by Zyrian Chung

Three design opportunities in an increasingly mobile world

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai offers a great opportunity for consultancies, top companies in mobile and internet, and tech-savvy consumers to come together and explore the latest in mobile technology – and this year was no exception.

As part of Accenture Interactive’s presence at the conference, Fjord Hong Kong facilitated a series of sharing sessions with and for clients. This was a great opportunity to share our approach to service design, recap Fjord Trends for 2016 as well as looking at some hot topics in China at the moment: Service with Manners, B2WE and Design from Within.

A mix of Accenture peers as well as clients from sectors such as telecoms, insurance, and health and beauty were tasked with thinking about what was happening and being discussed around them at MWC Shanghai in context of the Fjord Trends for 2016.

The energy was high during each of the sessions, and those present came up with a number of challenges and opportunities in relation to customer, employees and companies’ experiences in an increasingly mobile world. We’ve summarised three of the key ones below.

Turn data into insight and action

Similar to the other parts of the world, services in China are rushing into a more digital existence. This means more and more data is available both locally and publicly. The main challenge with this is to identify an effective way to gain meaningful and pragmatic insights from these data points, and use these in future designs.

Create a better customer experience by designing from within

We asked the group to think of opportunities and specific places where the customer experience could be improved with Design from Within. One area that stood out for them was restaurants, and making the restaurant experience more useful to people. Restaurants could gather individuals’ food preferences over time and offer menu recommendations when they next return to eat there. This means that over time the restaurant would know if you have an intolerance to gluten or lactose and only provide food recommendations that are gluten-free or that don’t contain dairy.

Another great example of how businesses are working to create a better consumer experience came from China Merchants Bank, one of the largest banks in China. At our sharing session, they announced a partnership with Caffé Bene (a South Korean coffeehouse chain with a strong presence in China), through which customers can enjoy VIP services provided by the bank at the same time as sipping on a coffee from Caffé Bene.

The disappearance of apps with commerce services turning into features

Traditionally, payment gateways like PayPal and Alipay act as the middle man between consumers and online stores. Up until now, you will have had to link your payment card to your PayPal account before proceeding to pay for your purchase. However, as new services from major card companies appear, such as VISA Checkout, this might spell trouble for third party payment gateways. This is just one way our 2016 Fjord Trend of Disappearing Apps is coming to fruition.

It was truly inspirational to see peers and clients really get under the skin of what’s happening in digital, mobile and design at the moment, and debate what they think might be the next wave of innovation.

Who knows, maybe some of the opportunities above and the themes that came out from MWC in Barcelona earlier this year will feature in this year’s Trends report? Stay tuned!

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