A trendscape is similar to a competitive analysis in that it looks to solutions in the market for inspiration; however, it is not limited only to similar experiences. A trendscape looks across experiences to see what users are familiar with. Varying in resolution and in formality, trendscapes might be as general as trends in user behavior and expectations or as specific as trends in colors used for health and wellness visualizations.
Along with immersion, trendscapes can be especially helpful when designing for unfamiliar cultures. They can help designers set aside their personal experiences to make more culturally appropriate decisions around functionality, form, color, and more.
Aside from being helpful in predicting what users will want and expect based on familiar experiences, whether adjacent or unrelated, trendscapes are also helpful in providing designers with common ways of explaining interactions in the define or refine phases. Rather than communicating the nuance of how a specific element works through long text descriptions, hand gestures, or motion studies, you can point to another product and say, “like that.”Buy from Amazon Buy Elsewhere
Future of Boats
The Future of Boats uses a market trendscape to better understand users’ demands on infrastructure. Research for the trendscape looks at the needs of cities, as well as how users are engaging with their environment to fulfill their transportation, health, social, and lifestyle needs.
The trendscape for Observations Suite focuses both on architecture and aesthetics, showing how users interact with professional and personal tools. It highlights patterns in navigation, visualizations, product promotion, and communication.
Are other companies solving similar problems? What are their solutions? What are their unique selling points?
What questions should I ask to learn what I don't know? Where can I find experts to interview?
How do we think outside the expected? What solutions does my team already have in mind?
Which combinations of ingredients should we explore? How will different aesthetics make our users feel?