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July 10, 2023   |   5 min read

Future of Websites Part 3: Human Connection

No matter how fast AI language models advance and how many plug-ins Zoom offers remote workers, technology will only partially replace our 200,000-year-old, deeply DNA-embedded need for human-to-human connection. The digital space will continue to play a vital role in bringing people together and making us feel, well, human as we speed through the decade and quell our thirst for discovery. As our third trend in our Future of Websites for 2025 and Beyond series, our strategy team shifts focus on our social needs and the humanization of the internet. 

Online or Offline No More 

Online technologies will seamlessly connect the digital realm with human needs, blending the convenience of technology to such an extent that individuals won't perceive it as a distinct entity, but rather a mixed reality. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) will enable immersive and personalized experiences, bringing users closer together. For example, websites use AR to allow users to visualize products in their own spaces and VR to create virtual communities for shared experiences.  

Within this decade, these technologies will help lift the barriers within digital encounters, allowing customers to immerse themselves in a comprehensive and frictionless environment. We’ll even go so far as saying the word “Internet” will become obsolete as we’ll no longer compare time spent engaging in terms of being online or offline, it will just be. 

Community, Community, Community 

Instead of disappearing, communities and human connections are undergoing a transformation. Traditional friend groups and social circles are shifting towards communities that revolve around online networks spread across the globe. 

As the largest generation in most of the Western world, having surpassed Millennials in 2019, Gen Z is leading the march toward the growing digital societies of subcultures. More than any generation prior, Gen Zers seek out online spaces that nurture connections with individuals who share their interests and values. Offering the opportunity to build online communities while streaming and gaming, apps like Twitch and Discord will continue to colonize cyberspace. 

Looking beyond 2025, brands will recognize the value of creating more meaningful relationships with their customers through community-centric offerings. These side services will provide platforms for users to connect, collaborate and flourish. By providing spaces for authenticity and aligning with the brand's purpose websites can foster a sense of belonging and deepen user connections. 

A Global Mindset 

In the future, global users will have heightened awareness of world injustices, including those that occur online. Websites that prioritize these values will foster stronger connections with users and contribute positively to society. Digital spaces that include sustainability, DE&I, accessibility, and health and wellness will be non-negotiable in future website standards.  

International Infrastructure & Features 

There are 4.9 billion active internet users worldwide. That's 62% of the world's total population. As more users connect worldwide, international traffic increases the need to offer global-friendly infrastructure and features, like language translation and character encoding, to be adaptable to different cultural and linguistic contexts.  

On the infrastructure side, responsive design and content delivery networks, or CDNs, greatly enhance the CX. A CDN functions to virtually shorten the physical distance between the user and server to improve site rendering speed and performance. A CDN consists of servers strategically distributed across various geographic locations around the world. It works by storing cached versions of website content in these servers, allowing users to access the content from a server that is physically closer to their location. 

DE&I Practices 

We’re well on our way to a future where inclusivity is not just a goal but an integral part of the fabric of human connectivity. By dismantling unconscious bias, nurturing multigenerational collaboration, and championing gender inclusivity, brands and organizations can create an online environment where every user feels at home. Language bias prevention is especially crucial today as many companies are researching ways to employ AI systems across operations. AI developers are just beginning to wrestle with cracking into the language echo chamber produced by the human biases imbedded in the online content from which it learns. 

Reversing Digital’s Carbon Footprint 

Everyone loves the convenience and peace of mind cloud storage provides. However, the data storage industry sector has a carbon footprint that surpasses that of the aviation industry which is forecasted to consume 80-billion gallons of fuel by year’s end. Studies show that data centers use up to 5 million gallons of water daily. 

Organizations need to think about how to manage their data to minimize their digital carbon footprint. User awareness of dark data and the digital industry’s environmental impact is a growing trend that websites will have to consider and solve in the very near future. 

Among the thousands of companies and financial institutions pledged to reach or develop science-based targets, tech titans like Google and Meta have all prioritized sustainability. They are actively exploring various strategies to become carbon-neutral in the present and ultimately achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. 

Data center GHG emissions worldwide     Exceeding the aviation industry's 2.4%, data centers account for 2.5%-3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

More complex strategies include the establishment of new and the adoption of renewable power sources and the use of sustainable materials. However, even smaller-scale digital product owners can lessen their impact by implementing dark mode. Easy on the eyes and the environment, dark mode reverses or offers alternative color schemes on a phone or laptop screen. In contrast to conventional dark text on a white background, dark mode features a lighter font against a darker background. This seemingly simple swap can be a greener solution that increases battery life and reduces power consumption. 

Thinking globally and neutralizing their carbon footprint, data centers and digital product owners can reduce environmental and energy consumption. What's more, the practice also lowers operating costs and wins over the surmounting carbon-conscious consumer of the future. 

Advancing the Internet of the Senses (IoS) 

As we advance to the next decade, immersive experiences drive the integration of all senses, not just sight and sound. Future applications could enable the exchange of odors and tastes for food and beverages, allowing users to share sensory experiences across platforms. 

Human-To-Computer “Table” Service 

What may seem like a culinary experience imagined in an episode of Black Mirror, the Norimaki Synthesizer uses electrically charged gel that delivers the five taste types in controlled amounts to simulate any flavor taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami to mimic the taste of anything from sushi to celery. 

Additionally, the sense of touch will enhance the e-commerce shopping experience by providing a more realistic feel of products. Technology will manipulate taste, aroma, and touch in a way where it can be sampled on the website and feel completely real.  
a man with his mouth open and tongue out


6G Will Make the Invisible Visible 

With the arrival of 6G, we will see endless possibilities for handheld smart tools and web apps that will fuel navigational recommendations. Enabled by ultra-high-resolution imaging, 6G will soon provide a fresh new form of eyesight the world hasn’t seen since the invention of the X-Ray. Safe, precise, and low-power augmented human-like sensing capabilities will be able to detect what the naked eye cannot and can be used in the form of portable or wearable devices — or even implanted ones if we so desire. 

By using electromagnetic waves, even a smartphone could detect cables in walls, find pinprick leaks in water pipes or implement contactless flaw detection and quality control in smart factories. 

What Is Human-Centric Digital Design? 

The advantages of embracing human-centric design are significant for website owners and users. Websites that adopt this approach enjoy heightened user engagement, increased conversion rates, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Users appreciate websites that genuinely cater to their preferences, address their pain points, and provide seamless interactions. Notable examples of successful human-centric design can be seen in renowned platforms like Airbnb, Slack, and Spotify. 

Human-centric design revolves around placing the user at the heart of the design process. It revolves around a fundamental principle – putting the user at the forefront of the design process. By understanding their needs, desires, and behaviors, we create intuitive and engaging experiences that resonate with users on a deeper level. Our approach prioritizes empathy, thorough research, and iterative testing to bridge the technology and human interaction gap. 

The Psychology of Human Connection 

As a digitally-led CX agency, Mindstream Interactive is on the pulse of how humans behave within a brand context, on and offline. It’s common knowledge that human connection drives user engagement and conversion rates. Empathy and understanding are key elements in website design, as they create a sense of resonance and emotional connection. By considering the psychological aspects that turn browsers into brand loyalists, web experiences can greatly affect an individual’s perception of a brand. 

When designing websites and apps, we employ various techniques to enhance human connection in the online user experience: 


Personalization and Customization: 

Tailoring experiences based on user preferences and behavior. 


Storytelling and Narratives:  

Using compelling narratives to evoke emotions and create a sense of connection. 


Social Proof and Community-Building:

Highlighting testimonials, reviews, and social media integration to foster a sense of community. 


Interactivity and Gamification: 

Interactive elements and game-like experiences turn the user from mere observer to the story’s main character for the most personal brand engagement. 

Mindstream Interactive Proprietary Methods 

Customer Core®: 

Our tailored-to-client collaborative method bridges the business goal-to-consumer need gap by mining holistically developed insights. Using client data, primary research and secondary research, we define their customer Personas, Journey Maps and then provide an Impact Chart that's a holistic recommendation on how to impact business across an entire customer experience. 

Storylining and Human Connection: 

As a digital experience agency, we empower brands to establish genuine and unified connections across various content channels, including paid, earned, owned, and shared platforms. Our innovative approach creates customized insight fueled stories to brands to engage with their audience authentically. By carefully filtering and organizing messages in a logical order, we ensure that the entire story is easily understandable, devoid of unnecessary noise, and designed to evolve alongside your brand continuously. Learn more > 


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