The world is changing at 10x speed. Human beings want things done now. Instant noodles, instant coffee, Wifi, single click videos, one-touch bank transfer, everything has a due date of 15 seconds. 15 seconds or more- it’s gone. We are no longer interested. Have you ever tried opening a slow website? If it takes more than 5 seconds to load, we become fidgety and move on to the next thing. As much as all this says poorly about our attention span, it says an even bigger thing-
We want to be self-reliant.
So much of whatever is developing in the world of technology currently is driving itself towards the ‘self-service’ option for people to get things resolved and done without engaging with anybody at all. Software developers all over the world are interested in understanding language patterns expressed by human beings to help them self serve better.
The customer wants comfort, the customer wants DIY
The customer wants comfort. He wants to go through the full product experience from signing up, to activating the latest features, to managing his own account, upgrading, learning, and understanding, all of this without ever having to engage in a back and forth process with another person. Today’s customer has the mindset of- ‘If I could do it, I would have done it’. This is why so many sectors are fast-moving towards various kinds of customer touchpoints by streamlining and simplifying the customer’s needs efficiently and quickly.
How is this affecting the design industry?
This paradigm shift has arrived in the world of design as well. Self-service is the foundational structure of most online design platforms these days. Editable templates, presentations, icons and so much more are now being given to serve the needs of the customer at zero to minimal costs. Such platforms have the best customer experience because they are designed to be used without any third party interference. There’s no going back and forth. He now has problem-solving abilities and that gives him immense satisfaction. Like Marain Bantjes (designer and author) says, “The more I deal with the work as something that is my own, as something that is personal, the more successful it is.”
When you create something personal it is the most creative.
And what does it say about the design?
Gone are the days where one had to climb mountains to become a graphic design expert. People who want to ‘self-serve’ are no longer studying design, purchasing expensive software and downloading stock photos. They don’t have to sit and download fonts that would suit their needs. They don’t have to wait for someone to send them that perfect email with pictures, or make constant revisions and then finally go through the hassle of running everything through a printer. In the 21st century, the customer’s intuition is now laid out on perfectly pre-made templates. Online collaborations are the future this world is moving towards.
You are the designer you are looking for
“Design is everywhere, inevitably everyone is a designer,” Tim Brown, IDEO You could be anybody- a student looking to add pictures to a portfolio in a creative manner, a presenter looking to impress clients, an Instagram content creator, a Youtuber with a million subscribers, or even a home-maker who’s just started a business. The thing is- everyone needs design. People who’ve just started out cannot pay thousands to a creative design agency. This is why the world of design is now being democratized by players like Envato, Crello, and Canva just like Apple democratized technology, Youtube democratized videos and Google democratized information.
Users want more every day
They want digital tools to design wonderful graphics that are already pre-made. But most importantly, they want platforms that will help them discover new things and improve their design skills. Subconsciously, the world is starving for designs. Design is everywhere. It’s in the soft-drink you just purchased, it’s in the shoes you wear, it is in the t-shirt you slip into, the skyscrapers you pass by, the skies you look up at, heck it’s there even in the structure of your face! Everyone is hungry for alignment, texture, structure, and composition. Most people want all of this without having to understand the basics of each and every element and want their graphics done easily and quickly. Gone are the days when a picture on Facebook would suffice to help people know about your brand. People want to create designer advertisements, they want edgy pictures, they want animations- but all without getting into the frustration of learning tools like Illustrator and Photoshop.
That’s the goal that most self-serving design companies are now moving towards. They have proven that creating the design without friction is possible and that too, in a short span of time.
The history behind the design paradigm shift
In the year 2012, social media was doing great. There were over 70 million companies and businesses on Facebook around 25 million business accounts on Instagram and LinkedIn had around 18 million company pages. People wrote posts and lengthy observations, but statistics showed that people were more attracted to visual imagery and were 10 times more likely to pause at a picture than they were likely to pause at a post. Which is why businesses began using graphics and images to interact with their followers. Businesses began hiring social media managers but the one issue that persisted was that most of these people didn’t come with any technical knowledge of image designing. That is where the idea of online graphic designing was born. Designers and investors saw the need, especially in the social media community, for poster making, picture editing, editable infographics, vector designs, etc that could help millions around the world to create, produce and post quality and original content that was pre-designed for them. This genuine effort to help people all over the world to discover and elevate their innate design capabilities was well received. The self-sustaining design was finally the solution for one of the biggest problems that people had with showcasing their social media presence.
How do these online graphic designing platforms work?
An online graphic designing platform allows users to feel empowered and gives them an opportunity to transform their creativity and imagination into eye-catching graphics and visually appealing imagery. Platforms like Canva, Crello, and Envato use simple tools that make navigation an easy-breezy experience for anyone who uses them. Apart from being user-friendly these platforms are intuitive and have changed over the years, to provide a range of templates, elements, fonts, colours, and stock photographs all in one location, eliminating the need for the user having to browse for each of the elements one by one. Anyone can be a designer now because now they have the right tool kit and the ability to design. From Instagram posts about a camp to flyers about your bake sale, from Facebook covers to the most beautiful wedding invitations, you can design anything, in any shape and size, and make it look amazing in a matter of minutes.
The power is now in your hands
Online design platforms implement the divergent thinking rule, which says- think broad to get narrow. They allow you to explore and choose from a variety of templates and designs so you can identify your problems and make decisions before you begin thinking of solutions. Such platforms sincerely believe that everyone is born with problem-solving skills. Everyone has a story that can be told through illustrations. Don’t think too much before embarking on your design journey, because like Lorinda Mamo (designer) says,
Every great design begins with an even better story.
So go out there and begin telling your tale to the world using captivating visuals because at the end of the day 10 seconds is all you have to create an impact.