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Today’s landscape of design and technology is impressive, to say the least. 2015 will be a hallmark year as more companies adopt the cloud allowing creatives and technologies to rally together resulting in innovative experiences that are both inspired by science fiction and backed with data.
Here are my predictions for how design will impact your life (and technology) in 2015.
7 Predictions for 2015: How Design Will Impact Your Life
7 PREDICTIONS FOR 2015:
HOW DESIGN WILL IMPACT
BIG DATA & ADVANCES IN
TECHNOLOGY DRIVE DESIGN
New opportunities to rethink and redesign digital experiences in the ongoing
evolution of digital are fueled by the proliferation of big data and technological
developments. From the death of tabbed browsing to Minority Report driven
gestural interfaces, here are the key trends in design and technology that are
merging to transform digital user experiences.
BOUNDARIES MELT AWAY AS
USER INTERFACES BECOME
INTEGRATED & FRICTIONLESS
The end of the blue link is near, as user interfaces become more fluid
and intuitive, redefining how users “surf the Web” and interact with their
mobile applications. Technology partnerships, API integrations
and UI cards are blazing the path towards more frictionless user
experiences that are driven by interactive gestures and sleek visuals.
BOUNDARIES MELT AWAY
AS USER INTERFACES BECOME
INTEGRATED & FRICTIONLESS
Independent apps and websites will merge into
more seamless digital experiences
“The idea of having a screen full of icons, representing
independent apps, that need to be opened to experience
them, is making less and less sense.”PAUL ADAMS
VP of Intercom
Partnerships for integrations like OpenTable and Yelp are increasing as new companies
like Zapier and IFTTT aim to take integration to another level by connecting web
apps you use to easily to sync data and automate tedious tasks. According to
Paul Adams, VP of Intercom and formerly of Google and Facebook: “The idea of
having a screen full of icons, representing independent apps that need to be opened
to be experienced is making less and less sense.” In fact, both Android and iOS have
adopted interactive notifications, where a user never needs to actually visit an app
to complete an action.
Furthermore, Google Now has already adopted UI card design as a means for organizing
information in a way that is portable across devices and provides a more seamless
experience. More data from devices is also empowering smarter apps. Humin is an app
that takes social communication data to provide relevant, contextual information based
on mobile contacts, designed to enable serendipitous, location-based interactions.
While in its early stages, new open systems that are interoperable across the web are
being created, including Wildcard and Citia. Startups like Vurb, a TechCrunch Disrupt
2014 winner, are challenging current search experiences with the belief that blue links are
a web browsing behavior of the past. Contextual search, with Pinterest-like interfaces are
now being designed to help avoid the dreaded experience of having 20+ unorganized tabs
open within a browser. Expect to see (and appreciate) advances in development, driven by
big data, that will revolutionize our current digital experiences.
The inclusion of new technologies within the context of a vivid story
has been shown to bridge the gap between current and future possibilities
for audiences, allowing them to more deeply understand the potential of
advanced technology. The concept of novums, or scientifically plausible
innovations in sci-fi narratives, are becoming increasingly important in
concept-driven storytelling and prototyping that simultaneously informs
and explains new technologies.
The technology of science fiction is sure to become tomorrow’s reality.
Qualcomm has partnered with XPRIZE to create a global competition to
stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies.
This soon-to-be real-life tricorder will help consumers make their own reliable
INCREASED ROLE OF PROTOTYPES &
STORYTELLING IN PRODUCT DECISIONS
INCREASED ROLE OF
IN PRODUCT DECISIONS
Advanced tools for creating more compelling
product roadmaps inspire & guide
While the concept of having storytellers lead product development has long been a
focus in design-thinking and user experience design, new technologies such as 3D
printing and better free video editing software, enables the design community to
have even greater impact in product decisions especially as new technologies
become more sophisticated and challenging to imagine. The more innovative a new
product, the harder it is to explain through simple static images or text. Short movies
or 3D prints are driving the trend of engaging audiences through real-life examples with
interaction and context.
Coin, a connected device that can combine
different credit cards and loyalty cards into one,
launched a short but inspiring concept video that
has racked up 9 million views on YouTube, which
was a major factor in helping it reach $50,000 in
funding in just 40 minutes.
Matt Jones, Interaction Design Director of Google Creative Labs, discussed the
importance of the Google Glass concept video in helping to anchor and unite the product
team throughout the engineering process. In fact, concept videos can be thought of as a
form of prototyping since the visual narrative can elicit valuable insights through viewers’
feedback and comments.
Video content is a vast pool of unexplored, unmined data that can provide
fascinating insights into a variety of fields, from security to entertainment.
100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. 90% of the world’s
data has been created in just the last two years, with 80% of this data taking
the form of unstructured data such as video or photos with up to 13 ZB
(that’s zettabytes) slated to be consumed by end of 2016. As more and more
data is created with the advancement of cameras and sensors within
smartphones, more unstructured data becomes available for experimentation
and research, leading to major strides in computer vision algorithms that can
lead to structured insights for video analytics.
BIG DATA & VIDEO ANALYTICS
HELP DRIVE CREATIVITY
BIG DATA & VIDEO
More video content means more data
According to Dr. Varah, CEO of MotionDSP, “True video analytics involves using
computer vision algorithms to analyze video pixels automatically — not only
identifying objects in the scene, but also tracking their movements and behavior.”
In other words, moving beyond recognition to computationally understanding
interaction, composition, and intention within video.
Advanced computer vision and machine-learning can lead to much deeper,
sophisticated insights into video content. High-quality videos have the power to
increase consumer online shopping by 174%, creating a large incentive for businesses
to better understand how to develop optimal videos for driving conversion. Yahoo Labs
recently conducted a study of Vine videos to identify characteristics of videos that made
them more likely to be rated “creative” by a random sampling of people, ultimately
developing an algorithm that was able to predict “creativity”. Clearly, the opportunity for
big data to truly advance video analytics provides businesses and governments with a
new source of valuable information from which to derive actionable insights for
everything from self-driving cars to better commercials.
90% of all new data growth in corporate data centers comes from
unstructured data, making the cloud an ideal storage solution for
data-sharing, data-mining, and interactive collaboration. As the cloud
becomes the default storage solution, real-time data analysis and collaboration
becomes more sophisticated, accelerating and transforming businesses.
A BOOM IN DATA SCIENCE
& INTERACTION WITHIN THE CLOUD
A BOOM IN DATA SCIENCE
& INTERACTION WITHIN
Decreasing costs of storage = more data stored
and available for real-time analysis
By 2018 78% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers and annual
global cloud IP traffic will reach 6.5 ZB by the end of 2018. One natural byproduct
of data becoming stored on the cloud and consequently growing in size is the
corresponding increase for the demand to organize and analyze it.
Google Cloud Dataflow enables users to create data pipelines for both processing
and analyzing data in batch and streaming mode, creating opportunities for live
sentiment analysis for brands using public data from sites like Twitter or real-time
analysis of security footage for governments.
In addition to real-time analysis of data within the cloud, the cloud will also be able
to bring together people in floor-to-ceiling high-definition video collaboration with
shared whiteboards, documents and resources, and voice control in augmented
interactions. Oblong, started by MIT students, focuses on defining the future of work
with Mezzanine, which provides a digital collaborative workspace through the cloud,
Minority Report style.
ADVANCEMENTS IN INTERFACE
& DEVICE DESIGN LEAD TO MORE
From technology giants like Google to up-and-coming startups,
the race to integrate hardware and software to provide smarter, more
contextually relevant experiences is on. The advancement of sensor technologies
and communication capabilities is driving the growth of the Internet of Things,
wearables (selfie-taking drone, anyone?), and new forms of connected hardware
in these key trends.
INTERNET OF THINGS MESHES
DIGITAL & PHYSICAL FOR A
“SUPER CLASS” OF CONTEXTUAL TECH
The Internet of Things is still on the upswing. More sophisticated digital
and physical integrations are becoming the norm, leading to the harvest
of more data for even smarter technologies. Most things that can be
automated, and at times done better by a machine, will be upgraded
opening up new opportunities for more technology-driven efficiency in
everything from manufacturing to housework.
INTERNET OF THINGS
MESHES DIGITAL & PHYSICAL
FOR A “SUPER CLASS” OF
Decrease in costs of sensors contributes to
increase in connected physical objects
and a more seamless world
According to Gartner, in 2015, enterprises will spend over $40 billion designing,
implementing and operating the Internet of Things. Since 2013, 650 million new
physical objects and 10% of automobiles have connected digitally. As sensors,
actuators, and communication capabilities of technology continue to advance,
embedding technology into everyday items will become more commonplace.
Connected objects are expected to reach 50 billion by 2020, or 6.58 connected
devices per person.
Combining low-power technologies and increased memory capacity with the open
Wi-Fi movement and advanced algorithms, the growth of smart objects from sports
gear to crock-pots is accelerating. Tile, Littlebits, and August make it easier to connect
different web-services and gadgets to each other over the Internet, with IFTTT acting
as a central powerhouse of over 153 channels (and counting) to help users customize
commands for seamless cross-channel syncing.
The Internet of Things is evolving so that objects are not only connected, but through
their connection, can learn to be “smart” and act ambiently. Google has recently
launched the Physical Web to move towards providing interaction on demand, or a
truly responsive web, that provides personalized experiences across physical
touchpoints to provide digital experiences that are contextual and environment-aware.
Internet of Things
Smart Physical Objects
WEARABLE TECH GETS SMARTER,
BLURS LINE BETWEEN HUMANS & DEVICES
Siri has been the closest our devices to be personified, with sci-fi rom-com “Her”
sparking further conversation about the connection that people now have with
their technology. Wearables create an opportunity for devices to become even
more integrated into the human experience. Improved sensor and power technology
will mean wearables become less obtrusive, and more communicative,
fueling this category’s growth.
BLURS LINE BETWEEN
HUMANS & DEVICES
The decreasing barriers between humans
and technology through smarter,
more responsive wearables
According to Gartner, smartwatches will exceed popularity of fitness bands in 2015,
growing to 21 million sold. As technology advances, wearables will be able to
communicate with humans more dynamically, through more direct, immersive haptic
feedback, motion, or lighting. Google Now has continued to push responsive
wearable tech forward upon integration with the new
Google watch, which can truly provide information
exactly when needed through an “intelligent personal
assistant”, which will evolve to take on more actions
as wearable technologies advance. Mary Meeker,
from KPCB hints at the future of wearables being
increasingly environmentally aware with the advancement of sensors and personalization
through big data that will drive opportunities for value creation by wearables, especially
as the design of these user experiences focuses on providing information seamlessly
At the 2014 Design Driven Innovation Conference at MIT, guest speaker and principal
engineer at Intel, Maria Bezaitis discussed devices becoming smart enough to take on
human behaviors. A wearable drone equipped with a camera to help you take photos
when selfies aren’t an option, Nixie has the ability to “leave” then “return” to your
wrist - boomerang style. Researchers have also been working on a flexible
robotic fabric that contains sensors for providing feedback and environmental
information as a wearable for astronauts on space missions. As the
technology matures, wearables will transition from being overrated, to a natural
and necessary part of our lives.
From seamless HTML 5 powered looping background videos on websites
to startups aiming to create sophisticated augmented reality experiences,
visual and sensory-driven storytelling continues to evolve, breaking out of the
restraints of current computing interfaces to impact industries from retail
IMMERSIVE STORYTELLING EVOLVES
BEYOND COMPUTING INTERFACES
Design breaks out of rectangle screens
to sensory-driven experiences
Steps toward making the web more immersive have begun, with web design trends
featuring large, immersive background videos, parallax or infinite scrolls and
pageless designs. Trends in entertainment will continue to influence web design.
The Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers is working on advanced
technology to make entertainment more immersive, where tactile or motion data is
encoded and broadcasted in sync with compressed audio and video. Oculus has
teamed up with Marriott to launch a 4D experience and Samsung to launch Gear VR
for an “untethered” experience driven by mobile, opening up opportunities for
storytelling and integration across devices. While Google Cardboard shows that
fancy technology is not necessary for virtual reality, the role of advanced
technology in the creation of new, uncharted territories of fascinating sensory
experiences is undeniable.
Magic Leap, a company that recently raised $542M from investors including Google
and KPCB, is focused on breaking out of “rectangle fetishism” with Dynamic Digitized
Lightfield Signal™, a technology that generates images indistinguishable from real
objects and can be “placed” into the real world. Advanced technologies and potential
integrations with mobile and web will continue to revolutionize interaction possibilities
for industries from fashion to education.
ABOUT DIGITAL TELEPATHY
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Young is a user and data-driven marketing lead bringing
methods and insights from economics, psychology, business,
and design to help improve user experience and connect products
My interest in how technology can shape culture by facilitating
the spread of ideas and changing behaviors is what drives my
focus on tackling growth for consumer digital companies looking
to solve problems and improve user experiences.
Tweet me @victoriahyoung.
Digital Telepathy is a thriving user experience design agency,
product development shop, and content publisher. For over
12 years, we have crafted meaningful experiences for
mission-driven startups and brands like New Relic,
The Lean Startup, Pivotal, Adventure.com, and Fullscreen.
We strive to make the web a better place by
removing friction and focusing on simplicity in design.
Learn more at dtelepathy.com.