3 Tips on Designing for Generation Z
How do you design for a generation who are snappy, impatient and used to handling multiple devices at a time? We've put together a few tips and tricks on how to get it right
Introducing Generation Z
At the moment, market researchers, cultural observers and trend forecasters pay a lot of attention to Generation Z. And even if Generation Z is not your current target group, they probably will be some day. Generation Z are truly digital natives and have never experienced life without Internet. They’re snappy. They’re impatient. And they’re incredibly tech savvy. So how do you design for these technological experts? We’ve put together 3 tips on how to break through to gen Z’ers.
1. Communicate across multiple screens
Born somewhere between mid 1990’s and 2010, Gen Z’ers are born in an era of Internet and technology, and they spend a great deal of their time on digital devices. They are a rare breed of digital multitaskers, and they fan out their attention across multiple devices; TVs, phones, tablets, iWhatnots and whatever comes up next. So make sure to communicate across multiple platforms to keep your gen Z’ers engaged.
"Generation Z suffers from the fear of being bored - they switch instantly if they’re no longer entertained by an app, a device or anything else for that matter."Joeri Van den Bergh, InSites Consulting
2. Make familiar interfaces
Being born into a world of technology has made them digitally lazy and used to things being easy. No longer are they impressed by games or apps that work well; they expect it. And as Joeri points out: “Gen Z’ers want to be in control of everything - including the interfaces they use.” So, if your interface isn’t catering to their every need, you’re going to lose them.
Gen Z’ers only have an attention span of approximately 8 seconds. That’s less than a goldfish. But there are ways to increase your chances of retaining them: Gen Z’ers respond greatly to visual stimuli and are fond users of platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. So stand on the shoulders of what they already like when making new digital products.
3. Allow for interactivity
Generation Z wants to participate. They are fed up with traditional advertising and have a great urge for interactivity. They want to be collaborators, co-creators and leave their own marks on brands and products. One way of getting the interactive feel is through branded games. “Allowing for interactivity and multitasking, games offer an optimum way of stimulating gen Z’ers” Joeri says.
Branded games have the ability to market a company or product in a subtle way – while entertaining and retaining your brand audience. And most importantly, branded games let players interact digitally with products, characters and stories – resulting in extensive brand engagement and awareness.
There is a ‘but…’
We love tips. Tips are nice and they make life easier. But when it comes to designing digital products, we cannot rely on the characteristics of a generation only - even though it is born digital native. Working with game development targeted kids, we experience how vital it is to understand and design for children's cognitive competencies. It might sound obvious that children aged 2 aren’t capable of understanding and doing the same things as children aged 4, but it might not be that obvious how to implement that into a design.