Design is transformative - the dynamic and empowering characteristics permeates every aspect of our existence.

As we enter the month of February, here are seven design trends we would like to underscore.

1. Prominence of “Privacy by Design”
Information hacking has been a major theme for a while. Scandals, exemplified by  Sony Entertainment, Ashley Madison, and News International, have made the public concerned about information security.

As expected, businesses are finding ways of spinning this tragedy into value-adding endeavours - say hello to the concept, “privacy by design”.

Privacy by design is essentially about "building privacy into the design, operation and management of a given system, business process or design specification".

This is also a mandate in Australia.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) now expects strict adherence to these guidelines which ensure the safeguarding of personal information by Australian companies.

2. Increased Cognitive Technologies
With the plethora of devices that are listening and mining for personal information, there will be a noticeable rise in the design of products with cognitive technologies - this could be an important design game changer moving forward.

3. Employee Experience (EX) Design
Employers understand that a happy employee is a productive employee. As such, they’re investing heavily in a new journey mapping process primarily focused on their workers.

Generally speaking, Employee Experience is a situation where the sum of all experiences a worker has with a company (culture, processes and structure) is revised to ensure productivity and satisfaction.

EX will be used as a differentiator for the recruitment and retainment of talent.

4. Virtual Reality (VR)
Looking at the progression from QR codes, augmented reality to spatial storytelling, it is safe to say that virtual reality is going to be the next hit that will reach dizzying heights.

5. Digital Savvy Governments
In the wake of digitisation, we will continue to see various government bodies use digital tools to create and design services that enrich the lives of their constituents.

Things are looking good here at home.

This October 2015 Deloitte research highlights the fact that:

“Australia’s public sector has actually been fairly good at moving to digitise many customer transactions, and our governments have come a long way in terms of their commitment to digital transformation. The federal government has certainly demonstrated it is serious about digital, with the recent establishment of its national Digital Transformation Office.”

6. Digitisation of Health
From wearable technologies like FitBit, Jawbone, Misfit to Moov Now, we will see a continued rise in the digital tracking and analysation of health information. Such details will be used to better understand consumer health, and be the catalyst for the invention of other wellness related products.

7. A Reign of Simplicity
As the world continues to get more advanced and complicated, the brands, businesses, products and services that are devoid of clutter (and can simplify the customer experience) will be the most successful.


Written by David Fastuca @Locomote


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