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10 trends reshaping digital

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The cycle of innovation and iteration that digital is known for means existing concepts can suddenly find radically new trajectories. In this report, we highlight ten ideas that have been gaining rapid traction, and which will reshape how we digitally interact with the world around us.

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10 trends reshaping digital

  1. 1. 10 trends reshaping digital Updated Q1 2016 A Beyond Report
  2. 2. Introduction What’s in this report? The digital industry is fond of coining new words and terms, often for things that aren't so new when you scratch the surface. But it is also an industry where rethinking the status quo is a constant. You may already be familiar with many of the trends in this report, but the cycle of innovation and iteration that this industry is known for means existing concepts can suddenly find radically new trajectories. In this report we highlight ten ideas that are gaining rapid traction today, and which will reshape how we digitally interact with the world around us. How to use it? To help you organize your priorities for the trends 
 in this report, we have organized them as "Trends 
 to prepare for now" and “Trends to start thinking about”. Trend to start thinking about Trend to prepare for now
  3. 3. Non-traditional UIs are changing interaction design 
 as we know it 1 Trend to start thinking about
  4. 4. We are moving further away from traditional input and display modes for information. Already, people are bypassing apps and completing tasks through interaction with notifications - especially with the rise in popularity 
 of wearable devices. Increased innovation around voice and gesture recognition will continue to render traditional UIs even less important 
 in app design as users complete tasks on their mobiles without even 
 picking them up. At WWDC 2015 Apple claimed that Siri currently serves up 1 billion requests a week (almost as much as a tenth of the mobile searches 
 Google is estimated to be serving) and is 40% faster and more accurate than last year. Trend to start thinking about
  5. 5. The sensor can track sub-millimetre motions at high speed and accuracy. This means that once the chip reaches mass adoption, users could control their phone by simply rubbing their fingertips together in mid air. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QNiZfSsPc0). Brands will need 
 to start thinking about how they can adapt their online and app-based 
 services to ensure consumer interactions are simplified through a more invisible, yet intuitive, UI layer. Getting this user experience right will be particularly important as more and more notifications compete for our attention. In 2015 Google 
 introduced Project Soli, a new interaction sensor which tracks hand gestures using radar technology. Trend to start thinking about
  6. 6. - Hal Varian, Google App functionality on demand will blur the distinction between the web and apps 2 Trend to prepare for now
  7. 7. - Hal Varian, The app experience outperforms the mobile browser experience - it's faster and more streamlined, typically using a cleaner UI. It also has a better integration of native functionality, such as using the camera to add credit card info rather than having to type it. This level of experience means that people prioritize apps over their mobile browser. Apps dominate the time we spend on our phones - it’s 
 as high as 90% according 
 to Flurry. But app use is dominated by a small handful of social networking and messaging apps, with Facebook being by far the largest. By some estimates, the top 0.01% 
 of apps garner 99% of all use and monetization. This concentration of attention is a huge barrier for mobile app developers and threatens the diversity of choice that we are used to from the web. Trend to prepare for now
  8. 8. The two largest platforms - Apple and Google - need to address those barriers or risk leaving customers with much poorer diversity as part of their ecosystem. Google has already introduced streaming of apps and we should expect 
 to see other new ways of accessing app functionality in 2016. For example, using app functionality on demand for a temporary amount of time could be a feature introduced soon by Apple and Google. Brands should start thinking about how they could leverage this, especially if they don't qualify as having a use case for an "everyday app" relationship with their customers. Trend to prepare for now
  9. 9. Intranets are having a resurgence through the advent of Employee Experience Design 3 Trend to prepare for now
  10. 10. A third-generation of internal business comms platforms 
 have emerged, and they are using social networking-style functionality to drive more effective collaboration. It’s not the first time companies have tried to bring social 
 to the enterprise, Yammer (acquired by Microsoft) being a notable early incarnation. Now, with the rise of user-centred consumer experience design putting pressure on businesses to pay similar attention to their employees’ needs, employee comms are moving away from cumbersome, feature dense project management tools and linear services like emails. Companies are overhauling their internal comms platforms to become lean, interactive and reminiscent of the digital experiences that employees partake in outside of work. Trend to prepare for now
  11. 11. Slack, Hipchat and the recently launched Facebook at Work are rethinking work communication with Slack earning the distinction of being the fastest-growing enterprise app ever. Slack has formed integration partnerships with tools such 
 as Lyft, Dropbox, Twitter and Trello, so employees get an overview of all the information they need in one well-designed experience. The reinvention of intranets represents fertile ground for user-centred design that has a focus on employees rather than customers. Trend to prepare for now
  12. 12. Employers are moving towards much more flexible workplace tools and solutions - ones that resemble how consumer apps easily combine data streams through APIs to bring much greater convenience to the user. These tools are emblematic of how so many business tools 
 and systems have catastrophically failed in the past. Instead of implementing monolithic systems designed to satisfy technical requirements, companies can now rapidly build and customize systems by connecting the components that best meet their employees’ needs. Slack isn’t for everyone, but it has shown that workplace apps are in dire need of using today’s digital design practices. The beauty of Slack and many of these other tools is their simplicity - the barrier to entry (and to user benefit) is so low that they gain enough momentum to be adopted en masse. Our patience for software that offers a poor user experience is incredibly low - if we struggle with something, we will simply abandon it and try something else. Our level of expectation is incredibly high, both as a consumer and an employee. Companies are now starting to realize they can use new frameworks to design solutions that can be as good as the best digital consumer experiences - something the enterprise has been lacking for a long time. The key is to design these solutions around the needs of their employees, rather than force their employees into a solution that doesn't fit their needs. Trend to prepare for now
  13. 13. Virtual assistants will enable new commerce platforms, replacing search engines as we know them 4 Trend to start thinking about
  14. 14. Companies are racing to build products that act as omniscient personal assistants, automating cognitive tasks. Some products - like Apple’s Siri, Google Now, or Microsoft’s Cortana - 
 rely entirely on algorithms and though they can be used by a lot of people, their range of tasks remains limited. Others, like startups Magic and Operator or gig-economy companies like TaskRabbit, employ people to respond to text-based requests. These services can get nearly anything done, but are hard to scale. Facebook M is a hybrid. It’s a virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence as well as a band of Facebook employees, dubbed M trainers, who will make sure that every request is answered while also training the AI so that it eventually can take over. Early reports indicate that this hybrid approach is paying dividends and may prove to be the way forward. We’ve seen this approach be effective in getting text analytics (NLP) to work better, and next-generation machine learning techniques should enhance this further. Trend to start thinking about
  15. 15. Google Now takes this further, using passive AI technology 
 for Android phones. This means your phone has access to 
 all the information within its apps, and can make recommendations or offer to take action based on everything 
 it knows about you and the information within its apps. If 
 you have a flight booked, Google Now will keep you updated on the flight status, advise you on timings for your journey to 
 the airport and prepare your boarding pass for you. The company that wins the virtual assistant race stands to profit from matching businesses with people looking for services similar to theirs, much as Google currently does through search, creating a gold rush in the years ahead between the tech giants. Many see a more advanced and reliable assistant replacing search engines. Whether controlled with voice commands like Siri or through a text- based messenger like Facebook M, AI-powered assistants not only surfaces information you are looking for based on what it already knows about you but can go one step further and complete tasks. These services are becoming more ingrained into the way we interact with our devices. Trend to start thinking about
  16. 16. Open data is finally taking off 5 Trend to prepare for now
  17. 17. - Hal Varian, Google Now 70 countries have made their data relating to transport, crime, property tax records and much more available to the general public. Although around 1 million datasets have been published to open data portals, historically much of it was poorly labelled, disorganized, lacking context and seldom updated. We are seeing a growing trend of ‘open-data hackathons’ that connect data custodians with analysts, coders and entrepreneurs. These cross-functional teams look to create successful businesses by comparing different data sets to provide valuable information to end users. Six years ago America 
 became the first country to make all data collected by its government “open by default” - except for personal information and that related to national security. Trend to prepare for now
  18. 18. Property website Zillow, GPS company Garmin and the route planning app Citymapper are just three examples of multi-million pound businesses built using free government data. A large number of startups have been founded on the basis of exploiting these new data sets. For example, we recently worked with a startup that developed machine learning algorithms that use WHO data sets to solve medical insurance problems. We have probably only seen the start of this and there will be many more new ventures that will find new ways to create value through open data. Trend to prepare for now
  19. 19. The personal information economy market will take off in earnest in 2016 6 Trend to prepare for now
  20. 20. The idea of personal information being an asset class was circulated by the World Economic Forum back in 2011 and Doc Searls (author of the Cluetrain Manifesto) has been writing extensively about customers taking charge of their own data. When discussing data collection by companies, Apple CEO Tim Cook was quoted as saying “we think customers will rebel over this. Over the arc of time, customers will move to people they trust with their data.” Consumer backlash against personal 
 data collection by companies is creating an opportunity for new intermediaries 
 to help consumers take back control of their data. Trend to prepare for now
  21. 21. 89% of consumers agree with this statement: “I should be able to control what data a company collects about me online, and what it uses this data for." Source: BCS / YouGov December 2015 Enter the idea of a Personal Information Economy, where value is created by letting consumers take control of their data and use it to better manage their tasks. Consultancy Ctrl-Shift is now tracking 500 companies in the space who have received a total of $2.5 Bn in investments so far. We saw MyWave’s presentation at this year’s Personal Information Economy conference in December 2015 (organized by Ctrl-Shift) and were duly convinced that this market is now ready for take-off. Trend to prepare for now
  22. 22. / They will be able to build on this trust by launching new services that help their customers manage more aspects of their lives. This shift will be part of the continued move from generic mass marketing campaigns to tailored targeted interactions initiated by consumers sharing - knowingly or unknowingly - a purchase intention or unfilled need online. Businesses need to build an online infrastructure to support this new kind of relationship with consumers by developing the correct online skills, capabilities, technologies and channels. PIMS (Personal Information Management Services) is one example of the kind of services that can help consumers complete life tasks more efficiently. As an extension of the mortgage products they sell to their customers, a bank could, for example, offer a solution for consumers to manage the whole process of moving house. Much of the data captured in the mortgage application process can be repurposed to facilitate the complex task of moving. Smart brands that understand this opportunity and actually build data strategies that benefit their customers will win in the battle for customer trust. Trend to prepare for now
  23. 23. Brands that fail to improve the mobile checkout experience are facing big drops in overall conversion levels 7 Trend to prepare for now
  24. 24. When it comes to the share of traffic coming from mobile, almost every company we talk to has long passed the 50% mark, and some are bracing 
 for the 70% mark. Sooner or later, e-commerce sales will have to follow - and consumers now seem to be getting comfortable with the idea of buying 
 things on their phone. Black Friday was a key milestone in 2005 in the UK and US. Mobile sales represented almost half of all online sales in the UK, and 63% of traffic. The US wasn't far behind. Trend to prepare for now
  25. 25. Mobile conversions, including transaction values, have historically been limited. They have underperformed against PC conversions, due to customers being deterred by small screen sizes, awkward data entry and security concerns. The mobile checkout experience for most brands is poor, leading to sub-optimal conversion rates. Businesses are often too focused on trying to transpose their desktop checkout experience onto a smaller screen, rather than considering the mobile context and functionality and designing the experience accordingly. The fact that consumers are now ready to buy things on their phone is a wake up call for brands that have not optimized their mobile experience, especially the most critical part – the checkout journey. With the rapid change in consumer behavior, brands that are too slow to adjust will lose out faster than they expect. Trend to prepare for now
  26. 26. Increased friction in the competitive sharing economy8 Trend to prepare for now
  27. 27. The connecting power of the internet and the rise of digital platforms that leverage a ‘sharing economy’ business model enable professionals to monetize specific skills they have or resources they own. New businesses like Uber, Mechanical Turk and MyClean successfully exploit the advantages of a light-weight, low investment, internet-based set-up: a reduced need for physical offices; a reduced need for full time, contracted employees; the use of computers to repackage consumer needs into another set of users tasks; and an ability to access spare time and cognitive capacity all across the world. Trend to prepare for now
  28. 28. - Hal Varian, Google As these businesses scale up from challenger brands to industry leaders, they will struggle to hire, train, manage and motivate employees who have little loyalty to their part-time employer - and they will also face more regulatory scrutiny. Brands like Uber are focusing on retaining their customer base by slashing prices but as a result, they’re losing drivers to their competitors, who pay better. These companies need to strike the balance between customer and resource retention. As seen with Uber in France and Germany, new markets, competitors and regulators will respond to the cannibalization of established brands and industries by these digital alternatives. Better value to the customer may not save new digital upstarts from being politically outmanoeuvred by established players. Although this new generation of businesses are fulfilling unmet consumer needs, 
 they fail to offer sustainable employment to their part- time staff. Trend to prepare for now
  29. 29. It’s not just entertainment companies betting on the mass adoption of VR 9 Trend to prepare for now
  30. 30. As they bet on second- and third-generation headsets achieving mass adoption, a range of uses and revenue opportunities will open up through 
 the platform. It’s not likely to be an overnight success, but rather, similar 
 to the adoption of mobile phones: large, somewhat cumbersome devices 
 will attract early adopters but as devices become better performing, 
 better looking and cheaper, more people will begin to use them. Certainly, major brands within the entertainment industry such as Disney, Sony, Comcast, Time Warner, 20th Century Fox and Legendary Entertainment have already invested millions in VR content. But there are many other industries betting on it becoming a mass-market medium. Piper Jaffray investment bank predicts that, by 2025, the market for virtual reality content will be $5.4 billion, while the hardware component will be worth $62 billion. Dozens of industries are investing in the VR space Trend to prepare for now
  31. 31. “People are valuing experiences more than things” Raja Rajamannar, CMO of MasterCard, which is why MasterCard is discussing how it might use VR technology to give customers insights into places they might like to visit. Companies will continue to explore B2B uses for VR as well. Ford has started using Oculus headsets to help its designers see what new cars will look like before they are built, while the aviation and medical industries are developing training programs using VR. 2016 will be about proving that VR is a truly disruptive product rather than a luxury tech gimmick. To achieve this, designers will have to meet the challenge of designing interfaces to be seen in a three-dimensional ‘real world space’. This will involve testing the waters to find out the level of interference users will tolerate in their field of vision as well as battling various privacy issues. VR headsets have the ability to track and record a user’s movements and reactions, which is the sort of data that, when combined with the kind of information collected by companies such as Facebook, can reveal a lot about the users’ private lives and habits. Trend to prepare for now
  32. 32. "VR is going to grow slowly. If you think about the arrival of computers or smartphones, the first units shipped did not ship tens of millions in their first year. But they proved an idea and made it real.” Mark Zuckerberg Trend to prepare for now
  33. 33. Retailers and consumer brands will collaborate to create more seamless customer journeys10 Trend to prepare for now
  34. 34. Brands and retailers will 
 pool their data to achieve 
 a deeper understanding of 
 their consumer’s broader online behavior. For brands that don't sell directly to the consumer (such as drinks and snack manufacturers), e-commerce remains tricky territory. These brands invest large sums to create branded online experiences, content and campaigns. But by not controlling the final part of the journey - purchase - they are in effect stuck with a broken customer journey. Retailers can significantly enhance the value they deliver by providing more flexible solutions for brands to connect their marketing efforts to the point of online sale. Key to this is the utilization and sharing of data. It enables promotion types that are difficult to get right offline, such as personalized offers based on purchasing behaviors. It can also enable brands to reach the right customers with rich content at the point where they are trying to make a decision. Trend to prepare for now
  35. 35. E-tailers like Amazon are innovating in this space, but many traditional retailers are also pioneering new solutions that consumer product manufacturers are getting excited about. Perhaps the biggest opportunity is that of sharing data. By pooling retailer data with brand data, both can start to learn more about the entire consumer journey - from awareness through to purchase. This can enable better targeting and personalization - which doesn't necessarily mean more ads and retargeting. In fact, most large brands worry about excessive targeting and want to use data to minimize the showing of ads to someone who has already seen it, or has just bought the product. As brands strive to be more relevant to consumers’ needs when they are looking to get something done, data is key to understanding user intent. Trend to prepare for now
  36. 36. Contact details Matt Iliffe GM San Francisco 77 Maiden Lane, 3rd Floor San Francisco CA 94108 USA T: +1 415 374 2874 E: sanfrancisco@bynd.com Charlie Lyons GM London 75 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3XF UK T: +44 (0)20 7908 6555 E: london@bynd.com Matt Basford GM New York 481 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York NY 10013 USA T: +1 646 535 1677 E: newyork@bynd.com San Francisco New York London Emma Downham GM Mountain View 1300 Villa St Mountain View CA 94041 USA T: +1 415 374 2874 E: mountainview@bynd.com Mountain View
  37. 37. Thanks for reading. This trend report was brought to you by the research and strategy team at Beyond as part of our ongoing work to help create a world without friction. www.bynd.com