The hidden secret and value-driven component of e-Commerce (apart from the logistic element) is the graphics and visual appeals.
They are the mind, heart, and eyes of digital commerce. Imagine the world of our stories, education and television without Graphics Design and Visual Communication effects! That world would be very boring like a thick forest without sound, to state the least.
As digital transformation explodes on us, there are many inciting challenges and benefits it presents on how best to understand and present its ultimate message. Most times, the interpretation and application of those messages are embedded and shaded in many forms; competing for prominence and clarity. Sometimes, it leads its receivers and consumers to assumptions in confusion as Big Data effects mount.
These issues have been seamlessly filtered and ventilated for improved clarity by the power of Graphic Design and Visual Communications. Above all, it has helped to build a new generation of youth with digital skills by creating many million jobs.
Regrettably, we live in a time when our economy is shedding jobs at an alarming rate without alternative strategy for the future of work. Indeed, the worst scenario is that education is shedding intake of children into schools and producing millions of children out of school (currently 13.2 million); who will soon be parents producing multiple million cases of out-of-school; out-of-culture, out-of-skill and out-of-everything possible with abilities to hurt society.
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Therefore, with the teeming population of talented youth, this sector should be viewed by a developing nation like Nigeria; as well as the continent of Africa as a huge digital opportunity window for employment and creation of wealth. In 2020, there are a total of 8.93 million mobile apps published on the world’s platforms. China leads the pack with 40% of total world apps. The mobile app market is projected to generate over $935 billion revenue by 2023. Currently, Tik Tok is available in about 150 countries and has over 1billion users.
Graphics Designers have gone fully digital and are changing the face of the global economy and people’s lifestyle, development and advancement. They use and apply illustrative effects such as sound, colours, visuals, multimedia; as well as animation effects and techniques to apply and deliver highly effective messages, potential data-rich information for entertainment/advertising, promotion. They convey these effects through the power of animation to bring life to digital games, films, works of art and others.
Graphic Art is, without doubt, expected to become the next wave of digital experience in Africa – with immense opportunities for the youth.
That, amongst other numerous reasons, is why the world of visual communication is strategically important in understanding the full message; as well as potential of digital transformation and earn its maximum benefits. As we are aware, a graphic design and visual communication present some similarities. But they are different in in many forms, when it comes to bringing home the clarity of technology adoption.
Presently, Graphic design and Visual Communication have grown in leaps and bounds due to the advent of digital technologies. Indeed, no message is complete without graphics, visuals, and infographics. Their combined values have no limitations due to its immense influence in all works of life; especially in education, health care, economy, research, digital marketing, governance etc.
Furthermore, they will have immense opportunities in augmenting the values of the future of work. From developing nations’ point of view, mastering the skills to create and transmit graphic messaging will enhance the technology inclusion strategy of the citizenry and better prepare them to understand and earn the benefits of the promise of digital transformation.
‘Graphic design is the professional and academic discipline whose activity consists in projecting visual communications intended to transmit specific messages to social groups, with specific objectives (Wiki). Therefore, it is an interdisciplinary branch of design-thinking, whose foundations and objectives revolve around the definition of problems and the determination of objectives for decision-making and solutions through creativity, innovative skills applying digital tools.
Perhaps, the following numbers will help to illuminate and appreciate the sheer market size of the Social Networking Industry. Based on studies from Statista, the attraction of social media is visibly influenced by graphic images and visual communications. The power of social networking is such that the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 3.02 billion monthly active social media users by 2021; around a third of Earth’s entire population.
By region, social media growth in 2019-2020 is led by Asia: +16.98%; Africa +13.92%; South America +8.00%; North America +6.96%; Europe +4.32% and Australasia +4.9%. In other words, 50.64% of the 7.77 billion people in the world use social media. With the above statistics, the employment potential can only be imagined if developing nations plug into this digital transformation space.
The emergence of social media has exponentially fuelled the rise of graphic design and visual content. The driving force that lures users to social media is its graphics and visual communications content. Today, it is unimaginable to scale social media platforms without graphic and visual content. This has made social media usage the main attraction to digital marketing and e-commerce.
Reliable records showed that in 2020, over 3.6 billion people were applying social media for an amazing human activity worldwide. Projections for 2025 gambles that the number will increase to almost 4.41 billion users; thanks to the lure of graphics and visual communications.
Graphics and visual communications have become a fundamental development strategy; not only because users can see and appreciate the look and feel of what is being served and communicated; but the interactive and employment creation advantages. Advantages of applying graphics and visual aid are that they represent the centerpiece and dynamism of the matter. This is in addition to helping the audience to better navigate the digital ocean of the on-going and inevitable transformation agenda.
The upper limits of those advantages include but not limited to: convincing impressions; as well as clarity of required understanding of the needs of users. Graphics are easy to understand and constitutes best retention strategies on information to human memory. Informed by survey of Inc, 84% of all communications were visual in nature throughout 2018.
Indeed, the genetic truth is that people have greater memory retention when graphics are compared to text. The digital transformation landscape is changing fast to meet the challenges in demand for the future of work.
For this and many other reasons; the digital sector is witnessing huge surge in demand on job placement for Graphic Designers; Art Directors; Visual Designers and creators; Creative Freelance Designers; Web Designers, Animation and Multimedia Publication Designers.
For emphasis, by example, the (GVA) of UK Design economy grew by 52 per cent between 2009 and 2016. In 2015, UK firms invested £14.7billion into the design ecosystem. It generated £85.2billion in gross value added (GVA) in 2016. The sector was able to employ about 1.69million people in design roles 1n 2017. In 2017, there were 78,030 design intensive firms operating in the UK alone.
Currently, Nigeria is raising her profile in demand for graphic designers for the social media domain. However, the build-up is still below par with global demand. Meanwhile, it is a brave sector to watch to further power the e-Commerce which the sector needs to be better organised to earn government incentive and investors’ patronage.