Analog will never go away.

//Analog will never go away.

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.

03 Analog will never go away.

Sales of LP records have quadrupled since 2007. It’s a powerful reminder that convenience isn’t the only thing people care about. Music, like video and telecommunications, reached a digital/analog split long ago, and digital won because it’s cheaper, faster, and more convenient. But analog persists, in part because of nostalgia but also because formats like film, print, and vinyl reflect the people and processes that made them, forming an emotional connection that digital can’t match.

Stop worrying about the contradictions. 2013 will not be the year that analog displaces digital, nor will any other year. But it will be the year when mainstream consumers start to embrace “outdated” technologies along with cutting-edge ones. A brand that can seamlessly straddle the divide makes far more sense to them.

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