Design thinking

Decoding trends: Try, change, boom

Emelie Hedén Edlund & Nicola Chamberlain

Is your in-box full of newsletters forecasting key trends for 2014? Perhaps you have read that 2014 is no longer all about The Cloud, but about Cloud Wars. Maybe you read that privacy is a key topic, or about this year’s color? Many, if not all of these trends will affect individuals, businesses and their customers in some way, but how you choose to interpret them and act on them is the most important question.

Is your in-box full of newsletters forecasting key trends for 2014? Perhaps you have read that 2014 is no longer all about The Cloud but about Cloud Wars as Amazon, Apple and Microsoft fight to be the storage providers for our precious gigs. Maybe you read that privacy is a key topic as consumer concerns over constant on state and monitoring of emerging embedded devices. Did you know that 2014 will see the continuation of big breakthroughs in Brain Computer Interfaces? A thought controlled tablet is being tested by Samsung while brainware based authentication replaces passwords (UC Berkeley study). What about the key color for 2014 then? Pantone tell us that it will be… Radiant Orchid 18-3224.

Many if not all of these trends will affect individuals, businesses and their customers in some way but how you choose to interpret them and act on them is the most important question. Whether it’s about wearable tech or social media, the future of health or life at home, commentators are highlighting that no product or service will succeed unless it is relevant to the life and behaviors of people. We think connecting science and technology developments with the fabric of people’s lives will be the theme for 2014. It will go beyond connecting and be about getting involved with the strategies and innovations of your customer’s lives. How will you do that?

It will be about getting involved with the strategies and innovations of your customer’s lives. How will you do that?

Looking into the future of urban living

Our trend tip for 2014 is to be designerly in your approach to trends. Work as designers: do and make trend reviews part of your work activities on an ongoing basis, choose topics you feel are relevant to your business and act on your choices. Act like a designer and experiment with new things. If you think video will be important to your business in 2014 and forward, try working with it directly, immerses yourself in tools which encourage the use of video in your daily life. Create quick prototype products, campaigns and tools using video and share them with your customers. Co-create with your customers to learn about what they are engaging with and engaged by. Based on customer feedback, change your ideas and try new prototypes. Your business ´will move towards your customers and become more relevant to them. Try it, change it and make your business BOOM!