The way we used to work

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Somewhere on the gleaming edge of the blogosphere, where the nerdiest of nerds maintain the firewalls of their clique with scathing rhetoric, there is talk of how the next innovations will come to be. Not just science fiction – science reality. There is animated chatter of how multi-gesture technology has arrived, which in earthling terms means that the 3D screens of Minority Report and Iron Man could be on the market in the not too distant future.

So, just for a moment, let’s dare to think how that would change the way we work and play; how would designers use this technology to do their job? Will we be standing in an all white pod or hive, moving our arms around in some kind of slow motion dance to build websites? Will be having meetings like they do in CSI? How will it change the process of what we produce? The mind boggles, which is why the nerds probably scream ‘muggle’ the moment we try to enter the conversation.

Bringing it back down to terrestrial life, the world of app development is changing right beneath our thumbs, which is something tangible that we can start to apply. Non-native apps have previously worked in isolation. They are silos that only integrate with the operating system on which they sit to store or check data relevant to the app itself – your location, game data, contacts or photos. What if they started to work together? Not just sharing but actually exchanging data to reduce the amount of work the user has to do? Instead of having to open your calendar to check if you can go to a gig, what if it could check it automatically? And it doesn’t stop there – what if it could check your Facebook events to make sure there’s nothing better you could be doing and find other people you know who are also going?

Taking it one step further, it could also check your FourSquare check-ins to provide you with options for eateries before the gig, your trainline app to calculate the best time to get there and the cost, or your JusTaxi app to provide information and book a taxi at the swipe of a finger? The possibilities are endless, making life easier intuitively. There are already apps out there that enable the more technically minded to do this – IFTT (If that, then this) has the functionality at a reasonable level to set up protocols to automate tasks, however, it takes time to tinker with and you have to either have tasks in mind or predict sequences that you think you might use in the future. This is not easy – but all that is being taken care of by the developers.

As an agency, we’re always looking at the next stage of development – thinking how consumers and businesses can use technology to make it easier to buy, to trade or to play. The way we used to work was reasonably simple; there were platforms that we knew got enormous exposure and there were localised channels that targeted a specific area. This got blown wide-open when social media exploded – now it’s about to go even further. With tech innovators changing how we think and do, the way we used to work is changing at an increasing rate. When you are thinking about your target market and the agency you choose to work with, listen out for the way they are working, how they’re anticipating the user journey to make it easy to engage with your brand. The way we used to work is changing; your agency should be changing with it.