“How can we be a part of the online culture in a way that our message, our story will be heard by the people we want to reach?” This is a resounding question every business and every community must ask themselves again and again in order to not just thrive, but to succeed in the culture of the web or internet. As with any other aspect of human life, such as fashion, architecture, culinary, etc., a look into the trends of the ‘web culture’ which is driven by design and technology, can help us shape our presence so that we’re seen and heard the way we want. Looking into web design and tech trends can give ideas for what’s possible for businesses.
It’s not about simply following the trends; rather, it serves as an inspiration for how we can adopt those ideas for our purpose and overcome business challenges. Trends allow us to keep up with the times and cultural expectations our audience has from us. At the same time, they also give ways for us to stand out or create our own trends.
As choices around us grow, there is a growing need to deliver messages that can be consumed faster. At the intersection of content, design, and technology lie microsites, which allow purposeful messages to be delivered without requiring too many pages and complex navigation. One page websites will be on-trend because these are really valuable in promoting a new service or a product, business partnerships, events or announcements, and programs such as fundraisers or other campaigns.
2. Data Integration
As human beings, it is our innate tendency to act on our emotions, or based on our logical interpretation of the world. This may not be in sync with the real world scenario, which explains why sometimes our ideas don’t work out the way we thought about them. As our interactions with the world grow even more complex, capturing correct data and its analysis will be the way forward for sound business decisions. The good part is that data can be generated from any interaction. We have always been able to see how many people stopped to consume our content and for how long, to check the impressions our new content made on the people, to measure the pattern of people’s behaviors and interaction with our brand. In 2020 we can grow our reliance on systems that are much more data integrated.
3. Chat Integrations / Better Online Support
Information is everywhere, but nothing replaces the comfort and simplicity of human guidance in getting the right steps for where we want to go. Also, the accessibility to information is becoming more and more real-time. Chat integrations and online support systems are a great medium to guide those who are looking for information from us. Moreover, being in the right place at the right time can be a turning point in building a connection. All that takes a business is to be prepared by keeping the channels open. Contact forms can be a bit of work in making a connection, not to forget the response delay, and picking up a phone to talk to a stranger can be daunting for some. Receiving a message and giving a real-time response can be a trend for businesses to follow in 2020.
4. Inclusive Web
The internet has truly given rise to ‘one world’. Anyone who is accessing is a part of the connected world. This brings various kinds of people who access the web differently to one platform. Building the web as a much more inclusive place that can be accessed by a diverse set of people is the responsibility we as creators need to take on. By designing and utilizing technology in a way that accommodates people of a different race, people with various disabilities, we create a more inclusive world.
5. Nuanced Automations
As the complexity of our tasks increases, we need to shift our focus and energy from repetitive manual tasks to the ones that require human judgment and creativity. Even with simple interactions such as scheduling meetings, handling finances, communications, or as complex as hiring, client relationship management, running a kitchen, and managing inventory, we can leverage technology to give us space to do more. It is trendy to ask our voice assistants to do some of our work that doesn’t require thinking, and it is going to be trendier still to utilize tech to handle more of our nuanced interactions that run our lives.
A dashboard is a collective representation of all the key performance indicators or vitals of a business. If you’re a business leader running a kitchen that sells food online, you would want to have quick access to the sales information on any given day, the general sales trends, and new customers vs. the old regulars. The dashboard is on-trend because it makes decision making easier. It brings the data from various sources to one place with analysis and filtering so that the right information can be extracted.
7. Open Source
Being a part of the open community can benefit everyone. By giving back our resources, we create a pedestal for others to do better. Then not all of us will have to reinvent the wheel; we’ll just have to modify the wheel as per our use. And so, leveraging the existing technology created by others, for our unique needs, can catapult us forward and give us an edge by being fast and cost-effective. Open source is a valuable resource for any business and can be a worthy trend to follow in 2020.
8. Going Mobile
Our success in a connected world will depend on how integrated we are into the lives of those we want to make an impact with our products and services. To get someone’s attention in today’s world is a big win for any brand. Since mobile is such an integral part of our lives and allows us to stay closely connected with the experiences we want, creating a customized experience on a mobile app can allow brands to hold the attention and build a long term connection with the followers.
9. Hardware Integration
Humans look for seamless experiences. With leading organizations such as Apple, Fitbit, Nike, etc., being seamless in any environment is becoming a basic expectation from our service providers. Having the flexibility to use applications across devices or the connectivity of various hardware such as watches, headphones, electronics, training equipment, or culinary equipment with central control from a mobile phone, can be a significant way to experience a seamless environment.
10. Experience First
This is a big one. All human interactions are measured by how they make people feel. The web hasn’t seen a greater need and importance for this. In all of a person’s touchpoints, whether it is to know the services, to consume content, or to make a purchase, leaving the customers with great experience will not just be a top trend for 2020 but also a basic necessity.
Trends, rightfully so, direct us towards the ideas that really impact our culture and bring change. So which web design and technology trends will you follow in 2020 to send your message across to the people you want to be heard by?