Mobility is a key term in the quest to predict where the web will be going in the coming year. We’re betting that 2013 will see a natural but definitive step in the direction of total mobility. Technology is ever evolving, and 2013 looks to be a landmark year filled with new tech, and even more importantly, new consumer behaviours.
Here’s a look at five of our top predictions for your digital future in 2013.
1. Mobile – truly
The Internet, as we know, is dying. While the desktop may not officially go extinct for another few years, with the laptop soon to follow, we predict that mobile devices (inclusive of tablets) will more comprehensively replace the functionality of the traditional computing platform in 2013.
The first elements that will have to catch up are the apps. Truly useful word processing, multimedia editing, and peripheral integration will likely start to surface over the next year; consequently beginning to negate the need for a conventional computer in the process.
The app is killing the URL, too. Already, as consumers, we are more rewarded and less distracted by apps that speak to our interests. Look for an increase in the number of apps from retailers and service providers over the coming year, leading to far fewer traditional visitors to webpages.
These factors combine to signal the swan song of the “internet era.” 2013 may well be recorded as the first year of the “mobile era”, and exciting happenings are sure to unfold in the mobile computing arena over the course of the coming months.
2. Social media upswing
Social media is sure to see an upswing in 2013, due in no small part to the recent embrace of businesses by Pinterest, as well as the new Promoted Posts feature in Facebook. Most of us aren’t yet sold on either service wholly, but we’re betting that these new avenues will prove to be vehicles for the introduction of considerable new features at both sites over the coming year.
Pinterest is sure to add data collection tools to its business accounts, and Facebook will likely refresh, update, or abandon Promoted Posts in favour of something, well, more favourable to businesses.
It is also easy to estimate that social media will serve as the backbone of more integrated marketing strategies across the board. Whereas many companies have viewed social media as a support mechanism for traditional advertising, we’re betting that more conventional marketing will be designed to support social media efforts. This is among the behavioural changes we’re projecting, and as such is one of the more exciting.
3. A web of few words
As content becomes more focussed on action (or rather, interaction), we bet that the amount of text featuring on websites and in-app, especially, will continue to diminish. Increasingly, the online experience is not about the “information superhighway” but is shaping up to be the “interaction superhighway“. Pictures and info-graphics will dominate the process of discovery in the near future.
Simple interfaces, clean designs, and eye-catching colours will continue to be the norm, as they have been for some time now. It is safe to say that the mobile experience, not being conducive to big blocks of text will up the ante on frugality of words over the course of the next year.
4. Big data gets even bigger
The streamlining of the customer’s product discovery and purchasing activities through increased mobility will create a huge influx of useful, valuable data. Since the customer experience becomes rather lean in the mobile world, with apps tailored for the purpose of conversion, the data generated in the process becomes pure gold.
The conventional approach to websites and the “desktop” variants of social networking sites is conducive to killing time for visitors. Mobile devices, while certainly entertaining, do not suffer from the same problem.
One company’s dedicated app can potentially collect data that is squarely focussed on the actions that lead to conversion, which can be equally as valuable to another type of business. This wealth of data flying around begs to be commoditized, and we are betting that 2013 will show an increase in both the useful integrity of this type of data as well as the sharing of this bigger, better data.
5. Up in the clouds
We’re also venturing to say that the physical demand for increased mobility will kill the localized mass storage device in 2013. When was the last time anyone purchased an actual hard disk drive? Who is not tired of the occasional hard drive crash destroying gigabytes of files, photos, music, and movies?
Cloud storage allows us to access our stuff from anywhere in the world. This is good for users for obvious reasons, but also good for designers. The need for print media, CDs and DVD, and even downloadable executable programs is dwindling, allowing businesses to focus financial resources on content and engagement, as opposed to packaging.
The cloud is the catalyst facilitating the move from the age of the internet to the age of mobility, and 2013 is sure to be an explosive year in this department.