At Smallfry, we are forward thinkers. We are always looking at new trends and future perspectives so that we can respond to each brief as innovatively as possible and prepare you for whatever the future holds.
During this difficult time when the world has ground to a halt, it is vital that we look at the long-term and short-term effects of COVID-19. Even if we find a cure to the virus that allows society to return to normal, there will be lasting effects on our population. However, this can be the driver for social and global change. Hence, the post COVID-19 world will spark a new acceleration in technological development as communities renew their priorities and re-establish common goals.
With the user-centred design approach we adopt for all our projects, it has never been more important to understand and anticipate the wants, goals and fears for us. Where the focus for 2019 design was on creating unique and considered user experiences, the goalposts for 2020 will look considerably different.
For example, the usually risk-tolerant millennial population will become much more obsessive about health and hygiene with a heightened respect for physical and mental well-being. The mindset of users will and has already changed; we will be much more aware of what and who we come into contact with, seeking assurance from brands and retailers that the experiences they offer are safe and clean.
These design solutions will be much more considered than the increasingly common elbow operated door handles or automatic toilet flushers, for example. Our entire system will be redeveloped. Virtual experiences will be the new norm and not viewed as a compromise to the ‘real thing’ – in essence, the ‘real thing’ will be redefined as virtual rather than physical. Haptic feedback and virtual reality will be used to enhance these experiences.
While we have seen an increase in anxiety in some areas, COVID-19 has also provoked improvements in other aspects of our lives. Our home and work life has collided unexpectedly and, for some, has become a lot more balanced in many cases.
This freelance movement has increased our flexibility and changed how we value our time. The better work-life balance has initiated a greater connection to nature and green spaces. As a result, sustainability, circular economies and the war on plastics will continue to grow as we take a step back and change our priorities.
Everything will change… how we live, travel, work, communicate.
We have never had such a great opportunity, and responsibility, to redefine the new normal.