Forbes: In the world where people line up days before the product launch, design is definitely playing a major role in the business success.
Today, I’m talking with Olof Schybergson, CEO of Fjord, one of the world’s premiere design & innovation firms. Olof explains the importance of design doing, upcoming trends and how you can use the Design Rule of 3 to your advantage.
Can you tell me more about yourself and what you do?
In 2001, when everyone was getting out of digital after the dotcom bubble burst, I co-founded Fjord with two colleagues with the mission to use the power of design to create digital services people love. Starting the company during a down market, navigating it through the subsequent economic expansion, starting from one humble studio in London to 22 studios worldwide, and becoming part of Accenture Interactive in 2013 has been a wild but thrilling ride, one I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
I was raised in Helsinki, and have worked in London and New York, my current residence. I like to think I took the best of my Finnish roots and combined it with the digital-forwardness and entrepreneurial side of New York. I’m a designer by background, and spend much of my time helping executives, across a wide range of industries, use design to help them address strategic challenges.
What opportunities does IoT present for companies looking to engage with consumers?
The opportunities are limitless. For example, IoT allows consumer goods companies to transition into a direct relationship with end customers because goods can be automatically re-ordered from homes and offices. This direct-to-consumer shift is a big trend for consumer goods companies. It also enables a radical shift from product models to service models. That same transition from product to service is impacting most hardware companies: car manufacturers, audio visual manufacturers, software companies, and many more.
Because of ever-reducing price points of connecting technology, such as sensors, and the pervasiveness of cloud computing and big data, virtually anything can now be connected. We can now turn formerly “dumb” objects into intelligent devices. The potential of IoT has limitless applications, including proactive and predictive maintenance of buildings, trains, buses, hospital equipment, and much more. As it turns out, proactive and anticipatory maintenance is much cheaper and more efficient than traditional models, bringing benefits to all involved.
The digitization of everything means that all environments are getting connected: our homes, our cars, our cities, etc. As that happens there will be a lot of opportunity for disruptive new business models and services. What we’re excited about is the possibilities for new types of digital services we called “living services” that will breathe life into what is rapidly becoming a vast network of connected machines and objects, enabling services that flow through and utilize this connected environment to wrap around us and respond in real-time to our individualized needs. It’s a new level of highly personalized experiences that grow and learn from us. The challenge is that currently IoT mainly offers point solutions, rather than intuitive, connected environments. As platforms are established, this will mature.
Are there any new technologies or trends that you’ve been working on that you can see arising in the very near future?
We’re doing a fair amount of work in artificial intelligence, where machines are augmenting or collaborating with humans. We also see a rapid increase in the move to voice-based interaction. We spend most of our day captive to screens. We predict a shift as new user interface paradigms evolve, including gesture-based, voice-activated, haptics and newer forms of interactions. We conduct a lot of exploratory design studies at Fjord around these new types of interactions – and the technologies that enable them – and are excited about their possibilities to transform how we interact with machines in the future.
What trends do you forecast for the design industry in the nearly future?
The ability to design with data will be a core skill for designers of the future. To succeed today, young designers need a comfort level and familiarity with data and how to design for it. The ability to conceive of and design flexible and living systems – versus static artifacts – will likewise be a core skill.
What are the major advantages of the Design rule of 3?
The Design Rule of 3 is a complete design system that will enable sustainable and positive change, as well as strong business results. Human-centricity is what powers successful organizations, regardless of sector, and design is part of their DNA. To make design part of your DNA, you must think long term but act in the moment, and you must avoid the trap of using Design Thinking alone just as a workshop method.
Read the article in full on Forbes.