Designs on the Future: Fjord's 2018

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This is the eleventh annual trends report from Fjord, based on insights from the full team — over 1,000 people in 30 global locations, as well as about 100 clients.  "We got things right most of the time over the first ten years. When we were wrong, it was usually about timing." The trends are intended to surface over the next twelve or so months, and Schybergson thinks "this is our strongest set so far."

One trend surfacing already of course, especially in retail, but across the mobile and IoT networks generally, is the merger of the digital and the physical. It also exemplifies a meta-theme which runs through all the trends: "Tension." Tension between the digital and the real, between man and machine, between transparency and control, and so on.

"People used to go around essentially replicating their organization by building a digital organization," such as "replicating the shopping experience by building an eCommerce store." But this isn't just the pendulum swinging the other way, is it? "Exactly. It's about thoughtfully infusing data and the digital experience into everything." And one of the main enablers of that is that data isn't just inbound on mobile. The device in your pocket now "spits data back out" into the connected environment.

Next: "Computers Have Eyes."

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