Similar to a DJ looking for new beats by digging through crates of records, I scoured the web to find some new trends for 2016. I wanted to share my top 5.

1. Empathy - "The Future 100 Trends and Change to Watch in 2016” by JWT and a few other reports I read highlighted “Empathy”. This word has be always associated with User Experience Design best practices. It is not a surprise but I am happy to see it noted in the media and advertising industry. As technology becomes more embedded in daily lives, we as product designers/app developers need to understand human behavior and emotion.

2. Healthy is the newest currency - Fjord believes the confluence of flat incomes, uncertain job prospects and rising healthcare costs will make health data worth money. Health monitoring for both leisure and preventative care, has decreased these costs significantly. Self-monitoring will only increase with the use of wearables.

3. Customer Experience is King. According to Solstice Mobile a new holistic view of Customer Experience will emerge. Human-centered design is now part of the enterprise. Customer interaction strategies will need to be multidisciplinary to bridge online, retail and home to meet customer’s growing expectations of the seamless experience. Leveraging analytics to optimize and personalize the experience through all channels is also important.

4. Multi-Sensory Storytelling - PSFK’s 2017 Forecast Report lists Multi-Sensory Storytelling which is "Combining traditional storytelling techniques with digital and physical experiences designed to engage a variety of sense.” The Avengers brand (see playmation.com) extends the cinematic experience with additional online episodes and wearable toys that sync and interact with each other. This is an area of big interest to me since it combines many of my previous work roles like motion graphics, film making, advertising and design.

5. Trigger Transformations - Number three on the Forbes’ list “5 Data-Driven Business Trends for 2016” is “Trigger Transformations”. In the new year we should see more data-driven triggers in mobile marketing. Audit those “Mobile Moments” by analyzing customers, catalog their Mobile Moments, identify the context and determine their motivations.This will help prioritize mobile moments based on their benefit to customers and their value to your company.

Artificial Intelligence and cognitive technology should make some good advances this year. Sensors, VR/AR Headsets, Amazon’s Echo and self driving cars will only continue to make in roads to the average consumer. I am optimistic and excited to see how 2016 evolves.