Top 3 Ways to Interact with our Digital World in 2020

The turn of the decade continues to push us further into a world of foldable touch screens, blended realities, and virtual assistants.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to understand how changing technology affects the way users interact with digital platforms.

In 2020, users will engage in the following ways:

  • Touch will continue to be the primary way to interact with digital platforms, providing the greatest control and accuracy.
  • Gesture commands will continue to evolve and become standardized as technology continues to blend with reality.
  • Voice-based searching, voice commerce purchasing, and conversational voice assistants will continue to emerge. 

1. Touch: Easier than Using a Cursor

Finger clicking "Learn More" button with Ripple Effect

Touch, or Click, continues to be the most reliable way to interact with digital platforms. From smart home fridges to smartwatches, these touch displays provide ease of access for a variety of users while maintaining a low profile with no invasive clicking sounds or the need for a mouse and keyboard. Interacting with touch, as opposed to a computer mouse, feels as natural as it does intuitive.

But touch also has its limitations, especially when working with smaller displays. That’s why we must carefully consider proper typography and the spacing of interactive elements, and optimize the size of buttons when designing responsive websites. Touch also requires us to reconsider button hover states. Using the Ripple Effect, we can use visual cues such as animations to replace hover states and tactile feedback on touch screens.

2. Gestures: Not Your Regular Point-and-click

Three hand gestures pinching, zooming in and clicking

With the introduction of augmented and virtual realities, gestures continue to be adopted by more and more audiences on a global scale. Because gestures are also generation specific, designers will try to provide a personalized experience for millennials in 2020—they are expected to be the largest segment interacting on the web this year. Though targeting millennials, considerations should be weighed when working with unique target audiences. For example, when the primary audience more closely reflects the mindset of Gen X and Gen Z cohorts. 

Gestures also have some disadvantages. For one, gestures yield reduced accuracy and inclusivity. There is also a lack of complex controls, and a large potential for computational issues when gesture commands become similar to each other. In 2020, we can expect advancements in technology will reduce the number of false positives, making this means of interactivity more accessible for widespread use.

3. Voice: “Hey Siri, Define Voice Control”

Voice control sound waves with microphone icon

Voice control has seen tremendous growth in recent years. It began a decade ago with the introduction of digital voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google and Cortana. Voice interactions have the potential to improve micro-marketing, give another avenue for brands to express their voice and communicate with their audiences, and open doors to new channels for purchase goods and services. 

Although voice-driven interactivity is most prevalent in the home, we can also expect to see its adoption by c-suites this year. Therefore, security is of utmost importance as the invasion of privacy is still the technology’s greatest barrier for adoption. In 2020 we expect laws and regulations to continue to address privacy concerns. The intention is to ensure users feel safe when engaging in voice-based searching and voice commerce purchasing.

Once the stuff of sci-fi movies and Ray Bradbury books, interacting with digital platforms is now a major part of our human experience. As we push forward into the 2020s, we’re confident that the highly interactive, digital future we’re building together can feel just as natural and intuitive as the world we live in now.

Ricardo Lisboa blends his business expertise with a passion for anything creative, approaching design with an analytical mindset. Outside of work, you can find him playing piano, going on weekend hikes, or painting while blaring Tokyo Sunrise by LP on repeat.
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