Designing the future: Tech trends of 2023
We live in a time where technology is just exploding in all directions. It’s shaping how we live, how we work, and how we interact with the world around us. Think about it: we’ve got super AI tools that can boost by 10x our workflow, and extended reality technologies that can take us to different worlds without leaving our room. And the design? It’s more than just making things look pretty. It’s about creating experiences, solving problems, and making technology accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
This is going to be a summary of the tech trends, which I found to be the most interesting.
Motion Design & “Scrollytelling” 
Motion design has become a cornerstone of UI/UX, particularly through Scrollytelling, which marries storytelling with smooth, scroll-triggered animations. The continual evolution of animation and video compression, paired with the increasing capacities of the internet, browsers, and devices, has allowed more complex and nuanced motion in interfaces without sacrificing speed or efficiency.
3D model interaction in real time
The ability to embed and interact with 3D models in real time is completely hassle-free with some tools. Users can play with the model, change colors, and observe different variants of a product immediately.
For us designers, if we want your digital product to be successful, delightful, and profitable, we must embrace the emotional design of a product by addressing the three levels of cognitive responses when we design:
- Visceral – Users’ reaction to seeing your visual design; e.g., a simple user interface suggests ease of use.
- Behavioral – Users subconsciously evaluate how your design helps them achieve goals, and how easy it is to use. They should feel satisfied that they’re in control, with minimum effort required.
- Reflective – After they encounter your design, users will consciously judge its performance and benefits, including value for money. If they’re happy, they’ll keep using it, form emotional bonds with it, and tell their friends.
Standard design is the union of all these design practices:
- Inclusive Design is closely related to accessibility, but rather than an outcome, it’s a methodology for how to approach design. It’s a process for creating a design that can be used by a diverse group of people.
- Universal Design is the design of buildings, products, or environments to make them accessible to people, regardless of age, disability, or other factors. It addresses common barriers to participation by creating things that can be used by the maximum number of people possible.
- Accessible Design focuses on the outcome or end result of a design project. It’s based on accessibility guidelines published by various governmental and industry groups, which aim to make sure people with disabilities can access websites and other digital products effectively.
As of today, I think almost everyone knows what Generative AI is all about. Embrace change! There is no other way!
If you are not using AI… You are falling behind!
Within the Design Team at Shortcut, we’ve been trying to find the simplest and most effective way to use AI tools to boost our workflow. The flowchart below is the outcome of sessions of learning and training, and it has been very helpful in the discovery phase of some projects we have worked on.
The rapid advancement of technology brings a relentless stream of new tools, making it a challenge to stay up-to-date without getting overwhelmed. In response to this, we’ve taken a strategic approach, choosing to focus on tools that align closely with our preferences.
By integrating AI-powered tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney into our workflow, we’ve significantly accelerated our creative process. These tools have become invaluable in quickly generating and visualizing concepts, allowing us to iterate on ideas with unprecedented speed and efficiency. This focus on relevant tools, enhanced by the capabilities of AI, enables us to deliver innovative and impactful design solutions while maintaining a high standard of quality and relevance in our work.
Example of a concept about an app for a Horse-Riding School in Norway (ChatGPT & Midjourney)
A general overview
Some months ago I wrote another article about the possibilities that XR Technologies can offer to us. Find it here (https://shortcut.io/tech/what-is-xr-what-is-its-potential-application-to-the-mobile-app-market/).
So I will not dig too deep in to it, but long story short, XR stands for “Extended Reality” and it is umbrella term used to cover some other 3 technologies:
- VR – Virtual Reality
- AR – Augmented Reality
- MR – Mixed Reality
These technologies have been around some years already, but this year’s highlight is definitely the focus on MR (Mixed reality) or Spatial Computing.
Meta and Apple announced the release of their latest hardware (Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro) that promise unforgettable and seamless experiences in Mixed Reality.
These announcements have prompted several companies to begin offering various services to create 3D immersive experiences for these headsets.
A prime example is Bezi, a web based application that facilitates the creation of immersive experiences directly from a browser. The integration with headsets is remarkably straightforward, making it a breeze to test and validate ideas quickly and efficiently.
In the other hand, there’s another company called ShapesXR, which offers the same solutions as the above-mentioned one but everything is designed from the headset app.
Tech is moving fast—really fast. But one thing’s for sure: we are in for some exciting changes. We’ll have to stay curious and ready to adapt. Here’s to a future that’s full of surprises and, most importantly, full of progress!
What’s next in 2024?
Looking ahead to 2024, it’s hard to pin down exactly what’s coming, but a lot of new cool things will pop up for sure, so I will leave you a text to reflect on:
“The emerging technologies are akin to an ocean wave: constantly forming, gathering strength, and ultimately crashing onto the shore to leave a lasting impact. Let’s embrace change and ‘surf the wave’ 🏄.”
as a destination!
Thanks for reading 😁
2. 3D Model interaction in real time – https://www.vectary.com/interactions-and-animations/ https://spline.design/
3. Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things by Don Norman https://www.designmantic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Design.png
4. Bezi – Spatial Prototyping https://www.bezi.com/
5. ShapesXR – Spatial Prototyping – https://www.shapesxr.com/