A Designer’s Resolution -
Tech Trends for 2019 and Beyond
by Silviu Mocanu, Head of Design
As another year draws to a close and the holidays and the new year are on the horizon, the tech and marketing industry are in full swing with new product launches, new car models every other week, new phones and other devices every other day (sometimes). It’s fair to say there is an abundance of news for the technology enthusiast. But swiping and scrolling through the myriad of articles and other pieces of content on the web got me thinking, ok, this is all great but what’s next, what’s around the corner that could actually be quite cool to explore. Granted, there is no shortage of sources that predict or show in advance upcoming trends or products. We all know and indulge in the product leaks and news about upcoming tech that we’re served, but I thought I put together a list of current and developing trends that I’m looking forward to in 2019. After all, being a graphic designer, the things that most interest me naturally revolve around design, but luckily it is a core part of all the major industries, and to some extent always has been (marketing, IT, retail, software, automotive, fashion and so on).
For this 3-part article we’ll explore some of the things that are coming in:
Part 1: digital marketing overall
Part 2: the automotive industry
Part 3: the smartphone industry
So, let’ go through them and see what’s what. Ready? Drumroll please.
1. AI and Machine Learning…Finally
“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us.
So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we'll augment our intelligence." — Ginni Rometty - CEO of IBM.
The trend of leveraging AI to the fullest, either for personal or enterprise needs with the end goal of accelerating and streamlining buying processes, is and will continue to be hot. That’s done through AI-powered applications which enable companies to make the most of the data they collect, in order to precisely target audiences, tailor campaigns with more efficiency and manage workflow, which in turn should enable more compelling user experiences and brand loyalty. Think for instance how chatbots are becoming increasingly used by companies to interact with their customers. They will surely become more useful in learning user behavior and offering more personalized solutions in the future as the technology advances.
Another thing worth mentioning - that is a prime example of leveraging machine learning - is increasing the use of voice as a primary search method for a more natural type of interaction, as users and companies start to move away from text-based inquiries, towards a more conversational approach.
“Business decision makers LOVE online video because it gives them the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time.” – Robert Weiss, Use YouTube Video Marketing to Generate Leads, Awareness and Customers
It goes without saying that video is definitely big business nowadays. It’s another field that just keeps on growing, with no obvious slowdown in sight as it’s gradually taking up most of the internet traffic worldwide. Video is awesome, and the major things it has going for it in my view are: Video content is easy to grasp, it can deliver a lot of information in a compact package, it’s flexible, customizable, versatile, it can be used in most industries, it can be very relatable, original, and most of all it stimulates one of the most important human senses, sight (people remember 80% of what they see but only 20% of what they read, end of argument). So naturally it’s leveraged by everyone with uses such as tutorials, marketing products to clients, showcasing services in a more visual way (ex. animated infographics), coverage of product launches, product reviews, behind the scenes videos and much more.
When done correctly video marketing can add value and bring in excellent results. For instance, placing a video on a landing page instead of an image or, using a video as part of an email campaign instead of a text-based newsletter can greatly improve the conversion rate. Or, filming a tutorial to teach members of your company about a new acquired technology instead of just writing tens of pages of content. These are just a few examples showing how the clever use of video can have a great positive impact but there are definitely many more.
3. Brand Preference
I keep hearing, reading and actually experiencing in my daily interactions the abundance of choice we all love to have (from the convenience store to the google play store). There is obviously plenty to go around, but there is also a flipside to it, the fact that sometimes at a certain level, it can inhibit buying decisions. Abundance creates a sort of paralysis when trying to decide and when a decision is finally made, it actually detracts from the satisfaction as we know there are still those alternatives out there that we left out. So, with that in mind, brands and companies will (have to) allocate more resources to stand out from the crowd, to have a more stable foothold in their respective industry in order to be trusted and preferred. It still holds true today but the “battle” will continue to be for the user’s attention.
We all prefer certain brands for certain key competitive advantages that they have (features we need, design we relate to) but most of all because they are well known, we hear about them all the time, or because they have been around a long time. So, the rundown is, buying decisions can be very tough especially with the growing number of offerings, good offerings, so they need to become easier to make and that can be very hard to achieve.
4. Consumption Awareness
Finally, another very interesting aspect that caught my attention is the trend we are starting to notice about an increase in awareness and mindfulness about how people should interact with technology and devices in a balanced way (Google’s Digital Wellbeing and Apple’s Screen Time for example). I’m sure users will be more and more aware of it in the future. This means that marketers will need to take this aspect into account when planning to engage with their audiences, and off course app developers, designers and copywriters for example need to pay more attention in the design and user experience process (even less clutter, more engaging and dynamic content, served incrementally as the user progresses in their journey, design personalized offerings, to name a few).
So, there you have it, a quick overview of the marketing trends I’m passionate about and that I look forward to in the coming year and beyond. Stay tuned for part two.
Silviu Mocanu is the Head of Design at Retina (a Transiris Company).