It’s hard enough to keep up with the latest buzzwords, fashion and nutrition trends in your personal life. Add to that keeping your professional online presence and brand fresh and it becomes a full time job. It’s important for your business’s success to stay up to date with new technologies and innovation; but how do you keep your website or mobile app consistently relevant when trends come and go faster than a speeding bullet?
There is no magic trick to this, and frankly, it’s almost impossible to stay ahead of the curve on ALL things technology and design. However, there are some suggestions that can help keep you in the mix.
– Read. Whether it’s an industry magazine, an online tech article or someone’s design blog – read something daily. Free time is rare for many, but if you have time to post on Facebook about cute puppies, you surely have time to read an article in Fast Company or Wired.
– Research your competitors. What are they doing on their blogs? On their website? Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…. The idea is not for you to duplicate their actions, but for you to use their ideas to inspire or motivate you.
– Talk to your users. What do they want? Is your site/app meeting their needs at this time? Anything missing – start there. Just because it’s new and shiny doesn’t mean your users want it, so having them as a checkpoint is an invaluable tool.
– Current events. If you have a blog, add to it often. Do you show news items on your site? Display the most up to date. When users come to your site and see an old blog post or article as the headline, they know it’s been a while since you have given your site attention, which implies you may not be up with the latest and greatest, or worse – you may not care to be.
– I have written about it before here, but belonging to industry associations is a great way to network and hear about the latest technology and trends.
Although it may be difficult to predict trends anywhere from 1-5 years from now, keeping up to date with what’s currently hot may help you become better aware with what’s to come. As more technologies evolve, it’s an even more necessary task in the digital realm to stay on top of your “A” game and demonstrate your knowledge through your professional online presence. Trust us, your users will thank you!