It wasn’t long ago designers divvied up in two distinct rivalries: Print vs. Digital. Print designers mocked the web’s poor user experience with its screeching dial-up noise, slow load times, and chained-to-a-desk requirement. Web designers lorded over the virtues of the internet: showing multiple photos, constantly updating content, and easily sharing resources. Each group self-assured the others’ chosen medium would soon die.

In reality, the convergence of these two disciplines is where innovation happens for consumers, business growth happens for marketers, and fun happens for designers.

Phygital

The newest buzzword on the scene, phygital refers to the idea of enhancing a customers’ real-world user experience with digital components. If you’ve played (or even heard of) Pokémon Go then you’re familiar with this concept. Other examples include billboards whose headlines are changed by Tweets, signage that viewers customize with a touch, and beacons that re-arrange shopping lists to match the stores layout.

What’s fun for designers? Phygital technology needs a very public interface which must function seamlessly while being beautiful and on-brand—all at the same time. This collaboration between tech and design geeks can lead to amazing innovations. Let’s face it, real-world experiences can become even better by combining them with interactive technology.

ePublishing

It began as interactive desktop PDFs that looked exactly like their printed counterpart. Soon videos, slideshows, and links were added to stir more consumer engagement. These days, thanks to eReaders like the Kindle, iPad and Nook, that make digital publications as mobile as your magazine or paperback, folks have the added benefit of being able to carry a library in one hand.

What’s fun for designers? Digital publishing requires cross-discipline thinking and allows designers to bring ideas to life like never before. It can snow while you peruse a winter catalog in August; a master chef can show you a tricky technique mid-recipe; or music can set the mood for a new product reveal. All of which create a unique user experience.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Think of it as pretty much anything with the word “smart” or “connected” in front of it. Phillips Hue Smart Lightbulb is a great example. Hue systems are controlled with an app that allows you to pre-set moods for your home, use motion and light detectors to save energy, and create daily routines. Often these apps generate reporting that helps the user maximize the product.

What’s fun for designers? Smart devices require a lot of touch points with end users. From the ad that generates interest, to the packaging they come in, and the apps that control them—all require a consistent user experience via visuals and messaging without compromising their wildly different functions and user experiences.

The best part about all this converging is the ever-expanding ways in which we can create strategies to help clients tell their story and grow their business. Mittera’s team of graphic designers, photographers, videographers, data scientists, and web developers have the knowhow to elevate our clients’ strategies across every channel.

Which is the long way of saying, “if your marketing strategy has stalled out, you should probably give us a call.”

-Erin Calvin | Creative Director, MITTERA

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