Design and Digital Predictions 2019: Agency Perspective

“Brands will only matter if consumers’ needs and desires are central to everything they do. Listening to the consumer — with our data brains as well as our hearts — can help us discover the stories worth telling.” — Maggie Malek, Head Of Social And PR, MMI Agency

Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. From cave paintings to Geoffrey Chaucer to Shakespearean tragedies to cinema, and now we’re to digital stories that engage an audience. Storytelling isn’t going anywhere.

It’s 2019. How do we leverage design and digital technology to tell stories worth telling? How do we use digital design to market to customers and make our product essential to their lives? How will AI, UI, AR, and all the other acronyms tell my brand’s story?

These are all important questions brands ask themselves. While the answers are challenging to come by, a great place to start is to look at the trends in design and digital.

Here is what RNO1 predicts to be big in 2019.

1. UX Writing Will Be A Hot New Field

There are tons of content marketers out there and now they’re forced to evolve to the ever-changing job market. Content writing isn’t UX writing and UX writing isn’t copywriting, but they do require the same skill — conciseness. If you’re a brand doing a redesign or building an app, you’ll need a UX writer — not a content writer — to improve UI for your users. Look for more specialized UX writer job openings in the tech industry as they are responsible for improving in-app conciseness and functionality.

Image via UX Planet.

2. One-Click Buys Will Appear More Often

Amazon kills the one-click buy game. Amazon customers are so ready to buy when visiting Amazon, they use a one-click buy button on product description pages. It’s incredible they have enough consumer trust they’re going to deliver the right product. This is a great way to create quick conversions from a customer’s trust and readiness to buy.

We predict brands will start implementing one-click buy buttons more often on bottom-of-funnel landing pages and returning customers on their sites.

3. Surreal Design and Motion Will Become More Popular

Intercom is leading the way in this. As content kings, they include a new type of image design for their blog, breaking away from the traditional stock photos and showing off illustrating talent. In-app and on-site motion animations are starting to appear more often with apps like Headspace taking the lead in implementing animations in their onboarding, educational content, and more, creating a unique digital experience for users.

Keep in mind, if you’re just starting out, surreal design may not be the best bet if the customer doesn’t know what kind of service you’re offering. As always, build an audience, and go from there. Also, the wider your audience is, the more traditional your design should be.

Image via Intercom.

4. Backlash against AI

If you Google “Artificial Intellegence” you will find tons of news articles on AI and the future of work, how it’s going to take over our lives, and how powerful it is. It is powerful and it is a great tool to reduce costs and make great products. But, we’re starting to see limitations. Self-driving cars aren’t taking off as once predicted — even worse they’re still dangerous and people are scared of them. AI equals data collection. With the Facebook privacy scandal, more and more people are hesitant to open up their treasure trove of data. Additionally, Facebook is receiving backlash for its failure to moderate online content.

5. Agency Models Will Change

Brands want to be fast and agile. Agencies are forced to keep up. Design Pickle is a great example of a new subscription agency model that gives brands agility and a month-to-month subscription.

RNO1 even established our new Revolve program in order to keep up with fast-moving brands.

6. Customer Service Will Set Good Companies Apart From Great Companies

With the rise of chatbots and messenger apps, there’s no reason companies can’t connect with customers quickly. Companies like Intercom have gotten big for a reason. Companies are leveraging their software to measure engagement, send support articles, and chat with customers easier than ever before. Customer service through chatbots and apps can ensure your customers have a seamless digital experience on your site.

7. Personalization, Personalization, Personalization (As Usual)

This one isn’t new. To create the best digital story for your customers, it needs to be personalized to get their attention. Features like push notifications, location services, and personal features can show that your brand personally knows your customer. There’s a reason companies that prioritize personalization like Netflix, Amazon, and Yelp have a large amount of returning customers.

Here are examples of leading apps that give great personal digital experiences to their users.


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RNO1 is a brand experience & digital design agency — deep-rooted on the west coast, with a global edge. San Francisco | Los Angeles | Seattle | Vancouver