We work across domains like banking, education, retail, health care and media at Fjord and the work always includes an element of “new.” New target users, a new business proposition, a new technology or platform. At the front edge of mainstream the innovation meets the appeal of mass-market and that is where we work. In our work, the constant presence of “new” makes exploration a necessity and feeds our curiosity.
Here, we present you five of our predictions for 2013 and share our thoughts on what designers should be doing in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Dawn of the Personal Ecosystem
The increasing number of sensors and devices that we use in our lives will be the main reason for what we at Fjord prefer to call it “living services”—in order to form a support network for their owner, individual smart objects interconnect.
During the past 18 months we have witnessed the mass-market adoption’s beginnings for a chosen few connected objects, making them meaningful driven by the services. The Nest, Jawbone UP, and Nike+ FuelBand self-learning thermostat are early innovators. In 2013, the “battle for the wrist” will flood the mainstream with a wide range of approaches coming to market focused on everything from entertainment and information to wellness and health.
I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid)
The digital progress marches on along with the complexity. The ever-increasing volumes of data and an increasing number of personal devices constantly hamper the efforts of service designers to make simple, focused and elegant solutions.
Simplicity has a long and storied history of disruption and success. From the physical world, Zipcar and Ikea are good examples. In the digital world, with a very simple proposition, Skype managed to get global market share, and with its singular excellence and focus, Google disrupted the search-and-portal world. Other instances include Apple’s touch-focused iOS, and Amazon’s one-click shopping.
Access will supplant ownership
We have witnessed huge changes in the area of digital distribution of movies, music and any other form of media. Now users have certain expectations that their purchases will be consumable and portable on multiple platforms. We desire flexibility and accordingly, our way of owning and buying is changing.
I belong to me
The use of personal data and the argument regarding it got heated in 2012. Users are starting to demand real value and access in return for their data, as they have become more aware of what can be achieved with their information. Because of the many alternatives out there for practically any service, users are growingly stepping away from experiences that they find uncomfortable or creepy, and relocating their business somewhere else.
A personal shopper for everybody
In the digital world, personalization is nothing new yet in the world of retail users frequently find that just few services really meet their needs. In 2013 this is likely to change because of the offline and online retail environments merge, establishing a more immersive and holistic customer experience.
Here’s a statistic that will definitely strike fear into any retailer’s heart: Nearly half of smartphone users in the USA have used their devices only in-store, and over half of those have gone on to leave behind their in-store purchase. The distinction between in-store and online shopping has faded away for smartphone users.
So with this article, we sincerely hope we’ve provided not only a list of predictions but also actionable insights that will be of assistance to both business leaders and designers understand how to use the current opportunities that lie ahead in 2013.