It’s a natural human impulse to try to predict the future.
People have had a fascination with fortune-tellers since forever, only now we rely less on gypsies and more on industry experts with their fingers on the pulse.
As 2016 barrels towards us on a collision course, atomix is trying to catch a glimpse of what’s about to hit. Using our collection of top-quality crystal balls plus a few industry insiders, we’ve come up with ten predictions for the digital world in 2016.
Well, science has got the hoverboard ticked off. What’s next?
Virtual reality devices will be in a boom next year, with sales predicted to hit 14 million units worldwide. That means there’ll be a huge market of people looking for games, education, and tools to get the most use out of their shiny new devices. Be on the lookout for new design and marketing techniques that will entertain this specialised audience.
Surface technology, like the products that Microsoft is starting to shop around, is going to become an everyday part of our lives. Touchscreen desks, GPS info in your windscreen, and windows and mirrors that function as TVs might not be in our immediate future, but you’ll start to see elements of them creeping in.
What’s cooler than Google Glass? Admittedly, most things, but their next out-there product is shaping up to be an interesting one. Google has filed a patent for a contact lens that has an inbuilt microcamera. Yep, Google wants to be right in your eyeball. While it sounds like an unnecessary extravagance, it could actually be a revolutionary way to help blind people see. You’ll be able to link it up to your smartphone as well (of course), so it’ll be interesting to see what direction they take it.
We’ve been playing with a quadcopter in the office this year and we’re sure that 2016 will be their time to shine. The better quality models allow you to easily take aerial video and photographs using a small remote control. GoPro is getting in on the action and releasing their version in early 2016, so there’ll be even more options for amazing home video creation for you to choose from.
digital assistant use will soar
As you might know, atomix has been interested in (or obsessed with?) SEO for a long time. Our team is predicting that the rise of digital assistants like Siri or Cortana is going to be revolutionary for the SEO world. Digital assistants often don’t search for information in the same way that search engines do, so businesses will need to start optimising content for not only traditional keywords, but also the verbal speech patterns that people use, to make sure they’re in these valuable search results.
internet of things data takes off
By the end of 2016, there are likely to be 6.4 BILLION connected devices out in the world. That’s a whole lot of user data that’s going to be generated. Smart cities, smart cars, and wearables are going to be leading the charge, providing data that will help us to improve energy efficiency, manufacture more intuitive products plus a multitude of other uses.
“It’s the little things that count”. That old saying can be given a fresh, new, modern twist and applied to website design and the micro-experience. In 2016, we’ll be seeing even more little moments during the customer journey that are designed to delight and engage your website’s visitors. It’s about creating an experience that customers want to repeat, bringing them back again and again.
When you’re trying to improve the user experience, some of the first things you look for are ‘pain-points’, or moments that cause friction for people using your website. With better targeting, including tracking people’s past behaviour and precise location data, we should start to see websites and applications starting to act to complement the behaviour of the user, rather than the other way around.
death of the pop-up
Speaking of the user experience, our analytics data is telling us a story about pop-ups. And it doesn’t have a happy ending. Even though pop-ups can still drive some sign-ups, they’re generally associated with annoyance. Working calls-to-action into forms inside your website architecture is a great way to capture those promising leads without upsetting anyone.
minimalist UI patterns
While we’re on the topic of decluttering, we’re also going to see minimalist UI patterns becoming popular during 2016. Web design has leaned towards simplicity for the last year or so with flat design, but 2016 is going to see even clearer minimal websites taking centre stage. Following certain design patterns helps your audience to use your website more easily, removing some of the pain points we mentioned earlier.
Do you have any predictions for what next year has in store for the digital world? We’d love to hear about anything we’ve missed. Crystal balls can be so murky. It’ll be interesting to go back at the start of 2017 and see how close we were!