Digital campaigns future - visions & trends

18.8.2012    Zdeněk Hornych   

So much has changed in a digital branch over the last years so that other branches have a lot to envy (e.g. technology, demands and information transfer). The most significant change has occurred in the digital branch. Digital is neither a paper sheet nor a television. It is a unique medium.

Technology and emotions are good shots

It is fascinating what kinds of tools exist to browse the web content! Thanks to them we are able to use new technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, CSS and JS animations. In the future, 3D graphics will break through by means of WebGL as well as vector graphics and SVG will play a role in the digital branch. Mobile devices are going to implement the augmented reality more. We are going to stop designing for a particular device as we have already started doing so. We design and will design for users and we know that they use various platforms and a huge range of different resolutions.

New trends are just evident. We are not here to deliver just plain information with online pictures from iStock. We desire to tell a company’s or product’s story and to experience a funny and mysterious journey with users through the web and allow them to find not only relevant information but also feel that magic and atmosphere of the solution presented. We want users to feel the same passion as we do so the users will return to the website and will tell their friends “Check this out, this is a really cool website!” When users connect such emotions with your brand, the brand will become unforgettable.

When building new modern websites, do not omit the idea of a positive thinking or transmitting emotions. Do you think that it is all about a budget? No, not at all! The key is courage, lust for innovations and need of designing new creative ideas and solutions..

Cloud solutions

Trend has been and still will be the same, to provide a hosting of cloud nodes. Everybody is talking about it but when it comes to the quality cloud offers, the reality is different. To get the cloud to be a real cloud each unit has to be fully redundant and replaceable without a slightest service failure. At the same time, we require the cloud to have a scalable solution. In other words, to be flexible and respond quickly to direct requirements when the output is increasing.

We are not interested in server hardware anymore. Everything is fully virtualized. We do not care about the amount of processors we'd like to add to the server. We simply increase the amount by another ten processors without bothering about the hardware. The main directive unit takes care of the transfer. The unit is definitely redundant and fully replaceable.

These are huge advantages not only for web providers but also for ordinary users who profit from the cloud. It will always be very important to provide information without delay. That’s why CDN comes into play! CDN makes sure that the user gets information from the closest geographical server. Why should information travel from the U.S.A. to Europe when we can get it from American data centre? Welcome to the global world!

Do not underestimate the user!

Nowadays, we can expect a higher interactivity from the user than it used to be years or months ago. Yes! The users have been exploring the same as we, the online project creators have. They are getting used to an opportunity to browse the web with different navigations tools than those ones with five buttons we have now. The Web visitor is willing to use a keyboard, smile into the camera or connect his Facebook account with other websites.

Regarding users' social interactivity, it is becoming more and more common to integrate social media into campaigns or whole digital strategies.

When using social sites, the user gets an entertaining and interactive campaign or a website content to play with. Nowadays, we use the interactivity especially when using their photos for telling a story.

Visual stimulation

It is so cool to browse pictures but we can go much further. What about personalising a video while recording? Not a problem! Let the user get an opportunity to influence the story of the video where he or she can be the main character. Sometimes it is hard to believe that such things are possible but they really are.

You can bet that this kind of video will get the attention and that people will share it with their friends. Voilá, the viral exposure has just been born. And it is your branded video which has gone viral.

So why is it working? I guess that scientific research would give us the answer. Diana Tamir, the psychologist from Massachussetts caught my attention. She specialises in research of brain behavioural changes.

When you talk about yourself or you see your photographs in a „professional“ story, the brain functions as if you just were having sex. Now I finally know why I love talking about our company so much :) But let’s get back to the main point. In simple terms, if the user becomes part of the „story“, you will attract his attention and his loyalty will increase.

This reminds me of my old memory that still makes me smile. Back in 1997, I was dealing with my very first online project - to visualise the periodic chart online. I was launching the project on a different domain and was supposed to write ~ after the slash. At that time I was totally like: „Hey man, no one can write this, I will have to send the link to everyone.“ Do you get the total UX nonsense?! At that time, nobody was able to understand me - UX did not exist. Even today I have been able to write ~ at the third try :)

What else then?

The content is the key to success. It is not enough to write the text, we have to tune it and play with it.

Nowadays, we design things for users, not for a particular design. The era of half-solutions have to come to an end, it’s not satisfactory anymore. We will succeed only when users are satisfied and feel happy about the story told.

What about mobile applications? There are thousands of them in one single device. We have to install, refresh, and constantly log in because of 15 updates or dozens of screens and dozens of directories. What will be next? We know that this is not the right direction.

It is possible to organize device interfaces by website. For example, we can communicate with a tablet PC gyroscope. Tilting the tablet from side to side makes the web to react and communicate interactively with the user. Web! Do you get it? Magic Web!

So when we can do all these things through the web, we do not have to install all the other applications. Simply, the user can save those applications in one bookmark. No need to deal with the updates. UX! What a joy!

It is not enough to only have super cool technology but is also necessary to have an amazing design. Nevertheless, the most important of all is to react IMMEDIATELY. If not doing so it can be a big disincentive for some companies. The digital express is always on the move and you can only hop on and enjoy the ride if you are a good agency and you are able to adapt to the changes!

Never give up on educating yourself but also the others! That is the only key to progress. The future is magnificent and I am thrilled to be a part of the new digital technologies era with all that it brings.