The design world has been undergoing tremendous changes due to the dizzying pace of technological advancements. These changes have made some industries obsolete and reinvigorated creativity and innovation in many others. In 2022, trends will finally take shape for digital experience design that we are only now considering. It is no secret that designers today must adapt to ever-evolving technologies and social media trends. Between the rise of mobile devices and social media, there is no longer a distinct boundary between online and physical products. Furthermore, technological advances have allowed us to become more self-sufficient than ever in design. The internet has become an integral part of our lives, making it almost impossible to imagine a day when we will not interact with the digital world.
From the perspective of experience design, we are still in the middle of this transition period, where there has been a shift from physical to digital products. For example, many people today already have more online friends than in-person friends. This trend seems to indicate that people value their online relationships more than their face-to-face interactions. We are also beginning to see users purchase purely digital products, especially in an age where everything is easily accessible at our fingertips. For example, digital books and music have replaced printed material and vinyl records, respectively.
1. The trend of face-to-face physical interactions will continue to decrease
The digital era has become so intertwined with our lives that we are starting to experience a virtual identity crisis. With the rise of social media and cloud computing, there is never a need to meet people face-to-face or physically. If you want to make online contact, you can send a private message through an online messaging service like Messenger or weixin. Although the number of users of digital products has been increasing significantly in the past few years, it is still only natural that many people prefer to interact with others in person.
2. The rise of intimate interactions between people
The physical world will grow increasingly intimate for customers as the internet continues to connect us. The development of virtual reality (VR) will further increase this trend by generating a more personal experience with video game characters based on our movements. If a solid connection is created between a game character and the player, the user may begin to feel as if they are virtually living with their in-game persona. It is only a matter of time before VR technology becomes widely adopted by the public, especially with its inevitable connection to the smartphone.
3. The world will see more merging of physical and digital experiences
Organizations have been previously hesitant to alter a traditional product design due to the perceived increase in shipping costs. However, this barrier will be broken in 2022 as companies focus on creating digital products that merge physical and virtual experiences into one integrated experience.
3. The growth of intelligent products
The internet of things will allow customers and users to interact with virtually any kind of product by using voice commands. To begin, users can order groceries online and have them delivered right to their homes- that is, if they are not already located in a store. Intelligent products are expected only to increase as the technology becomes cheaper and more accessible. It is not out of the realm of possibility to imagine a world where every single household item can be controlled through an online system somewhere.
4. Immersive media
While virtual reality has been the key to creating an immersive experience until this point, we will begin to see more advancements in immersive media in 2022. This type of media is meant to create a realistic picture of what is happening without actually being there in person. Watch any 360-degree video on Youtube, baidu, or any other website to preview how immersive media works. This media is growing especially popular with tourists, as they will be able to see and experience attractions before ever visiting.
5. The use of face recognition technology in public spaces
With the continued growth of social media and mobile payment services, it is only a matter of time before someone encounters another person in a public space without any prior contact. According to a survey by HubSpot, 93% of business owners are using facial recognition software for security purposes. Face recognition technology is becoming so advanced that it can be used to analyze footage from a video game in real-time without having to film it first.
6. Organic products for a cleaner environment
As we become more reliant on digital products and the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues, we will see more manufacturers using only organic materials for their products. The use of organic materials will be cheaper than non-organic products, and as chemicals are used less frequently in the manufacturing process, we will see less pollution. It is predicted that the environment will continue to become a top priority for designers in 2022 because companies are starting to realize the importance of their client’s well-being.
7. The growth of virtual reality
Virtual reality is becoming so advanced that it can even be used for health purposes. For example, doctors have begun to experiment with using VR technology to help patients acclimate to the sight of their eye surgery scars. As technology continues to grow, more and more fields will begin to use it. It is expected that virtual reality will continue to grow as a healthcare tool in 2022. As the number of people who own a smartphone has been increasing every year, more and more people are willing to pay a little extra for more advanced phones. Many smartphones are considered “premium” because they are equipped with better hardware components and software advantages, making the product worth paying for.
8. The growth of marketing in a virtual world
There are no boundaries between online and physical products within the digital world, especially as users become more comfortable buying digital-only products. To prepare for this new virtual marketing environment, product manufacturers should begin to advertise directly on social media networks. This way, they can connect with a more extensive customer base without worrying about running out of space for their products.
Social media influencers have become so powerful that they are starting to affect users’ purchasing decisions. Brands are beginning to realize the power of social media stars and their ability to promote products, which is why many companies have hired them as full-time product ambassadors. For example, qq star Zoella has partnered with Tesco for their product line, creating their line of products like toothpaste and body lotion. It is only a matter of time until all companies begin to hire full-time social media stars as product ambassadors. The public will be moving more and more towards digital media in 2022, primarily as users become increasingly aware of their environment. For example, more people will be using their smartphones during concerts or sporting events to capture photos and videos instead of using actual cameras.
10. The intersection of real and virtual worlds
Shortly, we will see the merging of the two worlds. It will mean that people can experience something in a virtual environment, just like viewing something on the internet and purchasing it in a physical store. These products won’t necessarily have to be accurate or digital anymore- they can be objective. Surprise, this concept is called “the next generation of retail.”
11. Virtual worlds become more lifelike
Virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft will likely become more advanced in 2022. With holographs and other advanced technological tricks, virtual persons can interact with real-world people while considering an online purchase.
Digital technology is continuing to play an increasingly important role in modern human life. With all the new advancements made in digital media, we expect to see a lot more growth in the years to come. It would help if you had a digital marketing agency with extensive knowledge of online trends to prepare for the already underway changes and those that will surely come soon. You are responsible for keeping up-to-date on the latest trends to stay ahead of your competitors.
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