Repair and repurpose are the new killer apps.

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.


Repair and repurpose are the new killer apps.

The typical early adopter cares about function and capability above all else. But what about the rest of us? As technology penetrates formerly closed markets around the world, the ability to fix and upgrade in the field is increasingly sought after. Even in tech-savvy urban centers, there’s a growing consumer subculture that sees hacking and repairing as an indicator of true ownership.

Show the tinkerers some love. The smartest technology companies in 2013 won’t make everything totally field serviceable, but they‘ll offer access to those who want it. Rather than just optimizing for speed, compactness or low-cost, they’ll offer products and services that invite users to actively maintain and modify, winning loyalty and love along the way.



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