte (The Leonardo Da Vinci of Data as described by The New York Times).

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5. Why UX Designers Don’t Need More UX Design Tools

By Alexey Ivanov, published on Medium

Recommendation: Read this article with a fresh mind.

Each and every detail, insight, and even assertion is marvelous.

“Over the past few years,” Ivanov states, “we saw a boom of new design platforms.”

Now, this is not to discredit some of the amazingly awesome platforms out there, but Ivanov introduces the trends that led to this variety of tools.

It is totally understandable, but there is one problem – “these tools focus on the incremental improvement of existing workflows in design, but some of the design worksflows are already limited, while the definition of the designer is rapidly changing.”

Ivanov thoughtfully explains how the new UX design tools are just “quick fixes” and it’s the designer that should be responsible for the success of envisioning the intended experiences.

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6. The Importance of Evaluating UX

By Jeff Sauro, published on MeasuringU

Isn’t it is frustrating when your ketchup gets stuck in the bottle? This is why companies have introduced “squeezy” ketchup bottles to solve the problem.

But, is it the bottle’s new design or is it the improved usability that solves the problem?

In this article, Jeff Sauro explains why it is important to evaluate UX. Sauro says that for providing a better user experience, redesigning isn’t effective until it solves the common user problems, effectively.

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7. What will be the biggest UX trends in 2016?

By Jack Simpson, published on E-Consultancy

We began this user experience curation with the forecast of UX trends in 2016 and we are ending it on the same note—only with a small tweak. What will be the biggest of them all?

Just last year, Simpson had covered some of the biggest trends in 2015. Now, he gives us his predictions by some of the leaders in UX industry – Paul Rouke, Founder and Director of Optimization at PRWD, Alon Even, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Appsee, Josh Payton, VP of UX at Huge, James Abbott, Director of Digital Strategy and Optimization at A Hume, and Nick Marsh, Head of Product at Lost My Name.

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Have read any user experience articles that you think are worth sharing? Please comment and share other articles, which you feel might help us get better insights into UX and its intricacies.