Today we’re releasing our annual trends report, FutureView 2021. It was an interesting exercise as the partners of Punchcut sat together and discussed what we’ve learned from, arguably, one of the most tumultuous years in business history.

As we looked at the agility and innovation of our clients in the face of the pandemic, several clear themes emerged. We believe that the unusual experiences of 2020 are going to provide a foundation for innovation at a pace that we’ve never seen before, and that human-centered design is going to take center stage as we now must design a more conscious…

Shifting from In-Person to Remote Research

We are no longer conducting “research as usual.” At Punchcut, we understand how needs are rapidly evolving (both collectively and individually) because of COVID-19, and we’ve responded by adapting our research practice to fully remote methods. While we are mixed-method researchers, the pandemic has introduced additional complexities, not just for in-person research but also for remote research. We’re learning about issues impacting our clients’ current and future customer base. We’re seeing how people’s attitudes, behaviors, expectations, and goals have shifted and will continue to shift over time. …

Every day, we encounter people we don’t know and we make assumptions about them. Consciously and unconsciously, we categorize them based on things like race, age, gender, the way they dress, or speak, or because of the kind of car they drive or phone they use. Our brains are wired to judge others’ behaviors so we can quickly assess who is friend and who is foe. But what do we really know? Many of our assumptions have been influenced by our backgrounds, culture, the media, and superficial interactions. As we mentally process these inputs, we develop stereotypes, resulting in misconceptions…

Today’s businesses are facing change all around. Their success depends on how nimbly they can pivot and adapt in turning change into an opportunity for growth. Now, is the time to accelerate the power of design to tackle this change and transform it into opportunity.

In a matter of months, the world has radically changed as economies, relationships, and lives have been disrupted and threatened by COVID-19. The human toll continues to spread beyond health as businesses small and large face monumental change. …

We’re entering a time of exponential technological progress and growing human awareness, calling for more mindful, conscious forms of design.


Digitally Connected, but Disconnected

Over the past decade, digital technology has connected just about everything. From mobile to IoT, we’ve seen emerging technologies become normalized throughout the world. This digital transformation enables services to instantly connect us to our media, money, friends, family, healthcare, transportation, and more, from anywhere in the world.

But why is it still so complicated to set up our smart homes? In the digital economy, competition for loyalty and dollars has created a plethora of products, services, and platforms, each trying to protect its IP and its ecosystem, creating barriers for users looking for seamless experiences.

And why do…

This is the second of two articles about haptic design and provides an overview of human sensory systems and the technology created to manipulate those senses. The first article on Haptic Design Principles was published here.

Beyond the Buzz

Though you may not realize it, you’ve probably already encountered haptic technology through your smartphone, watch, or gaming device. When information is communicated to you through your sense of touch, whether it’s the rumble of a game controller at the approach of an enemy vehicle or the buzz of an incoming message on your wrist, that’s a designed haptic experience. …

For the last 35 years, since the introduction of the GUI in the 1980s, user experience design has been a discipline and medium dominated by the visual. Even as the touchscreen revolutionized UI, the sensory emphasis of that experience has always been more “screen” than “touch.” But when we step back and take a broader view of consumer technology over time, it’s clear the overarching trend is pushing interfaces beyond the visual.

Consumer tech advancements are moving us toward a more multi-sensory future.

Advances in small, power-efficient sensors and chipsets has made it possible to introduce other forms of user interactions and engagement. Display screens 8 inches or smaller are expected…

Five Design Fundamentals for the New Designated Driver

Smart city intersection showing converging lines representing autonomous vehicle traffic

Autonomous vehicles are steadily becoming more capable, shifting the traditional driver role from active human piloting to passive monitoring. As AV technology continues to advance, social acceptance and driver adaptation will depend on designing experiences around trust, comfort, and control.

At Punchcut, we work with mobility companies around the world to research and design solutions that envision the path for innovation and implementation. Through our partnerships, we have identified five key fundamentals for designing and deploying driverless experiences.

“It’s a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide scale [autonomous vehicle] deployment and having the first production car with no driver controls.

- Dan Ammann, GM President (January 2019)

The finance industry has transformed from physical to digital experiences, but that is no longer enough. As people get used to pervasive access to assets experiences must become seamless not merely connected.

From Digitally Connected to Seamless

Everyday at Punchcut, we work with our financial clients to accelerate innovation and improve their customers’ experiences. In the process, we’ve identified five transformation points that will move companies beyond old paradigms to deliver more seamless, financial and payment experiences. Here are the first steps that should guide the path.

Step 1
Move Beyond Data — Put People First

In seamless services, data becomes invisible and intuitive insight will guide customers to value. …

Mice, game controllers, touchscreens, voice, extended reality — the way we interact with our digital world is more varied than ever before. But when it comes to prototyping, even the most complex interfaces boil down to just two kinds of interactions: instant and continuous.

Instant interactions focus on what happens after user input: the transition that follows a tap, voice command, glance, or other momentary input. Continuous interactions also consider the input itself: a slider, camera, data stream, or other ongoing input that manipulate the UI in real time.

At Punchcut, continuous interaction is key to a compelling prototype. It’s how we make motion interactive. More importantly, it’s how we get precise feedback in testing, deliver persuasive presentations, and align teams with fewer meetings.

We take a variety of approaches to interactive motion, but combining After Effects with Origami Studio gives us the best of…


Punchcut is a digital product design and innovation company specializing in seamless products and services for emerging platforms.

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