Each year, Fjord Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive reveals key trends that will impact service design in the coming year. In 2015, the effects of digital on the real world are coming into focus—it’s all about magic. Consumers are becoming increasingly difficult to surprise, and yet they expect services to become more magical, guessing their intentions and making boring transactional stuff disappear.

For insurers, success will mean forming connections between services, devices and places with user interfaces that provide a phenomenal user experience. The following five trends are already informing design decisions and strategies.

Omni-colleagues

The last two decades of organizational thinking about customers have revolved around making customer-facing channels work better. But leaning towards an entirely robotic solution in place of humanized customer service just isn’t working. It doesn’t make sense to commoditize one of the most important opportunities to interact with your customer. Instead, companies are coming to realize that their greatest assets are their people.

Mind the Gap

The gap between physical and online spaces is a new challenge for businesses that haven’t previously thought of themselves as tech companies. Users expect a unified brand across digital touchpoints and, despite unreliable wi-fi, a seamless continuation of their experience. Designers must plan for the appropriate communication when technical and temporal barriers disrupt our technological desires.

Aggregation Moves to Services

Consumers are growing tired of overly specialized applications and services, and the confusing amount of choice that these services offer. They’ve become accustomed to Google’s aggregation of information, Facebook’s aggregation of people and Spotify’s aggregation of music, and they expect this same aggregation on other platforms. Services should aim to reduce the pains of navigating a fragmented experience, and lone applications will have to go beyond the bounds of their core function to address other aspects of the customer lifecycle.

Digital Dieting

During research for these trends, the most consistent observation was the increasing tension between our attention on digital and our need to focus on the real world around us. This is creating some interesting new syntheses as digital services look for physical manifestations. But it’s also placing a critical lens on consumers’ use of technology and addiction to it. For insurers, it means being careful about alerts and the demands those place on users, as well as re-examining expectations of staff in a digital world.

Emotional Interfaces

Trends 2015: Trends impacting design and innovation
Read the report.

Currently we’re witnessing an expansion of emotional interface capabilities. And while machines are starting to understand more of our natural communication methods, people are adopting new ways of expressing emotions, such as our growing use of Emoji. In the near future, not only will our inputs include increasing emotive content, we’ll actually begin developing emotional connections with our machines.

In our next post, we’ll look at four more trends affecting insurers.

Download the Trends 2015 report.

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