The new year is officially upon us and we’re already thinking about the next big trends. Markets grow increasingly competitive and consumers grow more and more wary of all the different messages they see on a daily basis. So how do you stay at the forefront of all of this? The answer requires some forecasting to predict the next big thing and a little innovation. So we’ve done some brainstorming and compiled a list of the trailblazing movements you’ll want your brand to capitalize on in 2017.
1. Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps are a hybrid of a website and an app. They have the responsiveness, fast load time, and ease of use of a website, combined with an app-like user experience (push notifications, splash screens, page transitions). They don’t involve any downloading from an app store either. You can simply search for them in a web browser, and even browse offline. Additionally, the progressive web app transition will add value for brands and users because the entire experience can be completed from a single location. The unique experience will increase the likelihood that users will interact and take action.
2. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality and virtual reality aren’t new to the scene, but now that they’ve been proven as successful methods for generating an exciting buzz (*cough* Pokémon GO *cough*), more and more big brands will be jumping on the virtual bandwagon.
The augmented reality and virtual reality platforms change the way you interact with objects and create a place where people can escape. This futuristic technology has brands licking their chops to put users in a situation where they can be much more than just a viewer. Who knows, maybe virtual and augmented technologies will improve to include more senses than just sight.
Creating and sharing content has never been easier than whipping out a phone and recording the events taking place right in front of you. Now, with Facebook’s recent big update, Facebook Live has made livestreaming an increasingly popular way to connect with friends.
Brands can make the most of the livestreaming trend to connect with their audience. People have taken a genuine interest in seeing real-time events from another’s point-of-view; making your brand more personable and spontaneous may be the key to developing meaningful relationships with customers in 2017.
4. Micro Interactions
Another trend to watch for in 2017 is the utilization of more animation and micro-interactions that humanize the web and mobile apps. By adding fun interactions to small details throughout a website, such as hovering over objects and having them animate, it gives users a more personalized and memorable experience, while also encouraging them to give feedback and interact with the site or application.
5. Voice Recognition and Digital Assistants
Convenience is at the top of the list for consumers and nothing is more convenient than simply talking to a device to complete a transaction, learn the day’s weather, or find out when a restaurant closes.
Although voice recognition has been around for a while now, 2017 will be the mark of a huge expansion in the vocal category. Voice activated digital assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa will be infiltrating so many more homes. Brands will have to adjust because of it if they want to make the most of the new swing craze of voice recognition software. Optimizing for voice search should be a priority if you want to stay competitive in your market.
6. Going Bold
This year you can expect online experiences to break the mold of flat design, muted color palettes and cookie-cutter layouts by adding personality back into the web. Designers will be pushing the boundaries of this new direction with the use of vibrant colors, gradients, bold headlines, and layouts that don’t conform to the standard grid. Some websites have already buttoned up their brand with a beautiful new look.
7. Visual Storytelling
While using imagery is nothing new, the increased necessity of it is. Attention spans are officially shorter than that of a goldfish, so catching the user’s eye is more important than ever. And if you want go beyond just getting the user’s attention to fully immerse them, images and videos probably won’t cut it. You’ll need to do something a little more impressive. Expect a huge spike in the use of cinemagraphs, GIFs, virtual tours, and so much more in this upcoming year.
What do you think the next big digital trend will be in the year of 2017 and beyond? If you have additional insight, we’d love to hear it in the comments below or you can tweet us!