The pandemic (coronavirus) has changed the world we used to know. Apart from damaging human lives, it has impacted every industry, forcing millions of businesses worldwide to revisit their approach towards handling projects and overall work. Such impacts have tested the capabilities of businesses to run their projects effectively. While many businesses and project managers and their sponsors adapted to the new work home environment effectively and efficiently, many businesses faced substantial delays or even cancellations.

This dynamic shift forced businesses to create new, adaptable, and creative ways to work around. Whether it be employing technological developments, elevating systems, or reconsidering their business’s infrastructure, the project management future – albeit drab and indefinite at times – still looks promising; the new age will likely redefine the industry and project management processes as we know it.

Many enterprises have moved to remote work permanently or for an extended period of time, including Careem, Infosys, Salesforce, Google, and Facebook. With the COVID-19 being still here, a U.S. technology research firm’s recent survey states that the cumulative figure of employees working permanently from home is all set to double in 2021 globally. The percentage of remote workers will increase from 16.4% to 34.4%.

Considering the situation, what type of crucial changes do you expect to see in the forthcoming years? And how are project managers going to bear the cost of it due to the coronavirus pandemic?

Project Managers Will Need to Upgrade Their Skills

Put simply; it will be the survival of the fittest. If you want to keep the boat afloat, then you’d have to keep up with the constant changes and challenges. You will have to optimize the projects and not simply cancel or delay the progress. And to achieve it effectively, you will have to stay motivated to learn and upgrade your skills for yourself and the business’s success and betterment.

Considering the current situation of COVID-19, learning new skills and upgrading the existing ones will become crucially important more than ever, especially now when we find ourselves moving towards the new-normal post-pandemic landscape.

Whether it be polishing soft skills like day-to-day communication with the internal team or clients, upgrading project management skills like creating a contingency plan under a short time span, or enhancing hard skills, such as getting a strong grip over data-driven systems, since most of us are still working from home, project managers have to identify and embrace different levels of expertise.

Flexible Working Hours Will Reign Supreme

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that project management businesses can cope perfectly fine with a home-based setup. And this may likely stay like this even after COVID-19 considering that work from home is workable for most employees and employers.

From improved flexibility to increased productivity levels, COVID-19 has only sped up the implementation of flexible working schedules, forcing the project management industry into an unprecedented shift towards remote work worldwide.

However, it also came with its own challenges. After all, work from home completely changes the traditional workplace dynamics, making it somewhat difficult to handle work-based communication and processes.

In a traditional setting, spontaneous collaborations, meetings, team sessions, brainstorming, and other project management tasks work better as all the team members work under one roof. Hence, moving forward, project managers will have to think about unique and improved methods to incite this same level of teamwork even when they aren’t working in the same room.

Communication Is and Will Be the Key

Project management in these times is not just limited to the team’s surveillance to achieve desired targets. It also allows the whole team to build a trust factor by exploring new ways to get optimal results while working remotely.

To achieve this, while working remotely, one thing is crucial, and that’s communication. To bring the same level of engagement, enthusiasm, and productivity, project managers would need to engage and maintain a high level of communication through various channels: interactive video meetings, virtual gatherings, follow-up emails, or one-to-one calls.

To do so, project managers can use online communication tools, such as Slack, Zoom, or Skype, to maintain a high level of employee involvement. Furthermore, it will become more important than ever to check on employees’ mental health and emotional well-being.

Technology Will Play A Decisive Role

As we go through this pandemic, this is also an ideal time to re-invent and simplify the project management working practices to improve and address the business’s needs. To do so, project managers can increase technology use by simplifying and automating some of the project processes. To put it simply, no one would have thought that working remotely will be a thing and become a new norm in the future, but it did. Technology has revolutionized workplace dealings and processes. Artificial Intelligence is one of the game-changing factors. It is likely to leave a massive impact on how admin-based processes are being run and managed, saving a huge amount of time when scheduling, data management, data analytics, or any other tactical planning-based tasks. As per Gartner’s research in 2019, project management would be majorly replaced by artificial intelligence, automating most decisions instantly without any humans involved.

It will ease up the workload on project managers, allowing them to streamline and automate the processes while focusing on other core areas of project management.

Conclusive Thoughts

This pandemic has left a disastrous effect on the project management industry; however, it has also provided businesses with the opportunity to stop, reflect, and reconsider their project management strategies from now on.

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It’s not a surprise to see the new UI/UX design trends list every year. That’s the thing about trends – always bringing something new to the table. And the design industry itself is ever-evolving, changing circumstances demand for new and innovative design solutions.

But here is the thing, it is inevitably impossible for designers to follow each and every trend; thus, it becomes crucial for graphic designers to try the trends from time to time to see what’s working and what they can offer to their clientele.

Considering the changing work environments worldwide, we researched and prepared a list of the latest UI/UX trends for 2021. These latest trends will possibly change the design industry – in a good way.

And as said by Mark King, “Design is the body language of your marketing. Don’t slouch.”

So, let’s dig in and explore what’s in the store for designers and brand owners.

Brand Transparency

What makes a good UX is the ability to provide users with an easy-to-navigate interface where users can easily find menus, contact info, and other relevant buttons without needing them to ask. Navigation, nevertheless, is not the only lesson that UX has to impart out there for users. There has been a significant increase in the UX, that is, focused on reflecting the brand’s ethics, storyline, or work culture – showing the users exactly how services or products are being provided and handled.

Such representation of transparent processes makes it easier for users to invest their faith and trust in the brand. This may include social media popups, banners, or overlays that express the brand’s transparent ways of doing work or terms and policies around how website content or user’s data is updated and used.

In 2021, we will see a boost in brand transparency executed through good UX, allowing brands to develop brand trust among users. Because most brands have finally realized that the first interaction visitors want to have on any website is not necessarily a call-to-action button that’s being shoved in their faces; instead are more considerate about the brand’s values.

Advanced Personalization

It has become important more than ever for brands to create customer loyalty with personalization. Personalization in design means showing content and product suggestions based on user preferences such as previous search history, preferences, and buyer journey on the website, age, marital status, order history, etc. All of these components help brands come up with designs that complement the user’s search. To present the users with highly personalized design and content, it is crucial to understand their intent, intention behind the search, where they stand in the buyer journey, whether they seek a solution or merely visiting the web pages for inspiration.

The ultimate goal of personalized design is to make the users feel that the content is specially designed for them. This advanced personalization strategy often helps in increasing the user conversion rate.

Presenting your products and services in a personalized manner is a way to go for brands looking to improve user retention.

Contactless Interactions

In the wake of the pandemic, a new trend has been walking around the corner – touchless interactions. Even when we talk about UX designs, there has been a shift in how users interact with their devices. The intrusion and excessive use of voice control interfaces can be seen.

Even before the advent of the pandemic, voice searches were taking over already. As per Google report, approx. 27% of the population (worldwide) used voice searches in 2020 on mobile devices. And roughly 70% of these voice searches were made using regular conversational language. Considering the rising trend and excessive use of voice search, brands should consider incorporating a voice-search interface within their design modules to expand the web’s reach and usage.

For example, brands can add a voice chatbot to their website that would solely cater to users who prefer to use voice search for communication and searches.

This trend is expected to double in 2021, considering the current situation and voice search usage across the web.

Realistic Textures

“An attempt to drift away from the flat designs” – (pun intended). That’s not the case. In fact, flat design and minimalism still play a major role in shaping modern UI/UX designs among all the new trends. However, most designers or even brands now feel the need to bring something fresh to the table.

One of the trends that will take the design industry in full swing is adding some real-life images of objects/subjects in discussion with their natural and unrendered look and textures. Thus, many visual artists and graphic designers are now reaching out to perceptible aesthetics that give a more authentic feel to the users. Giving an impression and feel to the users that they can almost touch the design screens/products with their hands – thanks to realistic textures.

This is something worth considering as it creates a feeling of connection between users with brands.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, 2021 is the year of UX design trends, and it would definitely bring new opportunities to look forward to. What are your thoughts? Do you have any predictions as well? Do let us know!

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In today’s rapidly evolving technological world, web development standards and trends sometimes change faster than they can be implemented. And for this varied purpose, web developers must stay a step ahead of the game. That is why, to keep up with the ever-evolving web trends, our web development team always stays vigilant and well-prepared to create fully functional futuristic web apps for the clients.

The future of web development is based on a blend of digital and ordinary concepts like never before. After discussing the possibilities with our fellow designers and developers in the community, we have gathered some noteworthy web development trends for 2021. Let us explore the future that this sphere holds for us.

Advanced Animations

Animation has always been an integral part of the design industry. However, the use of advanced animations, including interaction design in web development, has increased year after year. From micro-interactions to particle backgrounds, we have witnessed it all. The web animations in 2021 are expected to be more complex yet exciting in terms of dividing the page elements into the foreground and background interfaces, creating interactive design experiences, incorporating floating typography, or crafting a unique 3D parallax effect.

The purpose of interactive animations is to create a brand message that is supported by interactive design features. Since the future is all about engagement, it is important to have the right set of animations that can really spice up your website design and subsequently improve user interactions.

Furthermore, the merger of foreground and background elements in websites will also benefit user engagement; by transmuting the web pages into somewhat closer to a theatre stage, where everything looks up-close and appealing to the eyes. The overall placement and functionality leave a memorizing experience where users are drawn into the resounding performance of different animations working together to present a greater view.

This is something that you can always integrate into your future web apps to stand out and because, by the end of the day, the intent is to hold the users’ attention by presenting your brand’s message the right way.

AI Dev – Artificial Intelligence Development

We know artificial intelligence has been making its way for the past many years, but now it has evolved into a mastermind. Mimicking human interactions and actions by learning them through technology is remarkable. Integrating artificial intelligence in the development of web apps is something crucial for its sustainability in the future. Having a chatbot installed in your web apps can give you leverage over your competitors. You can enhance the user experience by improving web functionality based on data received through chatbots.

Businesses can literally boost their presence by involving AI. From enhancing user experiences using chatbots to creating self-learning algorithms for coding. The possibilities are unlimited. Your business can always stay a step ahead by having web apps that are supported by Ai features.

Having AI chatbots and virtual assistant apps would be the next big hit in 2021 for businesses.

Comfortable Color Schemes

Having comfortable color schemes is the need for today’s web world. With the increase in digital space use, most people spend time in front of screens, scrolling web pages, social platforms, blogs and news websites, etc. Thus, it is not surprising to see that users face eye strain by constantly staring at the web screens for a longer period.

Being a responsible team of web designers, we have been taking this into consideration while preparing for our clients’ websites. The year 2021 is all about creating a concerned and comfortable web experience for users by ensuring that all elements are placed in the right composition, by using color schemes on the lighter side that does not leave an unpleasant experience.

With the introduction of a dark theme this year, in 2021, web designers will be more focused on thinking outside the two extremes – light and dark mode by creating a middle ground to create websites with subtle and cool colors.


Website Design and Development for a Cause

In 2020 the internet has become a refuge for both brands and users (in need). With Covid-19, everything has changed. The patterns in which industries used to operate have been affected. Thus, over the past few months, brands were required to develop sustainable platforms and actionable plans for user engagement and sustainability.

We have seen the internet becoming the top hub for online-conferences, social gatherings, meetings, classes, and whatnot. This pushed the web designers to develop innovative, meaningful, and easy-to-navigate designs considering the audiences who weren’t dependent on online platforms before. And this was just the start. In 2021 we are looking to have websites with impactful designs and functionality that highly resonate with the changing social and environmental issues.

Final Words

In 2021, we plan to continue by providing value-added services to businesses and helping the world through these unfortunate troubled times. If you are looking to revamp your web app, need a new website, or a customized software for management, then feel free to get in touch. Our team at Odyssey Computing would be happy to assist.

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According to Statista, the big data market is expected to reach $103 billion by the year 2027.  This isn’t all that surprising, as internet users are said to generate a couple quintillion bytes of data every single day! It’s captured everywhere, from emails, smart devices, mobile applications, web applications, social media accounts, surveys, you name it. Those that are able to accurately capture and transform this data in meaningful ways through custom software applications will have tremendous advantages into the future. These big data processing tools provide a host of advantages, from risk management and predictive analytics, to tremendous insight into consumer behaviors and more. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Below we will outline a few industries that are set to be entirely redefined by big data in the days to come.    

Healthcare  

Big data is having absolutely profound effects on medicine as it is revolutionizing the way healthcare practitioners identify and treat illnesses. By harnessing big data, healthcare is striving to better understand each individual patient as much as possible and as early as possible in order to better identify early warning signs and treat illnesses before they become more serious and more expensive to treat. Overall, big data has incredible implications for our global community as doctors are able to both significantly improve our overall quality of life as well as prevent avoidable deaths. One of the greatest examples is in the human genome space. Given recent technological advances, clinicians are able to diagnose and treat deadly illnesses like never before as the delivery of genetic information has reached unprecedented speed and accuracy. This is largely due to custom data analysis software applications that, coupled with hardware, are able to conduct genetic profiling in just a fraction of the time and expense. We are fortunate enough to have partnered on a few of these projects and couldn’t be prouder!   

Retail  

When it comes to retail, understanding your customer base and anticipating their wants and needs is the key to big sales. Fortunately for retailers, big data is providing just that. Retailers are essentially sitting on a gold mine of opportunity. Those with a data-first strategy aiming to more thoroughly understand their customers and match them with the right products will reap big rewards. The great thing is, data analytics can be utilized at every stage of the purchasing process, from predicting future trends, optimizing prices based on competition, to identifying which customers are likely to be interested in particular products and what they will want next. The opportunity is virtually limitless.  

Manufacturing  

Not surprisingly, data plays a big role in modern manufacturing as robotics and increased automation are reshaping manufacturing processes. Even on a smaller scale, data serves to transform more traditional manufacturing processes through embedded sensors in equipment. In doing so, manufacturers are able to capture invaluable data which allows them to monitor the health of the machines as well as output. For example, our client manufactures oven profiling hardware for electronics manufacturing. Essentially, by running their hardware through the thermal ovens, coupled with a custom web application for oven profiling, their customers are able to improve manufacturing efficiency while improving the quality of the end product. It’s a win win for everyone involved. 

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