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Service and product design are in the ascendancy, becoming increasingly important within marketing and engineering departments.
Ashley Friedlein makes the claim in his trends for 2016, citing the number of consultancies and systems integrators that have made design acquisitions (see this Wired article for how IBM is beefing up its design creds).
Service design follows naturally from a focus on customer experience (as a central tenet of that dreaded term, digital transformation).
I think I've found my favourite ever email unsubscribe!
What a treat, on my birthday, as well.
See if you agree.
Improving the customer experience is a goal for just about every business, but what does that mean and what challenges does it present?
Well, it can mean a lot of things and, as part of Econsultancy's latest Quarterly Digital Trends Briefing in association with Adobe, is identified as one of the biggest opportunities in the coming year.
So, what aspects of CX are companies looking to in 2016?
German ecommerce pure play Zalando is learning from the Chinese market, offering stylist consultations by IM or phone call, unique social interactions and three-hour local delivery.
It's part of rethinking the ecommerce model and blending online and offline to create a viable ecosystem, rather than simply an online shop.
When PPC is as important as it is for Argos, understanding how external factors impact on conversion and spend is vital.
Argos' paid search agency Summit won a Masters of Marketing award in 2015 for doing just that, optimising bidding for the retailer in reaction to competitor TV ads, weather and seasonality.
Let's look at the what made this a winning campaign...
While it may always be impossible to sell actual out-of-home impressions, billboard technology is evolving rapidly and creating a newly agile medium for advertisers.
Clear Channel has just bought almost 2,000 phone booths from Arqiva and is expanding its use of automated digital six-sheet screens.
These new kiosks won't just be advertisements, but will provide a host of benefits to the public as well as advertisers.
Let's look at the future of out-of-home...
Google's unabridged Page Quality rating guidelines were released in November 2015.
Whilst some outlets covered this at the time, I thought I'd do so in purely practical terms.
So, here's a very simple checklist, based on Google's approximation of highest and lowest quality content.
It by no means covers everything in the guidelines, but references those bits that caught my eye.
We haven't profiled a startup in a while on the Econsultancy blog, but Machine looks so current, we thought we'd get an overview.
Heck, it's even got an animated, big-font scrolling-experience for a website.
Here's how the team describe their product...
Pret-a-Manger created a lot of buzz on social media in 2015 with its mysterious and seemingly-unofficial free coffee giveaways.
If you were a regular at a particular store, or if a barista simply liked your face, you may have received a free coffee.
Many people on Twitter took this pretty seriously, seeing the gesture as affirmation of their good looks or friendly manner (see tweets below).
Well, now Pret is making this official and has added a twist that could turn out to be the most genius piece of marketing strategy of the year.
Zizzi has upset the rather boring restaurant email voucher model by introducing simple gamification.
We'll take a look at the games and why they make perfect sense in terms of engagement and refining contact strategy.
Have you noticed that website launches fail to suprise any more?
Of course, that's because over the past 15 years, we've all seen as many websites as we've had hot dinners.
But it's also because web design has been converging, thanks to the mobile trend, established interaction design patterns and also cultural conventions, as clients are influenced more by the crowd when deciding on their own approach.
I'm continuing to explore my web design predictions for 2016 in more detail, so let's take a look at convergence.
I was struck by the news that Adam & Eve/DDB has dropped 'digital' from its job titles.
Firstly, what a perfect piece of PR. But there's more to it than that; the agency is an early mover in the next stage of an ideological regression that has been happening for a while now.
There's a backlash against technology, against third-party solutions, corrupt ad models, poor creative and even content marketing.
Agencies want to get back to 'the work'.