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February 02, 2016
Lessons learned in design for 2016
By: Mike Alexander

FJORD, Accenture’s design arm and part of Accenture Interactive, have released their 2016 Trends Report, a culmination of trends taken from over 750 designers from around the world. It paints a comprehensive picture of the latest shifts in business challenges, consumer behavior and technology evolution. While it's not mobile specific, we wanted to call out a few themes and examples that anyone who touches mobile should focus on as we head into the New Year. These are all good practices that you should use for your own organizations.

Leveraging a Two Way Street
Mobile provides a great channel to capture feedback from your customer in real-time. The capability of a mobile device to capture feedback is a great opportunity for brands to begin actively listening. This isn’t always done well.

One winner in the space: ride-sharing giant Uber eliminated the post-service e-mail survey with a simple prompt, asking for a rating on a scale of one to five, and providing a few simple, optional feedback categories with a small spot for comments. Uber is estimated to capture up to one million of these ratings per day worldwide- which are used to evaluate the quality of not only its drivers, but its riders as well.

Action: Consider how to capture feedback as part of transaction flows. Customers are more likely to act “in-the moment” than they are to respond “after the fact.”

Build "Digital Trust" in Your Mobile Environment
Even the least savvy users engage in mobile technology, and are becoming aware of the potential invasions of privacy that is being introduced in predictive services. Even "anonymous" tracking of devices- such as the beacon-enabled systems being implemented at major airports like Dublin and Dallas/Fort Worth are taking heat for "spying" on passengers without their consent.

Action: If your app or brand will make use of personal data, including location, be up front and clear and concise on how it's used and how it's protected.

Empower and Engage Your Employees
Too often, employees are left behind when it comes to mobile enablement and engagement, with consumer-facing items taking priority. But in service industries like hospitality and travel, prioritizing the development and deployment of intelligent, contextually-relevant mobile tools can drive positive impacts for employee and customer engagement alike.

United Airlines has taken this to heart. Over 6,000 customer service agents will be equipped to handle customer service tasks that used to be tethered to a counter from any point within the airport. The devices will be deployed beginning in 2016.

Action: Keep employee-facing tools and apps top of mind when allocating your resources. The ROIs may still be there for your customers.

Embrace Integration
With the proliferation of connected device into the consumer space, Fjord's advice to " think outside the screen" is sound. From a more practical standpoint, companies and product owners should be on the lookout for logical and valuable points of integration with other devices, apps and services.

SmartThings, Samsung's home automation platform, has built its platform around the premise of open integrations. In addition to offering its own apps and hardware, the company actively touts its compatibility with a variety of other hardware and apps- like the Amazon Echo, who's speech recognition capabilities can be used to send commands to your home.

Action: For mobile product developers, consider the breadth of integrations and partnerships that could add value to your app or service for your customer. Remember that even if it isn’t your brand, cross-product integrations could help drive mutual value for all the parties involved.

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