We’re not hiring any more Johnsons, Johnstons, or Johnstones

February 14, 2024
Ruth Johnson

2024 is gonna be a big year for the world of digital and we’re pumped! We (the Octave design team) had a fun little jam about our predictions for the coming year. Here are our thoughts on the future of fintech, AI, new technology, and design trends.

Some 2024 predictions from our design team


Open banking, of course. We are hyped. New Zealand banks and fintechs are just warming up, so we think the fun projects will be starting to pick up good momentum towards the end of the year. We’re excited to see how start-ups and challenger brands continue to spread into the traditional banking space (Sharesies we see you 😍). Particularly as international fintechs find their way to our shores and show the country how user-friendly finance can be (shout out to Wise and Revolut – and Up please come here next). Check out this timeline from the Payments NZ API centre, one of our long-term clients.


Everyone’s talking about it, so it’s no surprise we have some reckons. As AI starts to bite out a huge chunk of the global tech industry, we’re going to see a bunch of rogue apps and websites made with AI. Many will be impersonal, generic, and won’t be well designed (or well developed). So we’re probably going to see ‘rework’ projects in the next year or two.

Privacy and security are going to be front of mind as the initial hype around generative AI dies down. We expect scams to get worse this year. Lots of everyday small things are going to become painful with scammers taking advantage of large-scale but small-value tricks. But there'll be plenty of high-risk issues too. The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity has already voiced concerns around identity theft. Recently Italian regulators alleged that OpenAI breaches the EU privacy rules, after Italy’s temporary ban of ChatGPT in April 2023. While the potential of AI is without a doubt exciting, we’re going to see businesses grappling with how they use it and developing policies to address these issues. 

By the end of 2024, we’re hoping for more automated analysis in areas like search engine optimisation and user research. We see ethics and transparency being a big focus for the year, particularly around AI sources. We’re keen to see what solutions pop up in this space - maybe some pay-per-play finance models for creators that contribute to training references. We also hope (pls) AI might soon have us talking with / translating our pets! 

New technology

We’re excited for all the hardware potential this year. We’re picturing more refurbished tech with circular design processes leading the way – think Emma Lewisham for technology. We hope California’s Right to Repair Act trickles down to us in NZ and puts pressure on companies to offer sustainable service options.

Will we all be wearing Ray-Ban Meta glasses or Vision Pro by December? Probably not 💰. But we’re excited to see where this tech goes and experiment with spatial experiences and interfaces.

We’re also predicting (manifesting?) that we’ll be jamming on these customised design keyboards from WorkLouder.

A design classic - colour of the year!

Would it be an article by the design team if we didn’t talk about colour? While last year brought us the beautiful Viva Magenta, and a lot of bright, bold, and blended colours, we reckon digital will keep moving beyond flat colours. There’ll be more trends in texture and patterns to help colours really pop from the screen. AI will make it easier to churn out these dimensional visuals, and we’re going to start seeing a lot of that everywhere. 

We couldn’t settle on one colour between us, but there were a few tossed around for 2024 colour of the year; peach fuzz, warm yellows, forestry greens, pastels - and less full black and beige. 

UX + UI + Product design

A space close to our hearts – we’ve got a lot of hopes and dreams for 2024! Spatial UI design is gonna flood our inboxes as the latest design trend people blog about. Which means we’ll all be seeing a lot more ‘inflated’ 3D illustrations, and some pretty out-the-gate motion work as these influences follow through to standard flat-screen design. Imagine online fabric; textural and seemingly tangible movement as colours shift to give a sense of physicality as you move around a screen. 

We’re pretty excited to see how AI continues to improve our workflows to help us work faster in 2024 - maybe more contextual UI components that build themselves out as we need them? 

On the other hand, some competing opinions on the team are predicting that people are going to turn away from tech and AI style brands in the marketing space. Anything that feels authentic, even slow, will have more value; ‘ugly/ unfinished/ imperfection’ will trend. Historically; effort = value. We're curious to see how AI will change our perceptions of what’s ‘good’.

Octave manifestations

We’ve been so busy lately, it’s been a while since we gave our own website some love - top of our 2024 list is snazzing up our own site! You’ll be seeing some fun new things soon.

We’re excited for all the new product design that 2024 will bring, with both new and existing clients. We’re imagining more data, more strategy, more holistic ecosystems - helping people break from silos, and bye bye to legacy tech (with the rise of AI, many companies won’t be able to afford those inefficiencies). Also, we can’t wait to get in on some open banking fun, and experiment with some fresh motion and animation sizzle on our sites! 

And again, some more manifesting - we predict that our 2024 Christmas party is an internal gingerbread house competition (designers vs devs of course).

Bonus predictions

  1. Jellyfish aesthetics. Yup, it’s just how it sounds. Get ready for some wobbly, transparent, gloopy design trends.
  2. Bento box UI design trends.
  3. X goes back to Twitter, and we have to change logos on all our sites again (the team is divided on this one).
  4. Claire is NOT going to get adopted by any more cats.
  5. We don’t hire any more Johnsons, Johnstons, or Johnstones (unless you’re really, really good).

So what are your predictions for 2024? 

You’ll be hearing from us again in December - mainly so we can say ‘I-told-you-so’ 😉

– Chloe, Claire, Dan, Grace, Nathan, and Ruth