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20 February 2013

5 digital trends for 2013

 

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1. Visual over text

You may have noticed this trend coming in over the last year or so; less text, more visual impact. These days users get bombarded with information and no longer tend to want to read large chunks of content. With the advent of Pinterest and  the Metro interface the trend is to have more images and less text to really focus the actions of the user. The less is more idea has finally filtered through from print layouts to the web as users get more comfortable with the idea that everything does not have to be 'above the fold' and often less is more.

 

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2. Design for different device sizes

Your desktop website is no longer the centre of the universe. Your customers are accessing your site from different devices on a range of screen sizes and it's crucial that you make their experience as inviting as possible regardless of what device they choose to view your website from. This means investing in a responsive site that adapts to the size of the device.

Think about having a strategy directly for mobile. How do users interact with your site's information on mobile? Is the main goal of the site to sell a product for users on the go? If so, consider having a separate mobile site or app with a purpose tailored for mobile users.

 

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3. Social interactions

There are many ways of reaching existing and potential customers now and the way that these are delivered to the user is different from the traditional 'desktop' way. This really is the age of social media and social interactions and customers can view the same message in a multitude of ways:

Website /  Mobile app / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / YouTube / Pinterest... etc

Targeting your message across different channels is a must for full market penetration for consumer facing brands and the messages take on different formats. Whilst on the web, you can create a promo image that links to an article page about your product/competition/message; but with social media, the message should be short and snappy with a definitive call to action.

 

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Smart technology interactions (Augmented reality)

Not only do we interact with friends via social media, our technology interacts with us in a smart way. Imagine a world where your technology anticipates what information you might need for the day and displays it before you ask for it. Well, that's here with Google Now. It tells you today's weather before you start your day, when the next train will arrive when you're standing on the platform or what the traffic is like on the way to work.

Still in development and not yet a trend for 2013, Google have also been developing Google Glasses where you can interact with your social circle via a head-mounted display connected to the internet, which can display information on a thin strip and is controlled via voice commands.

 

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4. A new way of interacting with devices

With the rise of tablets and mobile comes a different way of using devices. Now this is not new for 2013, but certainly every year it is on the rise. Whether it's gestures on tablets or using your voice to give directions to Siri on the iPhone, interactions other than with a keyboard and mouse are now commonplace. There has been a rise in the sales of tablets as companies realise that some of their staff need nothing more than an iPad or Surface, and with this market penetration, the need for design and development for all types of devices is super important.

 

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5. Responsive Content

Imagine browsing a website and depending on what you click on, content is tailored to you. It seems a bit Big Brother because tailoring content means collecting data about the user and their actions online, but it is very valuable. It is also no longer science fiction. It's the new 'responsive content' idea of many high end CMS systems such as Sitecore use.

What this means is that the user is presented with information more relevant to them, to keep them more engaged with a site's content, or simply to provide them with a richer, more relevant experience.

 

That wraps up the digital trends for 2013. These are just 5 that right now and this, by no means, is a comprehensive list of all the trends. In a month's time, we might be looking at something completely new that changes the game once again. So, stay on top of what's new and see you next time!


Margaret
AUTHOR

Margaret

Founder // Director of Design & UX
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