3 Experience Design Trends to Watch in 2018

By Brendan Corcoran, Brand Manager / 03.13.2018

Graphic Design legend and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Saul Bass once said that “design is thinking made visual.” In 2018, that bold, 5 pt. line carries more weight now than ever with the emergence of experience design.

Marketing design was historically flat appearing on paper, TV and more recently on computer screen. But thanks to great retail brands like Nike, Apple, and the rise of the experience economy, marketing design has shifted into three dimensions to incorporate environment and experience.

Experience design is a concept that’s been talked about almost ad nauseam, although the amorphous state of the concept and discipline keeps our stomachs hungry for more. In 2018, marketing design has shifted from flat to three-dimensions, producing a remix of Bass’s original musing to “design is thinking that can be experienced.”


Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the original application of User Experience Design (UX). A newer concept that’s gained momentum is Vocal User Interface (VUI). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more commonplace with Intelligent Assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. AI has been given more voice in the marketplace with increased emphasis on consumers being able to communicate or create action with artificial intelligence. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 30% of web searches will be conducted via voice. Which means, soon brands will have to learn how to talk back.

VR vs. AR

MORE ACRONYMS! Over the last few years, brands are employing technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality at live experiences to create more immersive environments and deeper engagement. While more common, VR has seen a lot of success that comes with a lot of baggage (quite literally, you have to wear a headset). AR is more desirable because mobile devices are native to consumers, but few companies have been able to replicate the AR success of Nintendo with their Pokemon Go app launch. We anticipate seeing AR favored over VR because of the extra accessory needed for VR, but worry that brands fall short on their execution of AR because budget constraints are prioritized over the quality of animation and design.

Entertainment Vs. Advertising

Product placement and native advertisements have helped ease consumers into branded entertainment. Social Media platforms like Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat have also seen brands transition from message inundators to influencers and content creators. Branded experiences have also entered the entertainment marketplace. Where once trade show floors and retail locations were the best way to let people experience your brand, now pop-ups, parties and activations are the strategies brands seek to make lasting impressions on their fans and loyalists. These experiences create an ecosystem of experience design where traditional and environmental collide to create a three-dimensional, entertaining and branded environment.

For event marketers, it’s not enough to simply specialize in one design discipline. Truly events and experiences run the spectrum of design from print, digital, 3D, and spatial. For marketers looking to design and create memorable experiences for their audiences, you must look at production agencies that have the capacity to take a holistic approach to the experience design of the event. Most of the time, multiple design perspectives need to weigh-in to create a powerful and complete experience.

ITC is a full-service production agency that helps our clients achieve their business goals by combining creativity and technology to create moving experiences. With a deep roster of producers, creatives, designers, engineers and craftsmen we can take your event from strategy to concept and execution. Contact us if you would like to work with us!

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Featured Image Animation By Gleb Kuznetsov

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