The Future of Design in a Millennial World

August 28, 2018
[rt_reading_time label="" postfix="min read"]

The ability to be connected to people all across the world through technology and the internet has furthered globalization and bred a culturally informed mindset in millennials more than the generations before them. With millennials being the future in a lot of ways (and Gen Z as well), the world of industry has had to catch up in a lot of ways. For instance, experts have observed that millennials are keeping marketers on their toes, predicting a rise in prominence for mobile marketing and new changes in social media as a whole.

Of course, this means that designers are going to have to work with marketers to brand advertising toward millennial target audiences and accommodate for these culture shifts. This will change design in general as culture shifts often do. Here’s a prediction on how that might look.

Principal Will Matter More Than Aesthetic

Social influence is particularly important when creating content for millenials, as it conveys the authority of the source to millennial readers. Social influence doesn’t mean only working with social influencers, though; it means making a change in the culture around us. It means taking a stand against injustices in this world and treating people fairly.

Whereas in the past, business was business, that excuse doesn’t work anymore. Millennials are much more critical of institutions and those in power, and if your website doesn’t deliver on its promises, they may not be so easy to forgive you. If content is given, it needs to keep millennial principals — those of ethics before money — strong in mind. Any images or graphics given would do well to cater more to the everyman 20-something than the person in a suit and tie making millions. While the rules of logo design remain the same, millennials operate differently.

Intelligent Consumers

If you’ve ever worked a food industry job, you probably heard at some point that the customer is always right. While this term traditionally means that whatever the customer says goes, most of us have dealt with customers that, objectively, are not right. They expect more than a human can give, ask for things your business doesn’t provide or cannot provide, and the like. It’s true: People can be unreasonable.

However, millennials offer a new face to the “right” customer — not due to their rudeness but due to their skepticism of markets and business. The things they care about are the things you should be caring about. Therefore, it’s important to know what customers are saying and catering to them as if they know what’s best for your brand — not that you can tell them what is.

Now, that can be a lot to take on with the advancement of technology. Thankfully, machine learning is doing the task of listening to customers the way marketers traditionally have. This is done through progressively analyzing keywords, spending trends, and customer web activity. Individuals can still learn a lot by test-marketing campaigns through participation in online communities, seeing as millennials spend large portions of their time in those spaces.

Respectful Business

Any public relations specialist will tell you cross-cultural management is necessary in a world where the internet and globalization inform youth culture. Be culturally conscious in your business endeavors. It’s very important, especially in the diversive political state we live in. But how do we practically execute something like this? Well, here are a few ideas:

  • Incorporate diversity where you can in your content and visuals you use.
  • If you are working with charities of sort, put them in your customers’ or site goers’ line of sight so they know what you stand for.
  • Cut ties with unethical people, businesses, and supporters.
  • Do not engage in cutthroat or sleazy tactics to overcome competition. Don’t treat your brand like a Bounty commercial — prove your worth with the quality of what you do.

How has your design changed in regards to business sense for millennials? We’d love to hear about it — let us know in the comments below!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash