Technology has changed almost every aspect of modern life, and while we can talk on and on about the many technological developments that have shaped our day-to-day lives, here let’s focus on one particular innovation: apps.
Apps and the Digital Age
We pretty much have an app for everything nowadays. Whether it be for entertainment or transportation, apps have made almost everything involved in daily life infinitely more accessible. Considering how integral apps are to everyday life, app development has also needed to improve to keep up with the demand.
Gone are the days where software developers alone design apps. Apps’ success today depends on several different factors — many of which fall under the field of digital media.
Indeed, digital media and app development now work hand in hand to ensure that apps work both on a functional and quality-of-life level, as they take user experience and design into consideration. It’s gotten to the point that apps have changed the way digital media is being taught in the modern age. In fact, the app-centric lifestyle of the modern person has driven up the demand for further education in digital media to the point that universities themselves have had to adapt to accommodate this growing need. In turn, this is literally changing the way (and medium) that it is being taught.
This demand is only going to rise as more and more aspiring app developers find themselves stuck at home, so some universities have taken the virtual route to expand their reach. Aspiring app developers taking online digital media degrees will find themselves with several career options in the field, after being trained in advertising, branding, marketing, app, web, and software development. They’re also taught to become experts in user interface and user experience, both of which are necessary skills that digital media professionals are expected to have if they expect to work in this competitive industry. However, the effect of apps on digital media doesn’t end there. Aside from the space where it is taught, the rise of apps has also changed the field of digital media as well.
Digital Media and Apps
Focus on User Experience
Apps bring in billions of dollars in revenue, so it’s safe to assume that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to creating an app. Apps nowadays have to go beyond merely functioning on the surface level. Aside from what they can do, developers now have to take user experience into consideration. Even if the app is able to provide a useful service, this is null and void if it’s unable to make every aspect of the user’s interactions with it as optimal as possible.
A focus on user experience means going above and beyond the initial purpose of the app — transforming from a tool into something that can be seamlessly integrated into everyday life. This is why a focus on digital media and user experience is the key to a successful app. Form and function must be treated equally. This means expending the same amount of time and resources for things like the interface, layout, and visual design of the app as the programming that goes into the app itself.
Apps and Engagement
The e-commerce industry has grown to become a driving force in today’s markets. This is especially true since millions of people from all over the globe rely on e-commerce, as the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering how big e-commerce has gotten, more and more e-commerce companies now want to stand out from the crowd. One way they’ve done this is through the use of their apps.
Engagement is one way that can help an e-commerce company set themselves apart. You’ll want your e-commerce app to be able to build a connection with your potential customers, as more engagement will eventually lead to more sales. Consumers nowadays have become ad-blind, to the point that traditional advertisements are no longer as effective as they once were. This is why digital media has had to adapt and evolve from traditional advertising. The way digital media has improved engagement is a focus on personalization. This all goes back to the renewed focus on a holistic user experience. Tailor-made messages for users are more likely to elicit a response than a traditional banner advertisement.
Apps and Marketing
Speaking of traditional advertising and marketing, digital media has also been focusing more and more on video content. Video content has become one of the most important tools in the digital age. And while long-form video content has always been popular, shorter formats have also begun to pick up steam. In fact, apps such as TikTok are beginning to transform advertising. There’s no questioning that the media landscape has indeed shifted in favor of video content.
The rise of this type of content can be traced back to social media influencers. Indeed, influencers have had a significant hand in shaping apps and digital media. Whether it is through trends or story-driven video content, there’s no doubting the effectiveness of this medium. So much so that there are now degrees that specialize in influencer marketing, emphasizing how transformative these apps are when it comes to the world of advertising and marketing.
The main takeaway here is that the latest technology alone won’t be enough to promote progress and innovation. Technology must be wielded with proper knowledge in order to derive real progress. It’s important to note that this goes both ways. Studies in digital media can’t be static. In fact, the field of study itself implies that it has to change with the times.
What we know as digital media today, is far different from what it was 50 years ago — and it will be considerably different from digital media that they’ll have 50 years from now. Digital media as a field of study needs to evolve in order to stay relevant, as the definition of the digital space continues to evolve as the technology gets more and more advanced.
Written by Ruth Banks for storyly.io