Design thinking

Changing patterns of consumption

Ulrika Ewerman & Anders Arnqvist

Looking at purchasing and consumption, we are moving towards more seamless interaction between digital and physical market places. The digital evolution is moving extremely fast and requires a certain level of digital proficiency. While at the same time our seniors ‘Shift In Life’ makes us value time a differently as we are able to shift to a calmer pace. The contradiction between the demands for digital proficiency and how we value time can leave us feeling left behind. And if a person feels excluded they lose interest. How can we design services and products that are not only directed towards seniors but have brands include this target group in all their efforts? We need to find a way to make services and products more approachable and use new technology in a meaningful way.

My world at my fingertips

What if…we can create a service that allows people to unite their physical and digital worlds? We can synthesize information for them, so that they get exactly what they need, no matter where they happen to be. Information they can trust so that they are free to focus on things that are more important. The information would contain medical data to help guide people in what to order for lunch or buy at the pharmacy. It will keep track of the contents of their refrigerator to make suggestions to what to shop for. Shops can help them by knowing that they are arriving and have special needs.

“When I’m out and stumble upon something I like I often don’t just get it. I feel I like to think on it for a while, get a friends opinion or so. In those cases this service is great. I use it on my phone since I bring it with me when I go out, I take a picture of the tag and it is saved with a picture and description automatically. I also save where I was so I know where I saw it. When I’m home and have some extra time I can have another look. Most of the time I just order it from home and have it delivered because I don’t like carrying around shopping bags. Someone told me the complimentary door to door delivery is actually better for the shop because they don’t have to keep so much in store. But it does other things too, It can actually tell me if I’m allergic to the material combination and if the size will fit me. “


What if .. We can design a service that lets people communicate in a shared interface much like they do when they sit next to each other. Being able to show or point to things without having to explain it, read the fine print in large, but add the dimension of contextual awareness, communication with other devices and services.

“Yesterday I helped my mother to pick out the groceries she needs. She has a a hard time seeing so I try and help her with some simple things. We use this service where we both look at a screen seeing the same things. Both of us can flick and swipe to browse. On one side we saw what was in her fridge and the other what the supermarket offered. I like this service because everything we need to know is just there. It scans the fridge to know how much is left in each of the products, then looks at the expiration date before suggesting what to get. And having done this a few times it knows what we usually get so we just click away planning for the meals of the week. She can just sit back in her comfy chair and point towards the screen. Since my mom is a diabetic its nice that it filters products that works for her.”

Saving for a common goal

What if …we can design a service that allows people to share a common goal across generations? A service that celebrates shared dreams and fuels our sense of achievement?

“My Grandson Peter loves LEGO so we decided to go Legoland in Denmark. We used the Common Goal Service where we save money together. The service takes a percentage of my purchases, and that’s a really convenient way to save. Both of us can see how the money grows as I go about doing my everyday shopping. We get nice updates visualizing how far our savings will take us, and how close we are to the goal. I appreciate the inspiring tips and suggestions too, and we can even see tips on other people’s dreams.”