Service design consultancy Fjord has revealed its annual trends predictions, showcasing 10 trends that will shape digital services in 2013. This year’s report forecasts the major shifts that will impact the way we work and live, and offers practical advice to help business leaders interpret the opportunities that lie ahead.
“Our work at Fjord is at the front edge of mainstream, where innovation meets mass-market appeal. This constant presence of ‘new’ feeds our curiosity, and makes exploration a necessity,” said Olof Schybergson, CEO of Fjord. “Our trends are one way we give shape to our thoughts on what tomorrow will bring. They offer our clients both inspiration and actionable insights on how to tackle the big issues that will influence their businesses in the year to come.”
The trends point at some recurring themes that weave their way in and out of Fjord’s annual forecasts. Mobile is still changing everything – if anything faster, and now includes new ways of working. Personalization will be a hot topic for success. Finally, data and the success of new systems are tightly bound together. And as ever – for truly great service design – people come first. Highlights of Fjord’s 2013 trends include:
1. People are ruining everything… for traditional businesses
Access to technology has made it possible for anyone with an idea, a vision and determination to build a service that circumvents traditional businesses. Traditional businesses will continue to try to arrest this growth through legislative or political action, but the startup community has come to see these kinds of challenges as a badge of honour. This disruption will be joined by a third wave, in the area of peer-to-peer manufacturing and distribution.
2. I Belong to Me… the personal data battlefield
Users are now more aware of what can be done with their information, and they are beginning to demand access – and real value – in return for their data. We’ll see the wave of data visualization continue to grow, driving value and building relationships between individuals and those who help them to extract value from their own behaviours.
3. Dawn of the “Personal Ecosystem”
The growing number of devices and sensors that we incorporate into our lives will set the scene for what Fjord calls “living services.” These emerge at the point at which individual smart objects interconnect to form a support network for their owner. We’ll soon start to see connected devices infiltrating more areas of our lives.
4. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
More organisations are finding that a focus on simplicity can have a transformative effect on services and businesses alike. But as personal ecosystems grow, so does the challenge. We will need to make meaning of more data from more sensors, public, private and corporate, and the simplest solutions will continue to win.
5. Revolution in retail… the online/offline distinction disappears
A statistic to strike fear into the heart of any retailer: Almost half of US smartphone users have used their devices in-store, and more than half of those have gone on to abandon their in-store purchase. For smartphone users, the distinction between online and in-store shopping has all but disappeared.
6. Access is the new ownership
Users and services will start to redefine what it means to own something in the digital age. Now, as individuals increasingly consume media across devices, they expect their purchases to be available on multiple platforms, no matter what.
7. Learning gets personal
The next stage of transformation in learning is already taking shape. Fjord believes this will involve highly personalised and adaptive learning materials. In addition, we’ll see the methods of delivery move from one-to-many to many-to-one, and ultimately, this kind of real-time adaptive learning support will transition into the broader business context.
8. You talking to me?
What will it take to make voice interaction compelling enough to make people want to integrate it into their daily lives? Voice integration will become a must-have for smartphone and tablet applications, and voiceprints will emerge as a new kind of personal signature.
9. The mobile gap
In 2013 we are likely to see an intense focus on how to make mobile devices pay for most service companies. This will be joined by an increase in entirely new services and business models driven by mobile-first or mobile-only engagement.
10.Think like a startup… and act like one, too
Companies that are trying to do something new often have to fight their own organisations. In 2013 we will see many more teams restructure and re-organise to adapt to digital change, and a growing demand for engagements that go beyond the traditional agency or design remit. In addition, Digital Natives will start to drive the world – in corporations, education, health and government.