9 Predictions for Changes to Digital Products in Response to COVID-19

Lisa Adang
OM Design
Published in
4 min readMar 23, 2020


A circle of laptops facing each other, each projecting an avatar on screen.
Digital products will help us overcome the effects of social distancing and address the value shifts that will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. Illustration by Pia Blumenthal.

As a New Yorker and Managing Director at O/M, a bicoastal digital product design studio, I’m carefully following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis as it unfolds. We’re all feeling the impact of the virus on global and local communities, and as individuals and businesses we are adjusting daily to new realities.

O/M is taking steps to continue to serve our clients well while also keeping our culture thriving and distancing ourselves physically. We’re also looking ahead to anticipate what the changing markets will bring so that we can continue to adapt and forge new and continued partnerships in what are otherwise uncertain times.

With 7 years under our belts, O/M has touched quite a few industries, companies, and products. We’re also tuned to looking ahead as we frequently work with research and development teams. As such, here are our projections for the digital product areas that we think will experience change as the world economy shifts and society’s needs, lifestyles, and values transform.

Enjoying content together, remotely

In an environment where we are increasingly isolated, we’re looking to platforms and networks to support social experiences around the content. We’ll want not just entertaining episodes, clips, and movies, but also a way to share the viewing experience with others in a distributed way.

Multifunctional homes

We’ll continue to adorn and equip our homes, increasingly bringing amenities in-house. Gym. Meditation retreat. Garden. Tasting room. Spa. We’ll be looking for ways to bring large-scale experiences into our spaces in small ways.

Better tools for distributed work

Following public health protocol, companies that can support the move have rapidly shifted their workforces online. As a result, we’ll experience a sea change in values towards greater support and acceptance of distributed working models. With this style of working front-and-center, we’ll expect better, more integrated tools for remote work that reduce barriers to collaboration from afar.

Food on demand

During quarantine, we’re spending much more time eating in. We’re developing an even greater reliance on food coming to us in the form of pre-prepared meals, meal kits, and groceries. We’re also hungry for ways to enhance our cooking and dining experience, looking for recipes and guidance in the kitchen, as well as ways to make our food experiences more socially connected.

More ways to stay well

Out of necessity at first and increasing preference over time, we will embrace remote services for health and wellness. Our expectations will shift from in-person visits to remote consultations. We’ll want to manage appointments, services, requests, deliveries, and records online. In general, we’ll want easier, more flexible, more accessible ways to stay healthy.

Richer learning experiences at home

As schools take their classrooms online to reach students at home, schools, parents, teachers, and administrators will increasingly see the value in online learning platforms as a way to become more flexible and resilient to change. Just like our increasing expectations for tools in the professional realm, we’ll want more out of our digital education experiences to better support learning, connection, collaboration, and assessment online.

More robust digital infrastructure

With more labor, education, services and tools moving online, we’ll need more robust digital infrastructure to support us. The bar will need to raise on available computing power, bandwidth, digital storage, and payment processing just to name a few areas of increased demand.

Critical supply chain support

We’re seeing our supply chains pushed to the limit as demand on certain supplies spikes in a time of need, and more people require supplies delivered to their doorstep. Our ability to produce and deliver will remain a core need, and we’ll need better and better tools to manage our increasingly complex systems of exchange.

Culture migrating online

Efforts in the last decade to digitize museum collections and bring performances and lectures to audiences online are paying off in this period of isolation. Whereas web visitors were once seen as peripheral to cultural organizations’ core audience, we’ll see a fundamental shift towards bringing better access to cultural materials and experiences online as a primary focus. We’ll also see diversification of profit models away from ticket sales as institutions grapple with low visitorship.

O/M remains closely coupled with the economic and cultural ecosystems around us. In our mission to empower people and businesses to achieve more, we’re reflecting on the world as it changes, and looking ahead so that we can serve the needs and priorities that will emerge.

What changes do you see coming? How is your business changing? O/M is ready to help you adapt to a changing future.



Lisa Adang
OM Design

Co-founder and COO @ O/M. Formerly @ Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.