A list of things I think are likely to occur in the next decade.

Date of writing: November 2023.

On the Web

  1. Native software development becomes less popular. Cross-platform apps and experiences will primarily be built in TypeScript and compile to WebAssembly. The WASM blob -> HTML canvas rendering technique will become a widely-used method of rendering user-interfaces, and high-speed internet will enable us to download most games/experiences/desktop apps on-demand. Physical chips/CDs for gaming consoles will seem like what floppy disks are to us now.

  2. Web development will also begin to seem more like native app development. The current industry standard of SPAs with a separate frontend/backend will becomes less popular as client applications will be able to run traditional “server-side” code like reading/writing from an SQL database.

  3. Biometric authentication will be increasingly popular as passwords are eventually replaced with passkeys. You’ll be able to sign in to most apps and make online purchases using your face, iris, or fingerprint.

On Design and AR/VR

  1. 2D design will begin to shift into 3D design as AR/VR experiences begin to take hold. The UI/UX discipline has traditionally been set in a 2D context due to limitations in compute and accessibility. Apple releases an entry-level headset called the Apple Vision that makes AR/VR accessible to the general public, unlocking an extra dimension to design for.

  2. Skeumorphic design makes a comeback due to AR/VR. Digital design starts to blend disciplines with physical design and engineering. A background in math and physics will become in-demand skills for designers of the future.

  3. A lot of new roles will open up: haptic design, material design, environmental design, sound design, experience design.

  4. A big contributing factor to the acceleration of 2D -> 3D will be generative AI and being able to create environments and 3D models without having to do much manual work.

On Society

  1. We’ll continue to develop an addiction to our devices as median screen times goes up globally. Mental health continues to decline, depression rates increase, we spend more time indoors and less time with people. A counterculture of being offline and techno-skepticism starts to catch fire, akin to the hippie movement of the 1960s. Focus and critical thinking will be seen as the most valuable meta-skills of the decade.

  2. Life continues to get tougher for young adults as more jobs are automated away by AI, housing prices continue to rise, and the cost of living increases, making financial stability and independence more challenging to achieve. Due to difficulty finding jobs, more adults will live with their parents. There’ll be an increased divide between the working class and the wealthy leading to social unrest.

  3. The decline of traditional gender roles will leave many young men feeling purposeless and depressed. Traditionally, men would take over the family business or follow in their father’s professional footsteps. However, with the rise of automation and the shift towards a more knowledge-based economy the path forward is not as clear. This, coupled with a societal shift towards gender equality can leave many young men confused, aimless, and feeling lonely.

  4. Dating will get harder for all parties as society puts a larger emphasis on individualism. More people will be on dating apps and less people looking for long-term commitment. There’ll be a growing acceptance of non-traditional relationship structures like polyamory, open relationships, and virtual/internet relationships. The drop in marriage and birth rates will be a big cause of concern.

  5. The social/economic center of gravity will shift more eastwards. Asia will become much more popular for travel and work. As Africa catches up to many parts of the world, the continent will see a huge boom in population. According to the UN forecast, 1/4 of the entire world will be African, including 1/3 of all youth. Other countries like India are also growing quickly, with the economy growing at an impressive 7.8% annual rate in the second quarter of 2023. Despite this shift, western countries will continue to be hubs for technological innovation and economic growth.

On Healthcare

  1. With biotech, we’ll increasingly see the rise of personalized medicine. As testing costs go down and economies of scale are achieved, we’ll see generic multi-purpose tests similar to the original promise of Theranos. This is likely to happen through a private company, which will quickly grow to become one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

  2. We’ll see the world’s first AI-discovered drug, marking the start of a new age of medicine.

  3. As biotech enters into a hype cycle some years from now, there’ll be another FTX-esque rugpull from a big name company.

  4. Telemedicine will become the norm for non-emergency medical consultations. Many clinics have continued to stick with a telemedicine model after the COVID pandemic. The use of AI in healthcare will also result in a decrease in the number of doctor visits.

  5. We’ll gain a significantly improved understanding of heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic dysfunction. There’ll be more stricter legal mandates on the ingredients/chemicals used in food and certain unhealthy foods will see a similar decline 10 years from now as tobacco did after the 1960s.