Every year, Forrester’s CX analysts identify top trends in digital customer experience (CX) and design. We’ve just completed this exercise for 2024. This year, organizations must stay abreast of advances in generative AI (genAI), which drives change across digital experiences, research, and design. Meanwhile, organizations are acting hastily due to financial pressures, putting the quality of experiences at risk.

Here are four top trends to watch for in 2024:

  1. The medium of digital experience is changing. Customer and employee experiences are increasingly becoming either hybrid blends of the physical and digital or fully digital. GenAI makes its way into experiences, even though some companies and users don’t fully realize its implications and face frustrating consequences.
  2. AI is transforming the research and design process. Research and design professionals are incorporating AI — including genAI — into their workstreams and creative processes to optimize workflows and automate some of the more tedious grunt work. AI is also helping firms create inclusive experiences. Yet all these efforts require caution. While genAI is powerful and its role in research and design is growing, it sometimes creates inaccurate or biased outputs. N.B.: This is not because genAI is inherently biased but rather due to the biases in its inputs.
  3. Research and design technologies are converging. Vendor and toolset consolidation in research and design helps many organizations optimize their tech stack — but it leaves others, particularly those with specialized needs and budget constraints, to search for alternatives. Accessibility vendors are also expanding their offerings, with services-focused vendors standing up or acquiring technology platforms and technology-focused vendors creating services. While buyers will benefit from these combined offerings, they need to educate themselves on the shortcomings of technology-only approaches such as overlays.
  4. Organizations’ hasty decisions put the quality of experiences at risk. Substantial layoffs in the tech sector continue in 2024. Meanwhile, return-to-office mandates have led to higher-than-expected attrition levels at some companies, with marginalized groups and female employees particularly likely to be negatively affected. In the face of such financial and operational pressures, firms struggle to design experiences that reflect their organizational values and put inclusive and responsible design at risk.

For more detailed insight and analysis of these trends, read our report, Digital CX And Design Trends, 2024. If you’re a Forrester client and want to discuss these trends’ impact on your business, schedule an inquiry here.

This blog post was written in collaboration with Eleanor Theriault, research associate.