At our office in the hub of Old Street, the Red C team have compiled our predictions for the year ahead. There has been some debate within the office over the list - only time will tell who has predicted correctly.
This year we have followed UX trends closely, see our collection of blogs from 2016 for more. One strong trend to catch the attention of our design team is the move towards interaction through conversation. Many of our favourite apps have added a Bot in 2016 and Duolingo's new addition caught our attention. Avoid the embarrassment of learning a new language face-to-face and engage in a virtual conversation with a bot instead. The move towards interaction through conversation can be seen as the result of app users demanding an increasingly personalised experience.
Here at Red C, we have joined the bandwagon and purchased this year's must-have Christmas gift, the Amazon Echo Dot. This hands-free device is voice controlled, you can ask Alexa pretty much anything. Connected with some of our favourite apps such as Uber and Spotify, the possibilities are endless. We believe Alexa will see the release of more apps that allow the user to control their home remotely. Whether it is turning your heating on or turning off your WIFI whilst the kids are home. Our team looks forward to developing some awesome voice-controlled apps with Alexa Skills.
Virtual Reality is a contentious point on this list in the Red C office. With some claiming VR will rise during 2017 and others marking next year as its demise. One member of the team likened VR to that of 3D Televisions which are in decline. Others believe that VR adoption will continue to rise with its second attempt. Initially, VR was an expensive, clumsy and basic experience but this time around many of us already carry a VR device in our pockets in the form of smartphones. Only one final piece of headgear is required to complete the setup.
2016 has seen FinTech continue its strong upward trend. We are proud to have worked alongside innovative Fintech's such as Centtrip, providing customers with new ways to manage their foreign currency. Alternatives to traditional banking are on the rise and we’re keeping an eye on Starling who have recently acquired their banking license, although there are many more startups we could mention here. These new options are providing customers with bespoke experiences - banking with creative insights and modern accessible tech. 2017 will no doubt continue to see Fintech race ahead of traditional banks.
This year live video streaming has seen a 600% increase on 2015 and we believe it will only continue to grow especially as the likes Facebook, Instagram and YouTube push live video to their audiences. With users being ten times more likely to engage with live video and watch for three times longer, we can see why brands are keen to make this work.