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2016 Prediction Roundup

...none of us works in a vacuum anymore, disciplines adjacent to ours are increasingly influencing the work we do. So we need to understand the directions that other jobs are going too.

Seems like every blog has them – you know – opinions. But also (at least at this time of the year) a list of predictions for trends in the year ahead. For our list of lists for the next 340-odd we tried to round up some of the more insightful and thought-provoking forecasts to see what forces will shape the fields we play in. This meant looking for predictions covering a broad spectrum of disciplines – none of us works in a vacuum anymore, disciplines adjacent to ours are increasingly influencing the work we do. So we need to understand the directions that other jobs are going too. So here’s a list of lists along with the ones that stood out for us. Enjoy!

Top UX predictions for 2016

  • Large companies are finally seeing UX as fundamental to business success and are moving away from consultancy firms and bringing teams in house.
  • If content is critical to great experience, then personalization is the key to an amazing experience. Provided you can dodge the creepy factor and keep up with the customer – typically something bigger businesses struggle with.
  • Design needs to shift initial focus from mobile-first to touch-first.
  • Embrace the infinite scroll as a way to share additional content on content rich websites – fulfill the want without the wait.
  • Designers need to talk to their developers so that they’re up-to-date with tech advances. The Internet of Things is becoming mainstream.
  • We need UI-design/prototyping tools that help us think about and design for interactions not just “pages”
  • There are too many apps. We need a simplified way to aggregate and consolidate them for easier access. And app for all those apps, in other words.
  • Design will be seen as empowering every aspect of our lives as it gives a sense of control over our bodies and environments. 


7 Insights that’ll affect how design evolves in 2016

  • Design is becoming a corporate asset as the large corporations of the world embrace and embed design.
  • Design talent is only part of the picture when hiring – designers need to bring humility and hustle to their craft. And a sense of curiosity too.
  • In order to collaborate on projects it’s critical that designers know a bit about the fields adjacent to ours – technology, coding and marketing.
  • As design controls how users spend their time, designers need to make design responsible. Time is money.
  • Designers need to play a role in mentoring and building the next generation of designers as there’s a shortage of design talent ahead.


10 Tech trends for 2016

  • Big data will grow some manners – data privacy in a suspicious age will mean building it in at the design level.
  • Workplace processes, structure and culture will be reimagined at an organizational level, building a culture of purpose to improve the employee experience.
  • Apps are changing. Instead of focusing on the transaction of a service, apps will focus on the interactions with human users..
  • Simplicity will win in an era of all-you-can-choose, the glut of choice makes it hard for consumers to make sense of all the noise.
  • The pressure to innovate has never been higher, and corporations will bring design thinking and problem-solving in-house.


Marketing Tech predications for 2016

  • Ad-blockers, the bane of advertisers and beloved by web surfers, continue to threaten digital platform’s funding.
  • Image and Video social networks to attract more ad spend – Instagram use is projected to leap from 32% to 49% this year.e.g. Instagram usage by marketers to outstrip facebook & twitter amid overall jump in social spending
  • More native and in-app ads are coming as an answer to ad blockers.


Content Marketing predictions for 2016

  • We’ll see more branded content in the form of GIFs, interactive infographics, web series, and event live-streaming. Brands will need to experiment with just about any form of digital storytelling as the competition for attention time only gets fiercer.
  • Creative agencies will increasingly look to build, partner, or buy content technology solutions to integrate into their full creative offering.
  • The smartest brands will publish less in 2016, putting more emphasis on larger editorial projects. Blog posts are just too ubiquitous at this point. It’s easy to write 600 words about the latest trending topic, but it’s better to write 2,000 words on something that will shake up your industry.
  • There will be an increasing awareness that agencies are outsourcing their content, which will harm their reputations to the point that people no longer see them as experts.


Future 100

  • 18: After years of frenetic growth, email, social networking and search engines have reached maturity. These backbones of the information economy are now being reconsidered for digital-native consumers and in the context of broader human needs.
  • 20: The growth of artificial intelligence is raising profound questions about the future of the labor force. In their book, The Future of Professions, Richard and Daniel Susskind argue that even
    skilled professions such as law, accounting, architecture and medicine will be profoundly changed in the 21st century by advancing levels of automation.
  • 31: Neuromarketing is finally moving into the realm of serious science and real applications. A study published in the September 2015 edition of the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that researchers were able to predict accurately the large-scale outcomes of an anti-smoking campaign by measuring brain responses using an fMRI machine. Compared to traditional methods, the brain data more than doubled the researchers’ ability to predict responses to the anti-smoking campaign.
  • 33: Are we nearing a time when native advertising becomes the new norm, on mobile and elsewhere? As a result, spending on native ads, which are relatively impervious to blocking attempts, is rising: BI Intelligence estimates spending on native ads will reach $7.9 billion in 2015, and grow to $21 billion by 2018. Increasingly, this looks to be the case.
  • 36: Instagram’s user base reached 400 million in September 2015, and the number of US companies with more than 100 employees using the service as a marketing tool is set to reach 48.8% in 2016, according to eMarketer. As more brands pile in, Instagram is evolving from its origins and featuring more diverse forms of content.
  • 63: The world is a shopping interface. As the Internet of Things becomes a reality, everyday objects in our homes are becoming an interface for retail. It’s estimated that by 2020 connected devices will drive $263 billion in spending on services.

Andrew Davies

Drew's degrees in Illustration, 2D animation and Broadcast Design, and his volleyball skillz mean he can get your design done and play well with others at the same time. He’s the Creative Director at Paragon and will call you out if you start hanging out with shady-looking fonts and messing around with whacked-out color palettes.