MCD Partners Turns 16: A Look Back
This week, MCD Partners celebrated its 16th birthday – and to honor our anniversary, we’re taking a look back at just how far the digital landscape has come since 1999, our first year in business.
In MCD’s early days, the Internet was a very new, vastly different place. Users dialed up on clunky computers and installed internet hours from a CD-ROM. It was the year that Google sent out its first press release (announcing $25 million in funding), TiVo shipped its first device, and LiveJournal took off.
LiveJournal.com, 1999. Image source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/best-websites-90s_n_2542393.html
At the time, email was already gaining widespread popularity, giving businesses a new direct pathway to consumers. Email marketing, when done effectively, remains one of the most valuable ways to connect with and engage customers.
GPS, or the Global Positioning System, has been in existence since 1978. During that time, it allowed the government access to global location and time information via satellites. In 2000, President Clinton made the service available to everyone, worldwide.
This access has changed consumer behavior immensely. In addition to always having the ability to find our way, we can easily locate and evaluate local restaurants, experiences, and attractions. And businesses frequently use those patterns and preferences to produce hyper-tailored ads and recommendations.
Facebook launched in 2004, forever changing the way people interact with each other online. Since then, many other social media platforms have emerged, creating new ways for people to communicate with each other and with brands. Today, consumers have extremely high expectations for customer service, partially due to the ubiquity of social media and the need for instantaneous, personalized responses.
Image source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebooks-first-8-features-from-2004-2014-8
In 2007, the first iPhone was released, and the need for a mobile web was born. Through many iterations and advancements, the iPhone introduced the modern smartphone and created a lasting requisite for mobile accessibility. Responsive web design is a given for all projects we embark on, and everything we create must be seamlessly functional (and beautiful) across desktops, smartphones, tablets, and phablets.
We’ve come a long way in terms of design, accessibility, speed, and ubiquity (case in point: our website in 1999!):
But while digital products and services look a whole lot different today, the ambition behind their development remains the same: satisfying human desires to connect, consume, and communicate with ease. We still design experiences with consumer expectations at the forefront. And we will always center on the needs of the end user above all else – today, and 16 years from now.
Written by Emily Brill, Associate Strategist, MCD Partners