Narrative is a delivery vehicle to make information stick.

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.

05More than just a means of entertaining ourselves, narrative is how we understand the world and make decisions. Each of us is the leading character in the stories we tell ourselves, and we use these as a framework for organizing the messages we receive. Narrative is also how we remember: A story out of chronological order is nearly impossible to remember, but information that has a beginning, a middle, and an end becomes something we can own, embrace, and share.

Start thinking in stories. 2013 is when brands start actively listening to their customers’ stories, and figuring out how they can play a supporting role. It’s also the year they begin to tell their own, linking together their most important messages to form a coherent, memorable whole.



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