2021 will be the year of reconstruction
in which we will have the opportunity to build multiple new products and services for sustaining the new normality.

In 2020, our lives have been overwhelmed by the crisis for covid-19 and we lost quite the majority of our social rituals. In 2021 there are all the conditions for developing a kind of renaissance for our lifestyle with fresh and balanced hybrid experiences straight to all the people, and big and small organizations.

“The pandemic has been a once-in-a-century event. Fortunately, covid-19 has not just brought about the need for change. It also points to a way forward”
– The Economist.

Hence, it’s a new dawn for new habits, product and service experiences, working rituals, new healthcare and wellness treatments at home, and a new kind of engaging events. The time we are living in can be a strong kick towards the future even if most of it was forecasted during the previous years but often given little consideration.

As users, we are eager to have new habits where we finally simplify our lives and add much more value to them. Consumer experiences hopefully are going to get much more accommodating with a consistent mixture from the digital and the real-world. For those who are working at home or in the office, there’s going to be a promise to get the best from new working rituals, coherent with teams spread in different places. We are even ready to attend new kind of online participative events generally made in the physical world if and only if user experiences will be emotional enough and relevant with time, place, and remote instant need.

Throughout our history, after a global crisis, there has always been a new era of thinking & innovation. Right now, we have an amazing and tangible opportunity to decide what we want for the 21st century.

Starting from our experiences in THINGS, gained by the products designed in 2020, we have elaborated a list of trends of business potentials for the Design industry for 2021.

01. momentum in design-driven processes for new effective human experiences

This should be the megatrend of the year indeed. All the different business contexts need to be reconstructed in terms of product and service, supporting the “new normality”. People have made up their mind by now. Experiences are considered more effective, comfortable and profitable if they are the perfect mix of the real and virtual domains. The pandemic has definitely accelerated this process of the digital transformation of our daily lives.

Only a structured process for creation – driven by solid product design methodologies and focused on human behaviours – can bring perceived high value and quality to these new habits and rituals. In 2021, interdisciplinary designers are the stars, familiar with iterative processes, and the physical and digital design of products.

There’s a strong need for relevancy in user services focused on different issues such as environment, planet sustainability, smart work, new generation retail and so forth. More than ever, we must co-create services for raising user inclusivity and for reducing the digital divide. Now, the world must prevent the condition of dividing humanity into two different perspectives of welfare and the rate of evolution.

02. remote assisted shopping experience

In 2020, the “brick-and-mortar” retail commerce had a terrible arrest because of lockdowns in all countries of the world. There’s an emerging interest to improve and enrich the shopping experience in every field of retail (grocery, fashion, food etc.), leveraging on new convenient services creating more and perceived benefit from shopper staying at home or anywhere they prefer to stay.

Considering every step of the shopping experience, brands will focus their commitments identifying the most valuable and relevant services for a more personalized and efficient user experience to broaden their loyal customer base.

These solutions will deeply affect the overall organization and assets of retailers. The ending scope will be to substitute old, uncomfortable, and sometimes not applicable habits in a new, smarter way to do shopping regardless of going to the physical store.

03. telemedicine more and more real in our lives

Eventually, a pandemic had to come to push telemedicine in our daily lives and to make it really take off. Even in this case, the viral outbreak is a huge problem to sort out. There were no workarounds to social distancing for medical staff and patients. The business potential in the field of healthcare and medical products and services is huge. However, telemedicine extending to multiple other remote services of care, both digital and physical-digital, is not just a response for the prevention of covid-19 patients, but also for a great majority of diseases with the need of prevention and healing outside the hospital. Like for the other trends, the acceleration we got from the pandemic puts us in the perspectives we were waiting for for years.

As a reference, have a glance at our docdot and post op products as delivered in 2020.

docdot and postop

04. back to humanity against the social media ego

Fighting the worldwide pandemic made people interested to be back to essentials and the truth. Sociologically speaking, there’s strong evidence in focusing more on our consciences and less on what we aspire to be. There is a rediscovery of essences of life. In the meantime, social media is evermore the place where there is a rise of fake news, people are talking instinctively without caring for the real value transmitted to the community so that even give back is often negligible. In 2021 there is an evident need of truth, humanity and freedom without any fears of helping other people and ourselves. It’s time to use the net to communicate deeply and with our heart, towards clear topic objectives feeding durable and valuable collective intelligences cleaned from the noise of our egos.

05. consumer products sustaining the planet

The movement of taking care of the planet is strongly on the rise and is starting from the people’s consciousness of a new sustainable but smart lifestyle. As every behaviour focused on every human being, lifestyles require virtuous frequent habits. These are the premises to envision multiple products and services that drive and sustain good attitudes.

Pleasant and captivating user experience for specific digital or digital-physical products can move people to easily achieve personal goals for saving the planet.

There will be a lot of contexts such as smart mobility or energy and thoughtful consumption of grocery. 

As a reference, have a glance at savebiking as our 2020 delivered product.

Savebiking, an app that encourages the use of bicycles to build a sustainable society.

06. home-centric lives

We’ve never spent so much time at home. At the beginning we were forced to stay home because of the lockdowns for coronavirus but when we had a little opportunity to come back to the office lot of people preferred to keep working remotely. Home is more than ever the center of our life where we work, we relax, we have our hobbies, we look after children, we do shopping and attend learning classes and pay for following concerts or for entering to a temporary exhibition.

In 2021, the home will be part of most new products and services ecosystems.

The home will be ever more adherent to our needs with different space organization or with its furniture, but it’s established that people would like to freely choose if doing the activity at home or outside, obviously when the pandemic will end hopefully. There is now a space where entrepreneurs with their designers can envision potentially plenty of new products and services digital and physical-digital to feel household residents comfortable.

07. the rise of privacy and cybersecurity awareness

There is clear evidence of the growth of awareness about privacy policies and cybersecurity between the common people. At the same time, people are concerned but don’t like spending time to read through all regulations shown in all products and services with a high risk of having skepticism in purchases or even abandon. As a consequence, the importance of privacy-by-design is growing.

Privacy-by-design is the process of creating consumer products in a way where adaptable and quality user experience will come up with relevant interactions helping the user to decide for his data properly, getting full control of the product.

About cybersecurity, in 2021 we will experience a meaningful acceleration for implementing useful services for smart working at home.

As a reference, have a glance at b-smart as our 2020 delivered NGI EU project.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the NGI_TRUST grant agreement no 825618

The wheels of the world have begun turning big time. Now whether this proves out to be a small social revolution or the next step towards human evolution, it is yet to be seen. Whichever be the case, we will prefer to play our parts rather than the boring ‘wait and watch’ mindset. How about you?

“It is not the strongest that survives. Nor the most intelligent.
It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
– Charles Darwin