9 Design Trends to smash 2022

2021 is over, but actually we all know that time doesn’t stop, nothing ends and nothing begins. We find ourselves in a continuous flow and, as is our yearly tradition, in January we speculate on what will be the main topics and themes that we will hear more and more about, but also those that we would like to become major trends of the year.

With Caffè Design in fact every week, on Youtube, Spotify and Instagram we talk about news from the world and what’s going on, through the point of view of three designers.

Talking weekly about what’s going on in tech, design and innovation allows us to identify the subjects that are becoming more frequent and therefore that we will discuss more often in the short term.

We are just tracing a continuous line from what is happening and what we expect to happen, like Visions.

This time we traced 9 Visions, every Vision at the end is seasoned with a short piece of advice, which we hope will stick in the back of your minds, designers and non-designers.

1 — MUNICIPALITY OF INTERNET

All sites have a lot of information about us, some of them have been forced by the users to make available the information they have, but indeed our information remains in the hands of people we do not know.

Everyone on the internet can snap a picture of us more or less reliable and rich, everyone except us.

Over time, sensitivity to the type of information and the amount we confess to brands is rising, but the issue of ownership is still hardly debated.

How long before a digital identity card of our own is necessary, but more importantly, when this is going to be fully managed by us?

Our data could be visually appealing, understandable and manageable by users. Like a modern ID card to be displayed when required, showing at our choice only what we really want.

For instance:
Collect your data to give it a value
Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are

2 — AN APPLE A DAY

The data collected by sensors that we have equipped our bodies, our homes and our objects with provide us with an immense amount of raw data. Combining this data a whole spectrum of information is available to us. Is possible to understand why we behave in a certain way and probably — with disturbing accuracy — what we are likely to do in the immediate future.

We get to know ourselves better and better, opening ourselves up to advice from services that are increasingly precise about who we are, ready to guide us toward our goal instead of just showing us the way.

We have the ability to use the deep knowledge of our users to push them to improve. Educating them to reach their goals step by step, slowly with consistency, effectively.

For instance:
Eating lessons from your stomach
A story to stop smoking

3 — SMILE LIKE A ROBOT

Humans have finally learned to interact with computers in an increasingly natural way. Digital devices have become extensions of our person, opening us up to real conversations with them. But if humans are confident interacting with computers, how confident are machines interacting with us humans?

We are experiencing a real turnaround that demands something more from the digital products, toward interactions that are more complex than mere convenience. We are recreating humanity, looking within ourselves.

Design is progressing from accessibility to humanization. The digital products, from robots to interfaces, must not simply be user-friendly but also: welcoming, nice or rude, in other words human.

For instance:
The face of the Tesla robot
An incredibly expressive robot

4 — FREE TIME NO TIME

If our level of attention has dropped significantly, our patience has certainly dropped too. Our tolerance for waiting has decreased so much that speeding up some experiences further is no longer physically and economically possible, so fooling time becomes critical and differentiating.

No matter the length of the time and reason for waiting, it can be hours of queuing, minutes of hold or seconds of loading, that time can be used to be more appealing than your competitors to your user.

Designing ancillary and apparently meaningless or irrelevant experiences embedded in the main one are the new differentiator as well as a fun design challenge.

For instance:
How Disney has been doing it forever
Have a party in the sky

5 — LIQUID ADVERTISING

Everyone promotes something, and even those who do so without any economic interest end up in the skepticism of the audience, who ask themselves “is this a paid ad?”. The advertising effect is obvious, predictable and ineffective. More delicate and less invasive methods become more effective in a context where communication is chaotic and 24/7. The influencer is not an advertising banner or testimonial but the first of the brand’s supporters who communicates the brand’s values naturally and organically in its everyday scenario.

The best content is simply your own, people will understand. Spontaneity is a blessing when repetitive and scripted messages are no longer getting through. It takes a lot less to stand.

For instance:
Normal people saying normal things
Data in hand I believe my friends

6 — NO CASA ES TU CASA

The journey is no longer only physical but it is linked to our desire to be hosted. We don’t know what the future holds, uncertainty pushes us on the one hand to stop everything and on the other to remain in constant movement in the pursuit of new but still familiar experiences. We want to be at ease with the unexpected. Users are guests, and serendipity fuels what is becoming the “Nomad Economy.”

Even homes can literally become mobile experiences, and the most volatile experiences instead can have the power to make us feel at home.

The ability to take a piece of whatever with you is crucial, even a simple memory is enough to feel at home in the most remote place in the world or during a moment of difficulty.

For instance:
A cruise for smart workers
The Land Rover Italian Eco Home

7 — DIGITAL ANTIQUES

Following the natural course of technologies, blockchain is becoming mainstream, mainly through cryptocurrencies but also thanks to NFTs that via art — and also trading opportunities — are spreading among media and generalist press. NFTs however do not only allow to exchange art, but also to have a real certificate like the one issued by a notary, cheaper and faster. This innovation rethinks the concept of ownership, both individual and distributed, allowing the design of business models otherwise impossible with traditional methods.

The digital contracts will not only allow us to own stuff online, but will also enable new monetization models that were never possible before. Participation and possession are naturally merging together.

For instance:
An NFT as a pledge
Another kind of concert

8— ME-TOO-VERSE

The big brands working on their Metaverse have clearly expressed their plans, creating an ecosystem where interactions are poorly simulated.

As first attempts — also due the technologically stage — these experiences leave little room for imagination, and the user finds himself living in a cheap digital replica of reality.

The Metaverse, however, makes available to us regardless of technology an access to experiences that would be impossible in the physical world.

What do we want to do when we can do everything we think?

Let’s not just reproduce a lazy, low-resolution version of a reality that has already bored us. Let’s commit ourselves to create a new reality with real-life impossible experiences.

For instance:
Nike on Roblox
Real problems amplified on Meta

9 — BRAND ACCESS-STORIES

Reaching your audience is getting harder and harder, competition has made the prices for creating large advertising campaigns even higher. The organic diffusion and virality of a content has become necessary to reach as many people as possible keeping the budget down, thus pushing other styles of communication.

Some brands are more and more frequently creating real products or services masked as communication campaigns that, however, the user perceives as collectibles or new experiences by the brand, feeding at the same time a media machine that is almost self-sustaining economically.

The thin line between gadget, product and advertising campaign is increasingly thin. The values of the brand are represented in products and services, generating both value from sales but especially in the media.

For instance:
An Xbox fridge
The Bumble bar

Awesome! If you enjoyed our 9 visions (but also if you’d like to add something), we’ll catch on our Spotify and Youtube channels from Monday 10th January to talk about it together, some more. It is gonna be cool.
Meanwhile, knock us on Instagram.

And if you want, spread the love.

Have a great, full-of-cool-design 2022! Daje 💫

Giuliano, Nanni, Riccardo ☕️