Looking forward to 2016 we see technology, and the use of technology, developing in a wide range of areas, all of which will affect the way businesses work and think. Here are our top picks of what to watch out for next year:
To coin a Forrester term, we really are living in an ‘Age of the Customer’ and this is not set to change. We predict a continued focus here that will see more in-depth preference mining in order to deliver ever-more personalised experiences and a rise of customer experience/alignment maps as an increasingly common UX/user research deliverable to help identify CX and/or UX opportunities, priorities and strategy.
We expect to see continued adoption of material design as a (marginally) richer alternative to the somewhat homogenous feel of flat design. Everyone’s websites and apps will look different from last year (but of course will become homogenised with time!).
We will also see a greater focus on UX differentiators, turning online experiences from ‘good’ to ‘great’ with increased attention on micro-interactions, ‘delighters’ and re-humanising the customer experience.
With more mobile use, and more hybrid apps, omni-channel engagement can only grown in importance. But not just for customers – employees too. Consistency of message across channels (and platforms) will be crucial.
> See also: Top 8 trends for big data
Our prediction is for more ‘big data’ including lots of stored data, and also real-time throughput. Then, because of this, more distributed systems too.
Wearables and the Internet of Things
Expect to see an increased use of wearables that are cross-functional eg. fitness-based technologies expanding to mainstream medical/healthcare and improving the quality of care at minimal cost. Of course there are ‘physical meets digital’ design considerations here too.
There will be a continuing (even increased) focus on automation from business process automation through to machine learning.
There will be much discussion in 2016 and beyond as to how automated technologies can further reduce costs in businesses while still improving the speed of customer communications and, therefore, customer experience.
An increased focus on real time information will drive dynamic pricing models across subscription-based businesses.
You cannot help but feel that security is only going to have an increased profile moving forward. With more and more personal data being stored to drive some of the activities outlined above, there will be more and more concern about data security and what is stored where, by whom and how.
> See also: 11 trends that will dominate cyber security
This will lead to heightened concerns about the security of systems architectures. To start with, high data customers will pay for added security layers that seek to be invisible to customers.
However, there is an inevitability that this will become another commoditised layer as levels of sophistication increase.
And of course fintech (and ‘everything else tech’), we suspect we’ll be discussing this a lot in 2016 too.