Mobile devices have become an integral part of our lives. They’re with us as we run errands. They’re our companions and guides on our travels. They’re our trusted advisers for comparing and selecting goods and services. They’re how most of us now connect with our community of work, family and friends.
As we close in on the tipping point where desktop experiences are no longer the default, a few trends are emerging around how we craft all digital creative for this new world. Let’s look at a few examples.
New, More Graphics-Based UX Experiences
Users are becoming reliant on content they can see at a glance, as well as choices that are simple and easy to navigate through with the touch of a finger while on the move.
This means more forward-thinking mobile designs are naturally moving away from traditional interfaces (with an abundance of chrome) in favor of very targeted and relevant content displayed in simple ways.
Users are becoming accustomed to moving through content rather than choosing from amongst a large list of choices. One example is the recent responsive redesign of Microsoft.com. Not a brand typically known for its devotion to design, they have nonetheless invested in a well-thought-out visual interface that provides a simple, beautiful and highly-visual experience both on desktop and mobile devices.
I predict we will see an increase in the adoption of a design aesthetic and UX standard favoring big, bold images with less and more-succinct copy. This style will become the new normal. Experiences like Remote Control Tourist will be less the exception and more the rule.
Content Tailored For The Mobile Cyborg
With the cascade of mobile devices flowing into the marketplace almost daily, a whole new type of human interaction with content and information has begun to evolve.
Interacting with a touchscreen means that devices have become more like extensions of the body than a laptop or desktop — with their keyboard or mouse controlling actions on a vertical standing screen — ever were.
This is to say that users are becoming acclimated to interacting with devices in a more intimate and intuitive way. Phones and tablets are held close to the body, and interactions happen directly on screen with one or two gestures. While Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch haven’t yet reached critical mass, their creation illustrates the increasing appetite for more body-centric devices and new ways of interacting with information environments.
There’s also an increase in the everyday use of on-body devices like Fitbit or the Nike Fuelband that collect and transmit the most personal of data points. This means that brands will need to continue to seek and foster interactions that build trust and continue to bring value to the users.
Whether that’s the tone or the context of the content messaging, it’s becoming more personal. The creative bar is set higher for content that’s relevant and respectful to the individual and messages that are benefit-based.
Intense Moments Of Entertainment & Delight
Not only are mobile screens smaller than TVs or traditional computer monitors, they’re also (for the most part) being jiggled about in high-glare environments full of other distractions. Short, fast-loading videos are becoming more and more popular. Note the introduction and increasing popularity of formats like Vine that are primarily available as a mobile experience.
Short bursts of creativity (oftentimes emotion-based) are influencing how brands approach their cross-channel messaging. Whether it’s a display ad, email or even an SMS message, if it can’t be communicated intuitively and quickly, it’s oftentimes not considered a successful creative execution.
So, the next time you dive into a creative brief exercise, take a cue from the mobile experience and remember: regardless of the channel, your audience just might be craving an intense visual experience that they can connect and interact with intuitively.
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