Fjord Trends 2019 examines seven ideas expected to shape the next generation of experience

JOHANNESBURG; December 12, 2018 – Facing an explosion of digital clutter resulting from two decades of rapid technology growth and innovation, people and organisations are rethinking what they really want, says a new report by Accenture (NYSE: ACN). A fundamental re-examination of what people want and value is ushering in a new design ethos that puts human value back at the center of innovation. At this inflection point, Accenture Interactive has released Fjord Trends 2019, its 12th annual outlook on what’s ahead for the future of business, technology and design.

According to the report, years of organisational investment in innovation have left customers feeling inundated and overwhelmed, straining the demands on our time and attention. Whereas once we craved the novelty, excitement and instant gratification, we now crave more quiet and meaning in a noisy world. People and organisations are doing some soul-searching about what they really value, rejecting products and services that don’t meet their needs—in effect, changing the nature of our relationships with technology and brands.

“Digital is facing a big spring cleaning: a time when we decide whether something still has value and relevance to our lives,” said Mark Curtis, Fjord’s co-founder and chief client officer. “Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives, choosing to disconnect, unsubscribe or opt-out if the value exchange is not mutual. Never before has the responsibility of design been more important.”

According to Emma Carpenter, design director for Fjord Johannesburg, the one-size-fits-all approach has never worked on the African continent and non-homogenised society in South Africa. “In order to fully recognise, celebrate and harness the diversity and culturally distinct groups—that cross borders and political boundaries—we are required to find new ways to fully understand from the inside-out. The opportunity exists in creating unique links between not-for-profits, communities and corporate organisations to help educate from within,” said Carpenter.

“The challenge plays out locally for both brands and governments when serving culturally complex and diverse communities. If Africa can harness everything technology and AI has to offer, in recognising origin, roots and history of the individual, it will set the precedent which the rest of the world will need to take notice,” said Kathryn Richards, design director for Fjord Johannesburg.

This mindset shift has major implications—and creates massive opportunities—for organisations and for customer experience, says the report. It’s time to take stock and rethink products, services, and experiences that people actually want and value.

“Winners in 2019 will be those organisations that provide a sense of value and relevance not only to individuals, but also to the world,” said Brian Whipple, CEO of Accenture Interactive. “Value creation will not come from simply growing bigger, but by being better. Consistent with our mission to create, build and run the best customer experiences for our clients, we believe this year’s trends support our guiding principle that the best experiences are those that make people’s lives better, more productive, and more meaningful.”

Fjord Trends 2019 examines seven trends expected to shape the next generation of experience and offers actionable advice for organisations to prepare for the opportunities ahead:

  1. Silence is Gold: Feeling overwhelmed has become a health issue. By embracing mindful design, brands must find ways to make themselves heard by consumers who crave quiet in a noisy world.
  2. The Last Straw?: Enough talk. People expect products and services to have built-in sustainability, or they'll reject those that don’t.
  3. Data Minimalism: People and organisations disagree on the value of personal data. Is transparency the key to bridging the gap?
  4. Ahead of the Curb: From electric scooters to drones, urban mobility has turned cities into free-for-alls. It’s time to combat the clutter with unified ecosystems that meet real-time needs.
  5. The Inclusivity Paradox: 2018 was a wake-up call to listen to a variety of voices. But how do we design for all without inadvertently excluding others? Stop thinking of people as types and start adopting a mindset mentality.
  6. Space Odyssey: Work and retail spaces need a digital makeover. It’s time to rethink our approaches and tools for designing spaces.
  7. Synthetic Realities: We live in a new world in which reality is crafted and synthetic. With face-swapping and voice simulation creating more believable synthetic realities, companies must work out how to capitalise on it—and manage risk.

“The opportunities for meaningful and mindful design to revolutionise a number of areas are greater now than we’ve seen in years,” Curtis said. “We’re on the cusp of a creative revolution: the opportunity to rethink our products and services in order to take care of the world we live in, as well as the people in it.”

Fjord Trends 2019 draws upon the collective thinking of Fjord’s 1,000+ designers and developers in 28 studios around the world. The annual report is based on first-hand observations, evidenced-based research and client work. To read the report, visit: trends.fjordnet.com and follow the conversation on Twitter with #FjordTrends.

Accenture Interactive is partnering with clients like Telefónica and Auris Health to reinvent their customer experiences. Get in touch to find out how we can reinvent your customer experience to achieve greater value and relevancy: fjord.trends@accenture.com.

About Accenture

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Accenture Interactive helps the world’s leading brands transform their customer experiences across the entire customer journey. Through our connected offerings in design, marketing, content and commerce, we create new ways to win in today’s experience-led economy. Accenture Interactive is ranked the world’s largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report, for the third year in a row. Fjord, Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation unit, reimagines people’s relationships with the digital and physical world around them, using the power of design to create services people love. To learn more follow us @AccentureACTIVE and @fjord or visit www.accentureinteractive.com and www.fjordnet.com.

Media Contact:

Jonathan Mahapa
Accenture
+27 11 208 3947
jonathan.mahapa@accenture.com

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