As we move into 2016, here are 10 trends I foresee flourishing around mobile, technology and government:
- The mobile-majority tipping point in government. Many agencies are already past this point, but as a whole, government websites are still desktop-majority, with 66% of people accessing federal websites via desktop and 34% on mobile. In 2016, the double-digit mobile growth will continue to accelerate and surpass 50% for almost all agencies. (Much of the Web passed this point last year or in 2014, btw).
- Non-responsive website shaming. As the world standard becomes mobile-first and mobile-majority, if your site isn’t responsive or at least mobile-friendly, it will officially become an embarrassment in 2016, like using Flash or Friendster. This includes government sites.
- Apps become more Web-like. With Google App Indexing beginning to take shape and deep linking in apps, the walls between apps and the Web will start to blur further.
- App apathy increases. People will install fewer apps and continue to only use five to seven regularly for communication/social, streaming media and games. Apple’s decision to continue to offer their starter iPhone with only 16GB of memory will limit people’s ability to store many things on their phone. As Internet connections and Web browsers have evolved—particularly mobile Web browsers and mobile devices, which are upgraded faster than desktop computers—an optimized responsive website can fulfill almost all the needs of an app. The cost of building and maintaining an app is becoming more apparent and more organizations will choose to bypass.
- SMS as apps takes hold. The new trend of smart messaging instead of apps continues to grow as it becomes more mainstream and useful, especially as app apathy grows.
- Wearables grow slowly. The wearable market continues to grow, but slowly, as the public waits for ‘the killer app’ that makes them NEED a wearable device and app developers wait for a sizable audience to build something for.
- The Internet of Things (IOT) blossoms. IOT quietly delivers on the hype that wearables couldn’t; from connected-cars to WiFi cameras to home thermostats, the diversity of opportunities for IOT devices to reshape our world will continue to flourish.
- Flat design dominates. Apple, Google and Microsoft have all moved away from skeuomorphic design and have established similar “flat” design standards, which makes it much easier to design across the three leading mobile and desktop OS platforms.
- Security becomes a bigger priority. After seemingly endless hacks and security breaches in 2015, Internet security is going to become a large priority and responsibility for digital organizations to manage. Media organizations are starting to take notice and adapt, and government agencies are also moving to HTTPS, but we have a long way to go. Google is going to start favoring sites with secure connections, so hopefully that will help incentivize and move the Web forward.
- Government doubles down on tech talent. “Good enough for government” technology starts to carry more weight as more agencies invest in and start staffing up their own digital services teams to bring exceptional technologists in to lead their organizations in the digital age. Are you part of this sea change? Follow along at DigitalGov!
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