Usability is the New Black.

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I speak to account and brand planners all the time who are in search of the next big trend. Anyone can plan based upon what has already happened but to plan for what will happen takes huevos (unisex reference).

So here’s my trend for the next few years: Usability.

Some things will never be usable: financial prospectuses, tax documents, legal briefs, pharmaceutical disclaimers, website registration guidelines, HTML and information technology (IT) setup. We don’t expect them to be usable and we’re okay paying people to do it for us. Though with money tight, more and more of us are trying to do things ourselves and usability is becoming not only a differentiator but a business. 

Online services are getting so intuitive you rarely need to click on “help.” New products are getting easier to use because the “out-of-box” experience is improving and the products themselves have been simplified. Can you say “Flip” video recorder?   And lastly, smart entrepreneurs are looking for ways — especially on the web — to make difficult, time-consuming processes clickable. Is the 3 minute divorce that unrealistic?

More and more branding ideas and taglines containing the words “fastest and easiest” are finding their way into consumer messaging each day. And I love it. Peace.