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Design Thirty Years Ago
Thirty years ago the internet was in its infancy and design only lived in a few forms. Print, video, products, and architecture. If you wanted to promote your business you did it with flat images. Sometimes those flat images would be moving on television, but everyone starts with print. And these formats haven’t gone away. We still have magazines, commercials, billboards, flyers, posters, etc… But technology came in and changed things for everyone, forever.
How Interactivity Changed Design
In the 90s, it began. The nation started to get connected and entrepreneurs saw the potential of doing business in a connected space. Suddenly you could promote and inform your customers with an interactive website. Animated banner ads were everywhere, looping endlessly. Marketing now involved more than copywriters and artists. People who knew programming and networking were now essential. I am sure more than one person lost their office to become a server room. The design team grew to handle the new demands of clients. What once took place on drafting tables, was now behind the computer screen.
It’s been twenty years since all this started and much has changed. Faster internet speeds made video viable online, and audio in the form of podcasts and online radio. Smart phones got the computer out of the house and into our pockets. Again this changed how we build for the web. Mobile is becoming king. Things we used to need a computer for we can now do on our phones. Apps are firmly entwined with our day to day lives. And then there is social media.
We put our whole lives online. Every birthday, plate, comment, feeling, drunken evening; all online. This makes advertizing laser focused. We can now target you directly. Like a jean company on facebook? Great! Expect to see ads for jeans. Like “Dancing in the rain”? Expect to see ads for umbrellas. You will see tailored ads everywhere. Even your location can determine what ads you see. When visiting other towns you could be getting restaurant recommendations for the place by your hotel. Many oppose having who they are known by the business world, I don’t. I haven’t seen an ad for AARP in ages. It’s wonderful.
What’s going to change things again like the smart phone? My money is on alternate reality glasses or AR for short. Microsoft Hololens was recently unveiled and reports are that it works but is still a bit clunky. If you are not familiar with what alternate reality is be sure to check out this article by wired. (Article Here: Project HoloLens: Our Exclusive Hands-On With Microsoft’s Holographic Goggles | Wired ) While we may not have alternate reality next week, or next year, it won’t be long until it’s good. Then not much longer after that until alternate reality is in our everyday lives.