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Fjord Trends

A look at what's ahead for the future of business, technology and design

Fjord Trends 2018

Physical Fights Back

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Organizations must create new services that are deeply integrated in the physical world.

Computers have eyes

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Organizations can benefit from cameras built into a greater variety of devices to create new value-adding digital services.

Slaves to the Algorithm

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Algorithms, indifferent to branding efforts, are performing the role of gatekeeper between consumers and brands.

A Machine's Search for Meaning

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The perceived threat to jobs is the rise of AI and robots. Organizations must enable people and machines to get the best out of each other.

In transparency we trust

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Falling trust in key institutions has compounded the issue of authenticity, while blockchain offers a potential solution to this trust crisis.

Ethics economy

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Organizations have started to take political stances on issues of general concern—driven by customers’ and employees’ expectations.

Design outside the lines

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Design is being challenged by: proliferation of design thinking, demand for products to be scaled fast, and potential of emerging technology.

 

PHYSICAL FIGHTS BACK

Over the past 5 years, much emphasis has been placed on creating experiences delivered through digital screens. As a result, people spent more time interacting via device than in person. Fuelled by lower costs, a shift is underway in technology fuelled by growing angst about “screen addiction”. A growing number of primarily digital brands are now placing greater emphasis on physical presence while making the most of digital and data to improve experience.


Fjord suggests

  • Stop viewing digital and physical as separate
  • Let technology inspire you
  • Sharpen your design skills


Physical fights back

COMPUTERS HAVE EYES

Computers have eyes

Digitization has made cameras smarter, both in terms of what they can capture (their eyes) and what they can do with it (their brain). Today’s intelligent digital cameras can “eye capture” data points, and visual data can be inputted, read by computer vision, analyzed and acted on without needing text inputs. Sharper eyes and smarter brains are making computers more and more human-like, while the relative affordability of camera technology now means they can be put into any device.


Fjord suggests

  • Rethink services
  • Rethink your approach to data
  • Rethink the design context

 

SLAVES TO THE ALGORITHM

With the emergence of new interfaces—messaging, chatbots, voice—powered by Artificial Intelligence, customers have new ways to explore their discovery mechanisms. As the algorithms behind those interfaces become ever more powerful, their impact on marketing grows exponentially. Algorithms don’t notice (nor do they care about) branding efforts, celebrity endorsements, or publicity campaigns. If there is no longer a physical place where a brand might exist and come to life for consumers, how will brands connect with shoppers?


Fjord suggests

  • Get to know the gatekeepers
  • Adapt to the new marketing environment
  • Beware the backlash

 

Slaves to the algorithm

A MACHINE'S SEARCH FOR MEANING

Machines’ search for meaning

Concern is growing about the jobs robots might take over or make obsolete, but the rise of the robots does not accurately reflect the true impact Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will have on the workplace. However, while some jobs will be replaced, new jobs will be created. Furthermore, realization is growing that machines are becoming “another type of user,” and focus is shifting from looking beyond potential competition between people and machines, towards harnessing their combined strengths.


Fjord suggests

  • Think collaboratively, not competitively
  • Design for interaction
  • Be transparent, be inclusive
  • Future-plan for staff evolution

 

IN TRANSPARENCY WE TRUST

People’s trust in key institutions is crumbling. One way to help combat this is by using blockchain, which reverses the lack of transparency by allowing you to see where a piece of information has come from. This is why it’s already being used in financial services and a growing number of other industries. Blockchain is inspiring and powering a new generation of digital services.


Fjord suggests

  • Act now
  • Design for trust
  • Open up for collaboration

 
In transparency we trust

ETHICS ECONOMY

Ethics economy

Organizations find themselves in a new environment where they are realizing that they cannot duck broader issues beyond the traditional Corporate Social Responsibility agenda and they cannot just be reactive. More recently, customers have demanded that brands do the right thing, such as quickly owning up when they make a mistake. This shift has coincided with a decline in people’s trust and faith in governments, and has created an opportunity for organizations to step up.


Fjord suggests

  • Ethically self-audit
  • Define your personality and purpose
  • Share ownership of goals

 

DESIGN OUTSIDE THE LINES

The proliferation of design thinking blurs the distinction between novices and experts, and the increasing demand for products to be delivered and scaled fast, is crippling the creativity of design. The result is products that sometimes lack simplicity, elegance, personality and—ultimately—craft, all of which should be significant selling points of design. Additionally, the impact of mobile and social platforms on design means some are prescriptive in their approach, leading to too much lookalike design, too little aesthetic innovation.


Fjord suggests

  • Give designers space for their craft
  • Establish multi-disciplinary teams
  • Designers: take responsibility for your craft

Design outside the lines




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