We're wrapping up a year of big leaps in hardware—smart watches and Google Glass dominated much of the tech talk of late. In 2014 we’ll see exciting growth in the platforms and applications that bring this hardware to life. We'll also see businesses evolve as they realize the real power of the web.
Here are our Tech and Web predictions for the year ahead:
Digital Communities Reorganize Real Communities
This year companies began to understand the revolutionary impact the Cloud can have on their businesses. Just yesterday the City of Vancouver unveiled their 3-year digital strategy at an AIM lunch, and it is all about delivering online services, inviting the public to solve problems through open data sets, and bringing together communities through digital channels (ummm, and did we mention we just launched a newly RESPONSIVE site for the City?). In 2014 more and more organizations will begin to seriously rethink the way they operate, and use the power of the Cloud to do it.
Smarty Aluminum Pants
While we’re not foreseeing an apocalyptic film-scale...
Responsive design has officially hit the mainstream. Mobile thinking has infused even the most traditional organizations. And HTML5 is quickly gaining ground. Clearly 2013 was a big year for web design.
In 2014, we predict web design will be more about the steak than the sizzle. Here’s what our Design team says to watch for in the year ahead:
With the release of several smart watches and Google Glass this year, users will be consuming online information on smaller screens than ever. This will continue to push simplicity and efficiency as high priorities.
On the flip side, monitor resolution is rapidly increasing, enabling crisper images on larger screens. Expect to see web technologies that are flexible in nature (icon fonts, SVGs and CSS3) used in interesting new ways. Retina images are definitely a hot topic, and no one is sure where we’ll land on the question of responsive images. Either way, as graphics get sharper and come in a greater variety of sizes...
Last year we put our heads together and predicted trends you’d see in 2013. Most of them came to fruition and the rest are well underway. It was a pretty fun game, so we’re doing it again.
First up, our Strategy team weighs in on what they expect to see (or to see more of) in Marketing and Storytelling during the year ahead. The overarching themes? Curation and authenticity.
Marketing loses its middle-man
With a respectful nod to those original Madison Avenue pioneers, we’ll wave goodbye to the ad-man. Instead experts will talk directly to customers. No more watered-down intermediaries. Finally the web will destroy base-less marketing claims and ensure the people who know will connect directly with the people who want to know.
News publishing has undergone big disruptions in the last two decades, yet reporters still write for the masses. The internet enables niche, one-to-one communication, and this is the year we may finally see it used effectively. Like an extension of your curated Twitter feed, we’ll see writing that’s catered to specific...
Hard to be believe, not even two years ago I was still trying to explain the role of Facebook to clients—even the most media-literate, savvy ones.
Today it’s rare to find a consumer-facing business that doesn’t have a Facebook page. As a B2B business, reaching peers and potential clients through Twitter and LinkedIn is essential to your communications strategy. But for a B2C company, Facebook is likely the first place your customers are looking to engage with you on a regular basis. Even though Domain7 is primarily B2B, Facebook is one of our top sources of web traffic—right after Google organic search and regent-college.edu.
For a long time Facebook was a deadend for analytics data—their so-called “insights” didn’t tell you much more than your number of Likes. But when Facebook Insights got an overhaul this past summer, it suddenly became a trove of useful data and market research.
This handy post from...
Digital storytelling appeals to the craftsmen and the performers—the people who love changing minds and causing reactions.
It’s a term that’s on everyone’s lips lately, but it’s hard to find tools and training for it—not all of us can participate in “unconferences,” visit the Berkeley Centre or attend local (sold out!) digital storytelling workshops. We need some bite-sized, takeaway bits about executing great story ideas in the wild.
Here’s a great place to start: the Story Scrum.
The Story Scrum is essentially four short questions to ask any time you need to structure a story idea or double-check that your story has a proper arc.
- Empathy: How do you feel right now?
- Desire: What do you want?
- Conflict: Why can’t you have it? What is in the way?
- Resolution: How will you feel once you get it? ...
A carpenter is only as good as his tools.
I love this saying as it conjures up memories of my childhood working with my father in the family business. He had a favourite hammer that was a permanent fixture in his toolbelt. He loved that hammer! I swear he would almost get a little teary eyed as he tried to explain how, with the right tools, you can create beautiful things.
User personas are a fundamental tool in user experience (UX) designer’s tool belt. And with any tool, skillful use is more about knowing how and when to use it.
It’s important to first understand what your goals are. Craft personas with your website in mind—following a one-size-fits-all template isn’t ideal.
We use personas to accomplish the following:
- Allow us as a team to live and breathe our users’ world
- Filter out our own personal preferences and quirks
- Apply this knowledge to make better strategic decisions
- Help us prioritize design and development trade-offs
1/ Live and breathe our users’ world
Take the time to get to know your users. If at all possible, go out and talk with real people—watch them use...
Content is everything on the web. It’s why you log-on, check-in, scroll down or click here. We’re always on the quest for something useful, interesting, entertaining.
It’s probably why you’re reading this post right now (seeing my handsome mug on the page is just a bonus). The latest Association of Integrated Marketers (AIM) event on November 7 took this a step further and looked at why all brands actually need to be publishers and media companies. Here are a few highlight I took away from it.
Tom Gierasimczuk / BC Business (Moderator)
You may be inclined toward content marketing over SEO marketing these days. You may be inclined to put marketing funds into content rather than PR—afterall the ROI on pushing content through your own channels can be greater than trying to disseminate content through professional media outlets.
“Advertising in the future will be like sex. Only losers will pay for it”
We likely don't see the need to pay for media because people are drawn to content through their feeds, which are controlled by curators and peers. Rather than relying on the interruption...
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