Designing for Gen Z
Generation Z is a powerful group in today’s world. They’ve entered the workforce and are likely to continue to shake the status quo. This group has incredible spending power and the determination to make a difference and affect change. Tech is a seamless part of their life, and they’re open to transparent and effective digital products that fit into their lives intuitively, as well.
In a previous post, Designing Apps for Different Generations, we looked broadly at how your generation influences your relationship to technology throughout your lifetime. Each generation has shared experiences during their formative years that help to shape collective values. These values, in turn, influence motivations, preferences, and expectations when it comes to technology. As you develop products aimed at this generation, understanding these values can provide insights to consider when designing for Gen Z.
Gen Z Background
All eyes are on Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012. Just like the generations before them, they’re in the life stage of self-discovery. Since this generation’s youth, Gen Z parents have been navigating the rise of tech, social media, and online privacy issues—for Gen Z, discovering their true selves is no easy task.
Gen Z has proven to be catalyzed citizens who want to make a difference. Their innate understanding of the power of social media and their regular consumption of news and information—often as it happens—has allowed Gen Z to move past the era of Millennial armchair activism. While navigating life in today’s world, Gen Z confidently prioritizes experiences over objects.
Gen Z & Technology
Born into tech, Gen Z uses their problem-solving skills to navigate life in today’s world confidently. Gen Z resists the Millennial-curated Instagram feed and instead shows their followers a more spontaneous and authentic persona that makes no distinction between their online and real life. They appreciate self-made stars and creative transparency, practiced by the many influencers they follow (and want to be).
They are speaking out, using their digital reach to influence national conversations from pop culture to politics. With tech at their disposal, they have opportunities to learn virtually anything at their fingertips, leading to content creation and early entrepreneurship. They’re skipping college to jump right into the “real world.”
Considerations When Designing for Gen Z
We’ve identified key considerations to keep in mind when designing digital products for Gen Z with this information in mind.
Prioritize a Smooth User Experience
The easiest way to encourage the use of and user retention for your app is by providing users with a smooth user experience. This is certainly a recommendation for all audiences but is critical for apps aimed at younger generations.
If Gen Z users detect any glitches, hang-ups, or stickiness within a digital product, there’s a good chance they’ll look for a better solution. Build your app with swift and straightforward interactions and don’t reinvent the wheel for every feature within your product—draw inspiration from apps that are already working. By sticking with best practices, standard features, and anticipating your users’ desires, your users will navigate more intuitively and stick around for more.
Make It Visual
Younger audiences aren’t interested in sifting through different kinds of content. Video content is more straightforward for them to navigate, and they tend to absorb it quicker than reading.
When creating a video for Gen Z, there are a few essential must-haves:
- Creative, short-form video is the way to get Gen Z to love your brand—but attention spans are short. Use catchy, hyper-relevant content to grab the user’s attention within the first 3 seconds or risk losing it altogether.
- Use content that can be consumed with the sound-off by employing captions and visual storytelling. This is a recommendation for all users, although it is also best practice in regard to accessibility. Reconsider the use of any content where sound is a must.
- Consider the video’s platform when you create video content. When designing for Gen Z, this means using vertical video fit for Instagram reels, Tik Tok, and Snapchat.
Help To Express Authenticity & Individuality
Gen Z values authenticity in the brands they love, and they infuse it into their feeds as well. Gen Zers are conscious of their “personal brand”—the aesthetic representing their personality and interests. Thanks to the accessibility of digital video tools, Everyone is a content creator, and they use these digital tools to curate how the world sees them.
Questions to ask when considering your Gen Z audience’s desire to be real:
- Does your product take into consideration the highly visual nature of Gen Z?
- Does your digital product provide tools for content creation?
- Does your app offer anything for them to share and a way to do so quickly?
- Is there an opportunity to utilize user-generated content?
- Is there an opportunity to be more transparent? To provide behind-the-scenes details?
- Does Gen Z relate to this content?
Concluding Thoughts on Designing for Gen Z
These ideas can give you a sense of the necessary nuance in designing apps aimed at Gen Z. By taking their needs and preferences into account while developing a product, you can significantly broaden your app’s market potential.
Many digital products can potentially be solutions for users spanning multiple generations, so there is much to consider. In addition to our free guide, Designing Digital Products for Every Generation, we’ve highlighted key takeaways on designing digital products for Gen Alpha, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and for all.
If you have questions or concerns about designing for Gen Z—or any other generation—we would be happy to consult with you free of charge. Get in touch with us today!
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Business & Strategy
Many founders and entrepreneurs start their business because they have an itch to solve a problem, but they reach a point along the way where they’re at a turning point. This is where most businesses fail unless they turn the corner. Every leader goes through humbling moments. These are the learnings that host Kendra Prospero unearths by interviewing seasoned leaders on the How I Turned the Corner Podcast. Brad Weber, CEO and President of InspiringApps, joined the podcast to discuss turning the corner on employee turnover. Employee turnover is an important and often overlooked aspect of running a business, especially in competitive industries like tech. And every time there’s turnover, there’s cost—even in the best scenarios. In an inspiring discussion with Kendra, Brad shares his unique approach to keeping employees happy and turnover low. Watch the Full Interview Quote From the Interview “Foundational for us is definitely respect and support for one another on our team. And that goes a surprisingly long way. And it’s also not as common as I would have thought that it is, but that’s really important to us. Everybody on the team is absolutely respected for their contribution, and we want to help them grow in the ways that make sense for them—whether that’s technically or or to pick up non-technical skills that are important to them. We do all of that over the course of their career at InspiringApps.” —Brad Weber About Kendra Prospero Kendra Prospero is the CEO and Founder of Turning the Corner, LLC. For over a decade, Kendra’s career has been all about creating healthier and more rewarding work environments. She helps people connect to work they love, while transforming workplace culture to retain top talent, increase productivity, and build confident leaders. She has served hundreds of clients in revamping their corporate cultures, revitalizing their recruiting and helping them retain their people. Her clients include Google, Infusionsoft, Ricoh USA, Project Management Institute, Galvanize, Boomtown, SurveyGizmo, and SHRM Colorado. About Brad Weber Brad Weber has more than 25 years of software development experience. Brad received his MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado and spent several years with Accenture before striking off on his own adventures, including the successful founding of four different technology companies. With a passion for software artisanship, Brad founded InspiringApps to build a team that could tackle larger app development challenges than he was able to handle on his own. His leadership creates an environment where the most innovative digital products continue to come to life. About InspiringApps App development that makes an impact. InspiringApps builds digital products that help companies impact their employees, customers, and communities. Yes, we build web, mobile, and custom apps, but what we offer is something above and beyond that. What we offer is inspiration. Our award-winning work has included 200+ apps since the dawn of the iPhone. Our core values: integrity, respect, commitment, inclusivity, and empathy. Our guarantee: finish line, every time, for every project. Get in touch at hello@InspiringApps.com. Say Hello on Social LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/inspiringapps/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InspiringApps Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inspiringapps/
6 days ago
The possibilities are endless when it comes to Gen Alpha. As the most diverse generation, they are forward-thinking and brilliant innovators. Gen Alphas were born into a hyper-technological and entrepreneurial world, making them the most globally connected generation ever. This demographic has tremendous earning potential and will have the highest spending power in history. Technology is a part of daily life. Thus, Gen Alphas prioritize authentic connection and meaningful causes. In a previous post, Designing Apps for Different Generations, we looked broadly at how your generation influences your relationship to technology throughout your lifetime. Each generation has shared experiences during their formative years that help to shape collective values. These values, in turn, influence motivations, preferences, and expectations regarding technology. As you develop products aimed at this generation, understanding these values can provide insights to consider when designing for Gen Alpha. Gen Alpha Background If you can bet on any generation making big waves, it’s Generation Alpha. Born in the 21st century from 2010-2025, they’re the largest generation and most likely to live the longest. Gen Alphas are also predicted to be the most educated and wealthiest generation of all time. Born into a global pandemic, this generation has become increasingly immersed in technology and digital experiences. As a result, Gen Alphas seek authentic communication and connection more than ever. Unlike their Millennial parents, Gen Alphas frequent platforms like TikTok, Instagram Live, Houseparty, Clubhouse, and similar platforms. AI is part of their daily lives, and they frequently use technologies like Siri and Alexa (among others) from an early age. Due to shorter attention spans in our increasingly digitalized world, short, easily digestible content is imperative. Creativity and innovation are common themes among this brilliant and up-and-coming generation. This demographic has a tremendous amount of earning potential. They like to think out of the box, are incredibly technologically savvy, and value the importance of social causes. They tend to place a high value on climate change and inclusivity. Gen Alpha is a passionate group that desires to help others and improve the world around them. Gen Alpha & Technology Generation Alpha is immersed in a world of technology. According to McCrindle, Gen Alpha has more screen time than previous generations. The pandemic has only intensified technology use. With few places to go, Gen Alpha kids turned to their screens to combat their inner loneliness. One must design with authentic influence to bridge the gap between digital technology and the human experience. Gen Alpha is tired of the manufactured experience and is looking for a genuine connection that speaks to them personally. They tend to have short attention spans and are interested in fast-paced, easily-consumable media content. Due to the plethora of information available to this modern generation, Gen Alpha believes strongly in the power of data and is greatly influenced by it. Gen Alphas are enthusiastic about documenting and sharing their own content and like interacting with others digitally. Influencers can profoundly impact their purchasing decisions. Gen Alphas want customizable, meaningful digital experiences that bring them value and uplift their daily life. Considerations When Designing for Gen Alpha Authentic Influence Niche content creators greatly influence Generation Alpha. That said, this generation is bombarded with influencers and advertisements. We can expect Gen Alpha to distrust brands that seem phony or don’t have their best interests at heart. Similarly, they will likely reject traditional forms of marketing much as their Millennial parents did. Authentic influence is critical for gaining the trust of Generation Alpha. Gen Alphas are looking for genuine connections with brands that align with their values. Raw, real-life experiences, humanized messaging, and value-based technology will be best received best by Gen Alphas. In short—less curated experiences and more authenticity. Having concentrated human-centric features will dramatically shape the Gen Alpha’s user experience. Return on User Experience Gen Alphas invest in experiences that enrich their lives and, in turn, have high expectations for all elements of their experience. The level of transparency of taking the customer on the journey from start to finish will significantly benefit this generation. They want an immersive experience with the entire process demonstrated to them, not just a cherry-picked, glamorous experience. Leveraging interactive marketing tactics such as user-generated content allows the user to be part of an experience. Here’s a formula to constantly improve a Gen Alpha’s user experience: 1. Observe. Develop a thorough understanding of your customer journeys and pinpoint what matters most to them along the way. 2. Evaluate. Collect operational data and derive meaningful results with a key performance indicator framework. 3. Act. Use those insights to improve your app to fit the user’s preferences and desires. A rule-based action engine can help expedite and automate the process. Connected to Social Issues Generation Alpha cares deeply about social issues. Causes like climate change, diversity and inclusion, fair representation, acceptance, and sustainability will be at the forefront of their value system. They’ll be seeking out brands and technologies that combat social issues. With that in mind, be transparent about your mission, impact, and what you do to solve it. Brands looking to engage with this audience must embody and foster inclusive and accepting environments. As the most diverse generation, brands can build trust by representing their consumers authentically. Here are some questions to consider when designing for Gen Alpha: What are the demographic and psychographics of the country? How can you reduce our imprint on the environment and create a more sustainable solution? Where are there additional opportunities for broader representation? Concluding Thoughts on Designing for Gen Alpha Taking Gen Alphas’ background, needs, and technological preferences into account will help broaden your app’s reach and market potential. Many digital products can potentially be solutions for users spanning multiple generations, so there is much to consider. In addition to our free guide, Designing Digital Products for Every Generation, we’ve highlighted key takeaways on designing digital products for Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and for all. If you have questions or concerns about designing for Gen Alpha—or any other generation—we would be happy to consult with you free of charge. Get in touch with us today!
9 days ago