How do you build trust between people and a brand without creeping them out?

Fjord hosted panelists from different industries to share their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies, designing with data and personalization at scale.

How do you build trust between people and a brand without creeping them out? How much should we trust artificial intelligence? How do you design for the unpredictability of the physical world in digital? Fjord, our design and innovation unit, hosts thought leadership discussions on critical topics around the world. At our Fjord Kitchen event in San Francisco late last year, we touched on these and many more challenging questions while discussing the rise of “Living Services.”

Living Services, real-time data and service adaptability
Living Services are enabled by an ever-growing range of digital devices that are connected to each other and/or the internet. These devices will allow the capture and analysis of huge amounts of data—often in real time. With more things becoming connected, the Living Services wave will radically shape people’s lives and expectations. Therefore, brands must deliver services that are:

  • Shaped around the individual: Each person's experience is unique, with deep customization, at scale

  • Alive: Services are constantly learning and adapting. Data is used intelligently and in real time

  • Blurring lines between physical and digital: Biometric input, “natural” interfaces and multimodality will bring the physical world together with digital

Highlights from the Fjord Kitchen event
We brought together a diverse group of panelists from across industries and areas of expertise, including:

  • Adam Dole, VP of Strategy at Better

  • Marc Shillum, Chief Experience Officer at Matternet

  • Chris Jones, Head of Creative Technology at Facebook

  • Nandini Nayak, Managing Director of Digital Strategy and Performance, Accenture Interactive

Each panelist brought their own unique perspective to the table, from a deep understanding in healthcare and emerging technologies to expertise in designing with data and personalization at scale.

Moderated by Fjord US President Andy Goodman, the conversation quickly dove deep into the challenges and opportunities ahead for the development of these Living Services that understand and adapt to the way we live, connect and share.

Nayak distinguishes that the difference between data use being creepy and useful in an area such as healthcare is having an understanding for the context: Sending a reminder to take a medication you skipped is useful, whereas serving ads for over-the-counter medications you may want is creepy. Dole believes consumer brands will drive innovation in this space as they can make health and wellness services more compelling for people to want to engage with. The ultimate challenge right now is in getting the complete picture for a patient’s wellbeing and getting those different data points.

The conversation also touched on the issue of ethics and ownership of data. Jones reiterated that it comes down to what type of company an organization wants to be, and how they build a culture around protecting their user’s data. Shillum shared how he had to ask himself about the ethics of putting a camera on a drone and what would happen with the resulting footage. He stated that it is an issue designers must now debate, as the Internet was not built to forget.

There was a healthy debate around what needs to happen, but one thing that everyone agreed on is the core design principle that design never stops. As Nayak puts it, “Living Services are never done. They need to flex, adapt and constantly have to learn.”