Digital predictions 2023

2023 on yellow background

2022 has flown by, it only feels like yesterday we were writing our last annual predictions. A lot has certainly changed this year, and 2023 is going to be a rollercoaster. 

Let’s get into it. Jump to the 💥’s to get straight into the actions. 

Accessibility for everyone 👀

Tom Cox, Junior Developer, says:

As technology continues to grow and deeper integrate itself into our lives , it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that nobody is left behind. A recent study by WebAIM found that of 1,000,000 homepages tested, 96.8% registered at least one violation of W3C Accessibility Guidelines 2 (WCAG 2). That said, around 15% of the global population possess some kind of disability according to the WHO. Ensuring your content is accessible isn’t optional, it’s a must-have for any project.

Not to fear though, the latest iteration of the WCAG (3.0) guideline is also due sometime in 2023 with the aim of providing actionable, dynamic steps to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. With more concrete and actionable guidelines (and the right incentive), I hope that businesses will have a much clearer idea of how they can make their content easier to access for those with all types of disabilities – from the initial design and strategy through to the testing and deployment processes. 

In fact, the US plans to introduce web accessibility laws and regulations sometime next year, so it could finally be the year that significant progress is made in making the web accessible for everyone. 

💥 Action: Web accessibility isn’t an optional ‘nice to have’, it’s an essential part of any web build or piece of content, to create an Internet that’s equal to everyone. As guidelines rightfully get tighter, the easiest thing to do is get your website audited, and go from there.

The rise of SVG-based web animation 💻

James Watson, Motion Designer, says:

Traditionally, anyone wanting to add animation to their website had to resort to either video files (big files, not very flexible), GIFs (dated technology, big files and generally don’t look great) or custom CSS animation (hard). In recent years, technology such as Lottie has made it much easier to add custom animation to a website in a standard compliant, efficient and effective way. 

Developed by Airbnb and then made open source for all developers to use, Lottie uses SVG code and JSON to describe the shapes and animation required. Shapes look sharp and animation is fluid and, best of all, because it’s using code rather than video/image files, the download speeds are great, something that’s especially important on mobile platforms. 

We’ve successfully used Lottie on a number of projects, including Motimate, one of the Kahoot! brands. You’ll spot it for the ‘cascade of phones’ when you arrive on the homepage. Lottie was the perfect technology for this use case is the animation needed to download super-fast and be ready to play immediately, something that wouldn’t have been possible with a conventional MP4 video file. 

While Lottie is great, it’s not perfect. Most Lottie animations are created in applications such as Adobe After Effects, the de facto motion graphics application, and exported using a plugin. Because of this, and other inefficiencies, Lottie files aren’t as small as they could be. 

That’s where Rive comes in. Built from the ground up to make web animation simple and efficient, Rive lets web designers, developers and motion designers easily collaborate and take full control of the user’s experience. Rive’s web-based editor is intuitive, and yet really powerful, allowing designers to craft the exact animation they want, including interactions with the user. 

Rive’s the perfect technology for a wide range of use cases, including incidental homepage animations, data visualisations, animated emojis, loading graphics and even games. And because the file sizes are so tiny, you don’t need to worry about the performance of your website.

Here’s a great example, using Rive to make entering your username and password that little bit more interesting.

💥 Action: Expect to see more and more websites adopting Rive-based animations in 2023, it makes sense to utilise the technology. Drop us a line, our design team is gearing up!

We need to talk about GA4 🔐

Ryan Sear, PPC/SEO Manager, says:

For over 10 years, Google Analytics has been the go to tool for measuring and reporting website traffic and data. But things are going to change in 2023. The current version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics or UA) will be replaced by GA4. Here are some of the main changes to be aware of and the benefits of this new platform.

Do I need to install GA4?

In short, yes. After the 23rd of July 2023 GA4 will be your only Google option to track website data. Other paid for platforms are available and will become more prominent as users pine for the data that they used to know.

It feels like way in the distance but the sooner you start collecting data the better. You can install GA4 to run alongside your current Universal Analytics set up. 

What happens to my old data?

After July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. But all data will be lost after this date. You do have the option to export the data and keep a physical version.

What part do events play?

This event-based system for data collection has more flexibility than previous versions. It gathers greater quantities and better quality of data than ever before. Some events will come with GA4 straight out of the box and others will need to be enabled through the admin section of GA4. If none of the previous event types covers the specific interaction you want to measure, then you will likely need to create a Custom Event. The easiest way to create and send custom events is through Google Tag Manager.

It’s not all bad news

The key GA4 feature is that you can now track both online and app activity, providing a more comprehensive and integrated view of the consumer journey. The privacy issues of today and the future were considered when GA4 was being developed. It no longer stores IP addresses and doesn’t depend exclusively on cookies.

💥 Action: It’s not too late to get prepared for these changes. We’ve been helping clients get ready for a while, just send us a message.

Getting creative with social 📱

Nevil Shute, Content & Social Manager says:

There is always something happening with social media, and in 2023 it will be no different. However, rather than listing all of the trends that will likely come to fruition, one of the things that hasn’t been spoken about (as much as it should have) is how the current climate of the world will inevitably impact how we adopt these new trends in the first place.

We’re talking about the dreaded agency word; resource. Whether you’re an internal team or working with an agency, it’s bound to come up eventually. Budgets are seemingly being cut (which only brings negatives to brand health in the long term) but the social landscape isn’t going to slow down for you. 

What does this mean? We need to get creative with how we deliver content and adapt to these new scenarios. The ‘DIY’ approach has never been more prominent than now, because it comes in many forms. In fact, you’d be surprised how creative and agile you can be with any brand. It’s all about making do with what you have, and (when possible) being a bit more free with your content, understanding the short-lived nature of most of it.

In 2023, expect this to become a more common widespread theme to most brands. The ones that get stuck in and adapt will prosper, but the rest may take years to recover. 

💥 Action: Fun fact, when it comes to platforms like Instagram, they even reward you with better algorithm placement by creating DIY content; for instance Reels edited/made in the application itself. How can you get onto this? Set clear brand guidelines, and trust your team or agency to get stuck in. We’ve been playing around for a while, send us a message.

And that’s it for another year, we’ll see you again for 2024. In the meantime, follow our LinkedIn, Twitter or Insta to stay updated 👋