Accenture Interactive’s annual Fjord Trends report is predicting a handful of trends that are likely to emerge in 2021 after a year that forced the world to re-examine how it lives, works and plays.
“Innovation doesn’t start with technology, but as we’ve seen over the past year, it can be a powerful tool to augment human ingenuity even out of chaos,” says Brian Whipple, group chief executive, Accenture Interactive. “The next year should be one defined by hope.”
Increasingly, people are solving their own problems. Everyone wants better solutions and COVID-19 has driven people to rely on their creativity to develop hacks to deal with certain challenges, from home workers using their ironing boards as standing desks to parents learning how to teach their kids at home.
Accenture states the era in which a brand was expected to create a finished solution is transitioning to one where brands are creating the conditions for personal innovation. “Technology is playing a new role, primarily as facilitator for people’s ingenuity and as a result, people’s creativity is shining through,” per the report.
There is no question a permanent shift has taken place in the relationship between people and their work and between employers and their teams. The future won’t be one-size-fits-all, the Accenture report surmises. Instead, expect a lot of prototyping in the world of work for some time to come.
Similarly, many remote workers attached to their screens have noticed a certain “sameness” caused by templated design in digital experiences. Accenture predicts this conformity will change in the coming 12 months. “Organizations must reconsider design, content, audience and the interaction between them to inject greater excitement, joy and serendipity into screen experiences,” the report concludes.
Also the pandemic has shone a light on many broken and unequal systems across the world, from access to healthcare to social injustice. As a result, companies must work hard to manage the narratives that shape their brands, prioritizing the subjects that matter most to them and building their behaviors around those subjects.
Additional trends discussed in the report include collective displacement and new ways to Interact with others; companies adapting quickly to change in their supply chains, often driven by sustainability; and the opportunity for businesses to help people discover new rituals that bring joy and comfort.
Each year, Accenture Interactive crowdsources trends in business, technology and design for the coming year from its global design network of 2,000+ creatives in more than 40 locations.More from the report can be accessed here.