Seven digital trends for 2015 in tech, web design, and much more

Seven digital trends for 2015 in tech, web design, and much more

In our last post, we looked at the trends in regulation and the FS market. Our second post examines the trends in digital marketing and communications. Some of the following – story telling for example – may already be incorporated in our work; others are definitely ones to watch in coming years. We hope that combining the following digital trends with the FS trends listed in part one should give clients a useful framework for understanding what is happening in the marketplace. But as always we would love to hear your views about the trends themselves and whether we have got the implications correct.

wearable_techPebble WatchNike Fuel BandApple WatchFitbit

Wearable tech

With 2015 seeing the launch of the i-watch, a piece of tech which boasts some exciting health and fitness tracking capabilities, the race for the perfect fitness tracking companion is on. The market already has an array of devices from the fitbit to the Nike Fuelband. The Google Glass may have in the words of the Irish Times over promised and under delivered, but the ability of some sort of glasses to monitor eye health and thus general health should not be underestimated.

We think it won’t be too long until some enterprising protection business is offering more competitive premiums for people who wear some of this type of kit. Of course, there are legitimate misgivings about how constant monitoring could affect insurance. But this will be voluntary to start with and similar offers have worked well so far. We think some insurers will look to steal a march.

Easyrocket Studio Tag HeuerEasyrocket StudioTag Heuer

Storytelling sites

With so much emphasis on content, and content-led marketing, we believe that it will be web sites driven by narrative which will stand out in 2015. Establishing a narrative will become a much more mainstream marketing solution. We also predict that many more firms will start taking full advantage of off-the-shelf website templates from open access platforms. The leader is arguably WordPress. This website hosting platform is kept updated by an army of developers who then benefit from this free resource often by selling additional services. This year should see the commercial world start storytelling hopefully with compelling results. Get the story right and it should mean a happy ending for everyone.

5 door Mini Statoil5 door mini, Statoil

Scrolling vs. clicking

A more technical issue now. Thanks to touch-based devices, we’re all starting to realise that scrolling is more natural than clicking. When a website based on scrolling is designed and structured properly it is also a lot quicker to use. We’ll see more screens which reveal key content as the user scrolls down, saving them time, removing the old school ‘roll over/click for more’ systems. The art is to introduce scrolling without the customer really noticing.

Trippeo GogoroTrippeo, Gogoro

Hidden menus (burger navigation)

The new norm for smart phone users is the trend of ‘decluttering’ web pages, and separating the content from the navigation. Navigation is now hidden behind a simple button in the corner of the screen. The consensus in the tech world is that this resembles a burger, which may say more about the diet of developers, than much anything else. But whatever the name, the hidden menu works hand in hand with parallax scrolling by allowing the user to be taken on a journey, though this only happens smoothly when the website is well designed and content skilfully written. The menu will be available on demand, rather being ever present and taking up all important space on a device’s screen.

mobile_firstVolkswagen appDerry BirkettSpotify

Mobile first

Smartphones are no longer just for the cool kids. Parents and grandparents all have them. Mobile is increasingly becoming the first device for connecting with consumers. In the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in responsive design trends. There has been a tendency to design for a desktop audience and then scale that design down for tablet and mobile users. This has not just been about shrinking the content, and has involved some thoughtful design. Now the mobile experience may come first in the ‘design’ pecking order. With the mobile as the first ‘port of call’, we will see brands and designers focusing their communications and stripping back on clutter to maximise the ‘screen real estate’ (see previous two trends).

This could be good news for consumers offering them less clutter, less marketing and easier and quicker access to the content they want. However at Space 01, we are also mindful of the fact that some categories of financial information are easier to convey in this way than others. It’s not always simply a case of cramming in a wealth warning. We can’t ignore this trend, but we need to consider carefully how the mobile first trend applies to different clients with different information challenges. Those pension reforms mentioned in our first ‘trends’ post come to mind.

Melanie F Christmas HeroesMelanie F, Christmas Heroes

Transitions, effects and movement

Over the last couple of years our appetites for embellishing content with subtle transitions and effects has been slowly increasing. As a result designers and developers have been creating more and more exciting ways for this to happen.

This year we’ll see a focus on embellishing storytelling and experiences with subtle effects, useful transitions and movement. From pop up animation involving data and charts through to images and text, web design is getting a lot smarter. Everything will start to move, with the goal of furnishing the relevant information in the right place at the right time.

Listening to customersFacebookTwitter, Fastcode Design

Listening to customers

To describe this as a new trend may feel counter-intuitive. Yet, more and more brands are coming to terms with the fact that the customer is always right and the customer has the means at their disposal to say so, which is why we have categorised it as a digital trend. More brands will be looking to learn and gain valuable insight from their customers. Some brands will do this behind the scenes, listening via social channels and by data mining. Some brands will be focusing on face to face engagement with customers to complement the other data. But get this right, given the huge changes in technology, in regulation and the continued volatility, and the brands that are the best at listening should stand out.

So those are Space 01’s dozen trends for this year and beyond. We believe these trends will be informing a significant proportion of our work this year whether in terms of meeting the demands of legislation, regulation and most importantly of clients and their customers. But as we say, we’d love your feedback too.

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