Everyone is a specialist.

The 12 Trends That Will Rule Products In 2013

Think 2013 will spell the end of good old analog and human interaction? Eh, not so fast according to a group of agency experts.

Written by: Chris Butler

Near the end of 2012, a group of us at Ziba got together to review what we’d learned over the course of the year. Working with dozens of clients who serve customers around the world, we designers spend a lot of time observing people as they interact with technology, services, and experiences, noticing how they seek solutions to everyday problems and make decisions. In the process, certain patterns emerge so forcefully that they’re practically unavoidable.

Meeting over three sessions spread out over a week, 23 Zibites (designers, researchers, and creative directors) discussed the patterns we’d seen, and distilled them down to the 12 insights we thought were most current and useful, to us and to our clients. Each one is presented here, as a brief essay that suggests how it will affect business practices in 2013, and as an illustration created by one of Ziba’s designers.


Everyone is a specialist.

Constant communication and social media are pushing us to show off our passion and specialized knowledge, as a way of standing out in the storm of mundane information that fills the air. Mom posts photos of Victorian furniture on Pinterest, while Dad’s Facebooking his latest cooking project, and your cousin tweets about nothing but Korean pop stars. We’ve always had these secret pools of expertise, but now they’ve got an outlet, and an appreciative audience.

You’re a specialist, too. Trying to be everything to everyone is a losing proposition. As customers embrace their connoisseurship, they seek out brands that match it. The success stories of 2013 are companies unafraid of putting a stake in the ground, to boldly indicate where their expertise and passion lie–and where they don’t.



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