We know how important it is for our clients to keep their websites bang up to date, using the latest available techniques to attract attention and engage customers. Here are our top trends for the future of digital communications.
1. Focus on the customer experience
The customer must be at the heart of your digital communication strategy. Always put the customer first – what is he/she looking for? How can you make this easy for them?
The most successful websites have well-planned user journeys, with clear communications and seamless transactions. As the attention span threshold gets ever shorter, this has never been more important. See below about how artificial intelligence can personalise the experience, and how good content and design will ensure that this experience is engaging, informative, straightforward and successful.
2. The growth of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now more mainstream with AI tools such as chatbots and voice recognition assistants already frequently used by web designers, especially for e-commerce sites.
People are already regularly using chatbots such as Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana and, as they become ever more sophisticated, they can improve interaction on your website to deliver more personalised experiences in real time. They are even recognising human emotions to enhance communications for online shopping and customer service. Harnessing voice search will become increasingly important for e-commerce sites and interaction between the consumer and AI chatbots will become more like a human conversation, with the AI consultant able to react and respond to the buyer with increasing sophistication and depth.
AI can also help with crunching data and analysing online behaviour to predict future behaviour, tailoring websites more to the user’s individual needs, improving the customer experience by evaluating mood and preferences in real-time.
Dynamic technology can personalise the on-line shopping experience. Providing the customer with the perfect shopping environment by adapting the website to each customer, depending on their likes, dislikes and buying habits, whilst also providing the ability to display targeted recommendations, special offers at optimal times, and personalised ads and film to stimulate sales.
3. Content is king
Creative, stimulating stand out content will help you deliver a great customer experience on your website. Invest time and budget in sourcing quality images, film and copy for a website that is kept up to date, relevant, and engaging. Storytelling is still very important, but also, note that Google rewards authoritative meaningful content that gains links. So, when using content as part of your SEO strategy, it is worth making sure that you go for quality rather than quantity.
4. Animation and film
Gifs have never gone away, and animation is becoming ever more popular. You can use animation to convey complex ideas in a short amount of time in an engaging and memorable format.
Film content continues to grow. Note that as much as 85% of Facebook’s 8 billion daily film views are taking place WITHOUT sound. It is important that your animation or film content can be consumed and understood in silence.
For best viewing on mobile phones, content is more frequently being designed specifically for a square 1:1 screen ratio compared to the traditional 16:9 ratio.
5. Profit by design
Use design to differentiate your brand and drive profits. Adobe’s Digital Trends Report found that ‘design driven’ organisations, investing in quality design from branding, to graphic design, were 69% more likely to have significantly exceeded their 2017 business goals when compared to their peers.
We are seeing an increase in designers breaking the mould by using illustration, unexpected scrolling and page transition techniques.
6. Integrate your technology
Integrated, cloud-based platforms for an organisations key information, data, administration, accounting and commercial information are now a prerequisite for success. Access all your digital assets wherever, however, whenever you want.
7. The end of typing
The increase of touch screens and voice recognition technology will reduce reliance on the keyboard. This will change aspects of website designs, making the use of images more important for menu buttons and simplifying the journey – for example the hover will become defunct.
8. Make the most of mobile
Mobile has already overtaken PC and tablet for web browsing, and website designers continue to innovate functionality and design for the mobile audience to improve user experience and navigation.