Digital Design Driving Rapid Change For Business and Consumers

Digital Design Driving Rapid Change For Business and Consumers
SHARE
THIS



The look and feel of today’s digital applications is indicative of a cultural shift affecting Australian businesses, says Deniz Nalbantoglu from Webling.

Flat design is a minimalist style of interface design focused on simple elements, typography and flat colours. It removes the illusion of three-dimensions. The approach was popularised by Apple’s iOS7 and quickly spread to the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of all interactive media, platforms and devices.

However, its skin-deep effect is just the beginning and the real story here is a bit deeper. In my opinion, flat design is actually not just a design trend, but most importantly a tell-tale sign of a major cultural shift that is already affecting and will continue to affect Australian businesses.

It actually represents that a critical mass of consumers are now comfortable with interacting with “on screen” content without the need of comfort-inducing interfaces that mimic real life, such as raised buttons designed to look like actual extruded objects or even the total skeuomorphism of Apple’s virtual book covers in virtual bookcases, faux-leather-textured contacts folders and so on. As a side note, I can’t help but extend a cheeky tip of my hat to the UX experts who have hailed these design trends for decades rather quickly distancing themselves from them now, but I digress…

Furthermore, flat design’s wildfire spread means that major tech industry players are now feeling comfortable enough to let go of this 30 year old safety blanket, and finally call a spade a spade – allowing software applications to look, feel and act as they are, and be proud of it. It is akin to the revolution Facebook helped tip over the edge, where Jack and Jill – with their kids, dogs and white picket fences in tow – finally “went online” using their own identities, and the internet was no longer a counter-culture underground meeting place, but a buzzing suburban shopping centre.

This new comfort level is no coincidence of course – it ascends in parallel to a much deeper behavioural and cultural change setting in with each generation, in which centuries-old business models are being completely reshaped in the blink of an eye. As consumers feel more at ease in dealing with machines, new people behind those machines reinvent business again and again in rapid cycles. The exponential speed at which this moves is such that often a business model will be completely replaced with a new one, even before it had a chance to be reap the benefits.

This of course offers enormous opportunities and challenges for any industry. Examples of this are quite sobering. The music industry, once ruled by labels and distributed via physical media sales for over 300 years was defeated by the likes of iTunes in less than a decade. Then, it took less than two years for subscription based models like Spotify to take the crown from digital retail. There’s no time to pop the celebratory champagne though; as even as you read this article self-publishing platforms like SoundCloud are pushing their foot into the door and segmenting the market even further.

Not even the most mundane utilities and services are immune. Banks who have existed as long as man had opposable thumbs have started offering self-service online banking since the late ‘80s, with mixed early success and uptake. In the time it took to achieve critical mass utilisation of online banking, a new generation of financial business models such as peer-to -peer micro lending and community funding have emerged, and started finding audiences in new generations. Sure, they are a long way from toppling the big banks yet, but their impact on the industry as a catalyst for change towards more service-focused and nimbler finance is clear (well, it is  a work in progress of course).

This trend forces entire industries to rethink and reinvent themselves. Retail needs to go beyond shopping and become an experience, kitchen appliances need to become connected gastronomy Sherpas, car manufacturers need to sell in-car entertainment content, grocery giants need to become data merchants and so on, all just to retain an edge.

As far as the global economy and business trends are concerned, if China’s biggest export is deflation, the internet’s largest by-product will be deregulation. International operations tend to circumnavigate local laws, and lawmakers  who were too slow even in the photocopier era are now just spectators to what the “kids are up to” on the internet.  For example, how long before local governments who cannot control Uber’s controversial model give up and do away with limited taxi licensing? What will happen to extremely complicated and costly insurance underwriting regulations when peer-to-peer insurance models start to gain more traction?

One might say that at the end of the day I am reading too much into a mobile phone screen looking a bit different. Maybe that’s true, but in my experience, you sometimes need to squint your eyes to read the writing on the wall.

Deniz Nalbantoglu is the MD at digital agency Webling.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Why The “No” Campaign Is Just One Long Slippery Slope
  • Opinion

Why The “No” Campaign Is Just One Long Slippery Slope

Not exactly your typical marketing/media piece, but here playwright Ron Elisha (pictured below) explains the damage done by the “No” campaign and the now infamous skywriting on a recent blue-sky Sydney Sunday… My daughter is crying. It’s not that she’s fallen over and barked her knee. Nor is it the trauma of immunization, or the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’

QMS Media continues to expand its digital portfolio across Western Australia, switching on an iconic billboard in the heart of Perth. Following the launch of two new digital billboards in the major WA regional centres of Bunbury and Kalgoorlie in recent months, ‘The Leeder’ further delivers on QMS’ digital expansion strategy out west. Positioned at […]

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC
  • Marketing

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC

Global marketing communications agency Text100 has announced it been appointed by data management company NetApp to drive its brand transformation effort across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Following local competitive pitches conducted across the region, Text100 has been appointed as the APAC lead agency out of Singapore, and as the local agency of record in Australia, […]

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

B&T once again donned the tux, applied the Brut, and primed the liver for last night's MFA Awards in Sydney.

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant
  • Media
  • Technology

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant

Digital publisher Concrete Playground has unveiled a new app that helps Millennials plan their night out using voice control – the first of its kind to become available in Australia. Concrete Playground’s Guide to Tonight now works with Google Assistant, making it available on a range of Google devices and helping people to decide what […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]