With the new year already starting with a flurry of activity at Onespacemedia, we have managed to spare a few minutes for senior members of our team to share a few predictions and thoughts as to what might happen in the design and technology sector over the course of the rest of 2013.
We have pulled together our opinions and expectations on wide ranging topics such as responsive design, technology, content and social media, giving you an insight into what we think the next twelve months could offer.
Here are our predictions for 2013, let’s hope we do a better job than the Mayans did!
Got an opinion you'd like to share? Get in touch via twitter: @onespacemedia and use the hashtag #osm2013predictions
William Pickersgill - Digital Art Director
With over 50% of traffic predicted to come from mobile devices in 2013 demand for single iteration responsive websites will increase. Despite there being a number of edge cases regarding site content and screen size, which could raise the argument that a separate mobile-specific site would provide a better experience, the majority of sites will aim to provide a 'one size fits all' approach to design and development. Developing and designing a site to be responsive ensures that it will be future proof and extremely SEO friendly whilst also providing users with the same content regardless of what device they utilise to visit the site.
Mobile Couponing and Geo Location Based Advertising
With the rise of smart phones advertisers will be looking at innovative ways of using Geo Location Based Advertising (GLBA), to market to their user bases. GLBA can deliver concrete results using real-time and historical data, for instance where a specific user shops and eats regularly and therefore providing them with relevant content/offers/digital coupons, using Apple’s Passbook app for instance. Convincing the public to fully adopt these ‘digital wallets’ over physical ones will be the main hurdle.
James Dellar - Lead Designer
Technology & devices
In the past few years we’ve seen a dramatic advancement in cross-device chip development, and this is set to continue in 2013. Phone and tablet real-time rendering engines will become more advanced and we'll start to see faster and more intuitive ways of accessing our information.
With Google glass being scheduled for a 2014 release, we might see some buzz around that in autumn of this year. If we merge the Google glass with Leap - a small, touch-free gesture based technology - we might have to completely rethink how a user interacts with data.
Clarity is key
We will also start to see other brands like Samsung surpass the quality and sharpness of Apple's retina screen technology. After the introduction and growth of the 4G network in the UK, website and interface design will use high-resolution assets, if the bandwidth is available. However, bandwidth will always be a factor.
To print, or not to print?
Mass print design may continue to decline as eBooks and magazines increase in sales. Local companies will start jumping on the bandwagon and creating interactive portfolios, brochures and other types of brand collateral as interactive devices always seem close at hand. However, I think there is still a place for print design within the corporate space and in 2013 we will start to see more experimentation with print processes as clients attempt to stand out from the crowd.
Daniel Samuels - Lead Developer
HTML5 will continue to grow, the spec is finalised so all browser vendors should be looking to fully implement the features of it this year, which will lead to higher adoption of the new standard and push the web forward. Barack Obama's web team has actually started using HTML5 elements on the official BO website, so there's some really good adoption already. WebGL and other web-based 3D rendering APIs should also get a lot more use this year, we're seeing a huge upsurge in sites coming out using the technology and Google are putting out a lot of useful content for people to learn from.
Nicky Hughes - Communications Manager
Social media is all about engagement and the rise of photo apps, fancy filters and all, has undoubtedly enhanced the social media experience and prompted further interaction between users. Facebook's purchase of Instagram is clear evidence of the medium's growing popularity, particularly in the last year or so. But, going forward, I think that video is the one to watch (if you'll pardon the pun). Video per se is obviously well established, but it's evolving; apps like Twitter's 6 second video service, Vine, give us a glimpse into the possibilities of video as a social media tool and a whole new way to interact with audiences. Users have far more creative freedom and scope with a service like Vine than they could ever achieve with the likes of YouTube, giving more opportunities for engagement. If the growth and evolution of photo apps is anything to go by, we will see more and more video apps surface offering an even greater breadth of creative and editing options.
James Cotton - Founder
When I was eight years old I started programming in Basic on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum that had a rubber keyboard and a total of 16k RAM. When I was 16 I studied graphic design on a Mac Classic with Macromedia Freehand and Aldus Pagemaker. Today I can’t even count the amount of different devices and applications that I use.
Consumers in the modern age expect content to be delivered seamlessly across a growing list of device types - consoles, tablets, phones, televisions, desktops, wearable technology such as watches, glasses and now cars too! This relentless march for new technology poses interesting challenges for agencies working in digital technology - the number of devices and browsers we have to test on for example, or how we cost integrations with new devices for our clients.
Technology continues to drive creative innovation and developers and interaction designers have to keep up with the pace of change or risk being left behind. Ensuring brand consistency across all mediums is a huge challenge and the more devices we use the more difficult (and expensive) this process becomes. I think that vector graphic formats such as .svg will gain popularity and greater industry support because designers will get tired of having to produce the same graphic in countless different formats and developers will get sick of having to write code that targets specific devices and resolutions.