In the world of digital product design, there are always trends emerging and leading the way forward. In this article, we'll explore the five trends making the biggest impact today. From artificial intelligence to personalization, we'll discover how these trends are transforming the way we design and experiment with digital products.
By now it is impossible that you haven't heard about Chat-GPT and how it is revolutionizing, one by one, all industries. We want to tell you how this trend is affecting the market and how many companies are aiming to include artificial intelligence in their products.
Let's imagine that we can ask a tool for anything we want, and it will give it to us. Well, the goal of AI is to help you get what you want by simply writing a text explaining what you need: a text for social networks, ideas for a disruptive design or perhaps legal documents for your contracts.
Today, we can find a lot of companies entering this trend:
Microsoft launched CoPilot that integrates with their entire suite of products, helping you create better Word documents, high-level PowerPoint presentations and even helps you in your daily searches in their Bing browser.
Canva.com included the ability to create images or stationery for your social networks.
Adobe is about to launch the beta of Firefly, a tool that will help us to take the use of its creative suite to another level.
We can find a pattern in all this: we are entering a new era where the potential lies in knowing how to ask for things in the right way, and where new products that include AI have a potential that no one can imagine.
Mixed reality and Metaverse
While the public has not yet adapted massively to the metaverse, the mixed reality trend is still relevant. In fact, more and more companies are expected to invest in this technology in the coming years, which could lead to an explosion of new applications and experiences. Are you ready for the future of mixed reality?
Mixed reality is a combination of physical and digital universes that enables natural and intuitive 3D interactions between people, equipment and the environment. This new reality is based on artificial vision, which means that reality itself is combined with a universe created on the basis of special glasses.
Some companies that have shown interest in this technology are:
Meta: Mark Zuckerberg's company carried out a large investment in virtual reality and metaverses, and although the latter did not have the expected success, the investment continues and Meta is confident that this technology is the future.
Google Glass: Although it was not as successful as expected, it laid the groundwork for the development of other augmented and mixed reality technologies. Despite being definitively discontinued this year, the possibility of releasing an updated version is not ruled out.
Apple: although the launch of its mixed reality glasses is already an open secret, it should not be underestimated, since Apple, even if it comes late, is a company that sets trends with almost everything it creates, as happened with the iPhone, the notch and the Apple Watch.
Mixed, augmented or virtual reality are technologies that come back every now and then when a major company decides to try them again. That's because it's an interesting concept that everyone wants to experience. In fact, some experts suggest that mixed reality could change the way we interact with the digital world, allowing for much more immersive and interactive experiences.
Ecological Digital Products
One of the biggest problems facing humanity today is related to environmental impact which, by 2050, is expected to have catastrophic consequences if nothing is done. Sustainable alternatives are being generated every year and the digital products sector is not lagging behind. In recent years, work has been done on green technology in Design, Product and Web. Sustainable development methodology is being discussed, both in its manufacture, use and disposal, working towards minimizing environmental impact which, in turn, attracts a new group of consumers committed to sustainable purchasing choices.
"Eco friendly is a trend that is here to stay - not for aesthetics, but out of necessity."
While tangible products are opting for "greener" production processes, avoiding plastic and using recycled materials, in the digital world the trend means applying strategies that include adopting eco-friendly web hosting services, optimizing workflows (UX), recycling second-hand hardware, using lighter formats for images and videos, working with renewable energies in data centers and offices, etc. Technology has been transversal to our lives for years. The main challenge will lie in fostering organic and natural digital product development processes that provide an effective user experience without compromising product quality and the well-being of the planet.
Design shall be inclusive or it shall not be
The goal of accessible and inclusive design is to ensure that all people have access to technology and can enjoy digital products. This not only fosters social inclusion, but also provides competitive advantages to companies that adopt these design practices.
Inclusive design focuses on creating products, services and environments that are adaptable to all people, regardless of gender, age, abilities, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, etc. It also provides a competitive advantage to companies that adopt it.
To this end, design solutions that consider the needs and desires of a variety of users are being implemented, broadening their market and increasing customer satisfaction. In this sense, accessible design seeks to enable people with disabilities to access digital experiences, ensuring a more inclusive society. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) offer standards and recommendations for creating accessible products, considering the needs of people with different disabilities.
There are currently companies working towards inclusion and accessibility:
Microsoft: The company developed "Seeing AI", a tool that uses AI to help visually impaired people read text in real time and recognize objects and faces.
Google Maps: has an accessibility feature that allows users to see routes that are wheelchair accessible, as well as information about the accessibility of facilities.
Apple: The company has included numerous accessible features: a screen reader, captions and descriptive audio, customization options for people with motor disabilities, etc.
An accessible interface not only helps people with disabilities, but also improves the user experience for everyone. It is essential that companies and organizations adopt inclusive and accessible design practices to promote a more inclusive society where everyone has access to the same opportunities.
Personalization is about tailoring user routes and experiences to the needs and preferences of each user. From a business perspective, it is a key process for increasing customer satisfaction by creating meaningful interactions and longer-lasting relationships, which translates into greater business success.
Many brands in the IT sector have been working on this concept for years:
Spotify: creates personalized playlists based on each user's tastes and preferences. In recent months, it has developed features combined with AI to provide more suitable music services to its users.
Netflix: Provides content recommendations for each user based on their viewing history and previous ratings.
Apple: Memoji, a feature in which the user can create a digital avatar that looks like themselves (customizing facial features, hairstyles, clothing, etc.) or also on their actual products, such as offering the option to customize the AirPods charging case with engravings including names.
Google: Offers accurate search results using geolocation tools.
Personalization in digital products brings a big challenge with it, as it plays with sensitivity in some aspects: privacy. The important thing is to know how to use this data in a correct way to generate a win-win both from the perspective of companies, developing better products, generating loyalty and commitment with customers, and from the users' side, having access to more personalized technologies and greater control over their experience.
In a nutshell…
The world of digital product design changes every day and emerging trends play a crucial role in how we design and build digital products.
As design professionals, it's critical to stay on top of the latest trends and embrace them to stay competitive in the marketplace.
In this article, we have explored five key trends that are transforming the field of digital product design this 2023: artificial intelligence, mixed reality, sustainability, accessibility, and personalization. By embracing these trends, companies can improve the user experience, make their products more accessible, and can increase their profitability. We hope this information has been helpful in understanding current trends and has inspired design professionals to keep updated and embrace these trends in their work.