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Marketing Design Dispatch

How Apple's new product might change the face of marketing design

Published 11 months ago • 4 min read

Last week Apple announced a brand new product: the Vision Pro.

I've been thinking about how this device might change the future of my work as a marketing designer (for better or worse).

Let's discuss.

What the heck is the Vision Pro?

It's a VR headset that can act more like AR because of the high quality cameras that allow you to 'see' your surroundings while you're using apps within the device.

A dial on the device let's you bring in a rich virtual environment if you prefer though, and be fully or partially immersed in a virtual space.

And what on earth is "spatial computing"?

Defined by Simon Greenwold in 2003 as "human interaction with a machine in which the machine retains and manipulates referents to real objects and spaces", this is the term Apple is using for their new era of interfaces. They're displayed not on a contained rectangle on our desk or in our pockets, but in our own space – all around us.

VisionOS (the operating system on the Vision Pro) has your apps floating in the air, with the ability to control where they're placed in your space and – get this – navigate with your eyes and gestures. 😱

Just as we consider the experience we're designing for a user on their desktop vs a tablet vs a phone when we're designing websites, in the future we will likely find ourselves needing to consider spatial computing as a use case too.

How might these new developments change our work as marketing designers?

There's no doubt that in the future we'll find ourselves designing using VR devices, but right now I want to focus not on our workflows but our output and pose some questions to you.

What does the future of designing a marketing site look like if there is no rectangle to contain it?

How could we use spatial computing to better educate a potential new user on the product we're marketing?

How can we make use of the immersive experience that VR offers to build brand affinity?

And how can we do the above with deep respect for our users and their personal space?

Practically speaking, how do we need to shift the way we work with depth in our designs?

While we're long past flat design as a trend, we'll need to move past drop shadows and consider how creating depth in a design works in 3D space.

Josh's comment on the lack of depth in what we saw of VisionOS is really interesting to me:

When there's a fundamental shift in computing, we tend to ease into it with things that are familiar to us so that we can wrap our heads around it. For now that means Apple are showing content constrained to browser windows. We understand rectangles with content inside them.

The depth will come. And I think a lack of rectangular constraints will too.

Perhaps we won't be choosing background images for our sites' hero sections because the 'image' will be a view of the users own space.

Perhaps our designs will adapt and respond not just to a browser width, but to a users real life environment (or their chosen virtual one).

Perhaps a marketing website will no longer be a vertical page you scroll down, but an experience you load that exists around you.

It's going to make marketing design more personal. And with that great power comes a responsibility we have as designers to not take advantage of that personal connection by invading a users space (imagine pop up's all around you for example?? I feel claustrophobic just thinking about it) but instead ask to be invited in, then reward a user for doing so with a great experience and the answers to their questions.

I watched MKBHD's first impressions video (he was invited to WWDC as part of the media contingent and got to try on the Vision Pro) and he sums the current state of this new device up well:

Right now, it's a rich person's toy and a developer's muse.

It was released at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) because the people who will be creating apps that truly take advantage of the new paradigm that spatial computing and this new consumer device offers were there in the room (and they're probably working on designing the future right now!).

We're yet to see the extent of what's possible with VR. And honestly up until now I hadn't taken it very seriously (the weird cartoony images that Meta presented as the Metaverse were hard to take seriously let's be honest). I saw VR purely as an entertainment use case, but the focus Apple put on productivity apps and general web browsing in their presentation of Vision Pro got me thinking differently.

I'm looking forward to following along with developments on this journey. Are you?

Behind-the-scenes with the Webflow Brand Studio team

I got to interview Webflow's Director of Brand design and Creative, Jess Rosenberg recently! I first featured Webflow in the first ever season of Inside Marketing Design, so it was a real treat to get to learn about all the ways the team has evolved since then.

This episode is jam packed with value and behind-the-scenes details on how the team pulled off the high-quality design work for Webflow Conf in particular. Check it out!

video preview

If you prefer to listen to the audio-only version of a podcast, you can get links to that on the IMD site, or just search "Inside Marketing Design" in your favourite podcast player.

Will I see you at Config next week?

I'll be there alongside my Design Life podcast cohost, Femke, and the whole ConvertKit design team to soak up inspiration and learn from the speakers in SF. 🙌

If you see me around, please stop and say hi! I'd love to meet you!

Even if you're not travelling to be there, you can register to watch the event online for free.

I'm looking forward to sharing my takeaways from the event in a future issue!

Have a good week,

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Marketing Design Dispatch

by Charli Marie

Join 17,000+ creatives receiving insider insights about brand and marketing design – featuring landing page and rebrand breakdowns, useful career content, and a behind-the-scenes look at running a Brand Studio team in tech.

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