Do you remember a time when digital design looked like this?


We called it skeuomorphism. And it was the shit. Most digital interfaces relied on visual metaphors from the real world to communicate function and help users navigate this new digital space. Since then, everything’s changed. Many startups have now emerged as top global companies, all the while revolutionized traditional industries like travel, news publishing and retail.

"The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. The world’s most popular media company, Facebook, creates no content. The world’s most valuable retailer, Alibaba, carries no stock. And the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no property."

Tom Goodwin, Havas

Consumer-users are now very familiar with this digitization of products and services. I know this because my mom now send me texts filled with emojis! As a digital designer, I’m pleased to see that this digital fluency is now being translated to other mediums as well, namely print and display advertising. Many advertising campaigns now rely on digital metaphors to communicate ideas.

Here’s what I mean ;

This UN Women campaign borrows it’s concept from a popular behaviour ; Search. It’s a visual cue that crosses cultural and linguistic barriers.

abnbThis Airbnb concept directly translate the online booking experience on print media.

ebayThese Ebay ads embrace the digital nature of the platform, even down to it’s messaging. The checkout process is now a ubiquitous concept that can make make or break an experience.

Have you noticed any other manifestations of this or similar executions? I’d love to see them.