The 19 Essential Technologies Of Experience Design Are Ready For Prime Time

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Companies are recognizing the difference that good experience design (XD) makes to winning and retaining customers. And experience design pros — the makers of these experiences, defining and refining them based on customer understanding — know that having the right technology in place can multiply their impact. We know this because my Forrester colleagues and I field many questions from XD pros about this — from user researchers and visual designers to UX managers, product managers, and UX/UI engineers. They want to supercharge how they:

  1. Do research and design;
  2. Manage the growing demand for their skills (and time);
  3. Disseminate insights across the organization;
  4. Collaborate cross-functionally — such as in Agile processes;
  5. . . . and much more.

Good news: There are a lot of tools out there to help! Bad news: There are a lot of tools out there to navigate.

If you’ve been wondering about tools like Adobe XD, Clicktale, C Space, InVision, Jira, MURAL, Optimizely, UserTesting, and Vision Critical, check out “The Forrester Tech Tide™: Experience Design, Q3 2018” we just published. It outlines the 19 (yes, that many) technology categories that underpin XD. We surveyed vendors in each category, examined each category’s business value and maturity, and listed sample vendors in each one. We also uncovered trends that will impact this landscape — and you, the XD pro — in the coming years. Some highlights from our findings:

  • Enterprise-ready tools have arrived to support rigor and scale. Vendor capabilities are growing with growing XD demand, and new tools are joining the fray. For example, research and design repositories, cloud-based collaboration tools, and process management tools are burgeoning.
  • A diverse, cluttered XD tech stack is headed for consolidation. XD activities range widely — from customer research to high-fidelity prototyping and user testing. The result: a hodgepodge of a landscape where some tools help one step of the process, some aspire to span many, and some are acquiring (or being acquired). And in a few years, some niche categories will disappear.
  • XD pros are influencing adjacent categories. Not all categories we looked at were created from the ground up with the XD pro in mind, but they now fall within the XD pro’s purview — as a decision maker or user. For example, journey analytics and VoC incumbents made the list.

Check out the full XD landscape here. If you have questions, schedule an inquiry with me or any of my coauthors (Gina Bhawalkar, Kelly Price, Andrew Hogan, Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, Faith Adams, and Alex Causey) directly at inquiry@forrester.com. And message me on Twitter (@JenniferWise) to keep the conversation going!

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