The impact of 5G on the design landscape

Nov 15, 2019 · 5 min read

We live in a digitally transforming world where there is a high dependency on wireless cellular networks. Moreover, the speed with which these cellular networks connect every human being across the globe is becoming essential for improved digital communications.

8 years ago, it seemed almost impossible to imagine that technologies like AI and Internet of Things (IoT) that require myriads of data transmitting capabilities would even exist. Today, these networks have revolutionised the way products and services across every industry, viz. finance, healthcare, agriculture, etc. are accessed and utilized.

These are some benefits which the 4th generation of wireless internet connectivity (4G) brought to the table.

Now, let’s imagine a scenario when the network accommodates for all of these benefits, just a hundred times faster. Fortunately, with the advent of the 5th generation of wireless cellular networks (5G), this is a possibility.

What’s the hype about 5G?

The 5G network that is set to roll out in 2020 across the UK first, will offer a speed that is 100 times faster than the current 4G networks. While 4G offers a speed of around 60MB/second, 5G’s offered average realtime speed will be anywhere between 1GB/second and 50 GB/second.

5G is expected to face zero to 1-millisecond network latency (the small delay before the actual data transfer begins) which will lead the data to be transferred without any breakers.

As 5G opens up new opportunities across every segment, it becomes imperative to understand its impact on the design landscape and how do we, as businesses and designers, utilize it to our benefit.

The Netflix of Gaming

With the advent of new technologies, gaming has become increasingly popular amongst the age group of 16–29 years. With co-op games like Call of Duty picking up, online gaming is continuously moving towards games which allow all the players worldwide to connect and play across a common platform, breaking the distance barrier. 5G will mark an end to lags and high latencies and enhance gaming experiences.

With speed not being a barrier, gamers will expect GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) to evolve, making them much more interesting than those of its predecessors. Moreover, as these games will avoid delays in gameplay, mobile gaming will further require a more immersive gaming experience with the click of one button.

The impact on AR and VR design

As we understand, Augmented and Virtual reality today are in the same stages as a computer was, back in 2009; its full potential is still to be unlocked and creating a 5G environment will bring on experiences that have not even been thought of. Research says that we will see the boom of AR and VR by 2025.

Living in 3D will become the norm, where every application you use will generate an experience. The focus of the design landscape will move towards designing comprehensive user experiences and not merely the way a platform is perceived. This includes designing of every dimension, from motion to sound and the interface. User actions will be pre-designed and configured to give out accurate outputs.

User engagement and decision making

With the data transmission speed being enhanced, the second phase of 5G will ensure a standardized utilization of the battery life of phones. This will gradually increase user engagement rates. The timespan of making decisions will improve and user actions will become quicker.

For product design, it will become imperative to emphasize initial attractions which will be the key decision-making points for the users.

Users will not be hesitant in downloading new mobile applications, shifting the focus from the user acquisition to user retention which will drastically change the overall user experience.

Creating custom interactions

Gone will be the days where we would have to make lighter apps which, in turn, affect the design created for the user.

With the improvement in speed, using creative micro-interactions and 3D assets within mobile applications will be possible, making mobile applications more attractive.

Being accustomed to receiving personalized content, users will demand personalized interfaces. A few examples can be personal characters in gaming or creating the appearance of a chatbot that is based on the favorite character of the user.

With the possibilities and opportunities that the 5th generation of cellular connectivity will bring in, the implications in the design landscape are endless. Its impact reaches from the way designs are studied, applied, and utilized. We at Pineapple approach every design accommodating for these possibilities of the future and are waiting to see how the 5th Generation shapes the design landscape.

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The Pineapple Slice

The Pineapple Slice is Pineapple UX/UI studio’s official blog. Here we share our unfiltered thoughts, opinions and thoroughly researched and juicy content based on the experience we have gathered from working with some of the hottest companies around the globe!


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Digital experience studio with a focus on UX/UI designs for products that tell a story.

The Pineapple Slice

The Pineapple Slice is Pineapple UX/UI studio’s official blog. Here we share our unfiltered thoughts, opinions and thoroughly researched and juicy content based on the experience we have gathered from working with some of the hottest companies around the globe!

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