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Leaping into the Future in 2016

We are turning 10 this year. In the life of a traditional industry, ten years is nothing. But for a technology design firm, to quote a recent Grammy winner “You call it a moment, I call it a life.” More on how we plan to reflect on, celebrate and commemorate our anniversary will come soon. In the meantime, outcome-focused design continues to be our passion; that is, the challenge for designers to have long-lasting, positive impact on our world. Our human-centered design approach, combined with a deep understanding of technology allows us to solve the most complex of  problems. And since we crave and thrive on complexity, 2016 is shaping up to be an amazing year for us.

Healthcare

Healthcare continues to be a huge priority area for Artefact. From patient empowerment to facilitating engagement and collaboration within the healthcare system, design can play a significant role in leading patients and care providers towards smarter choices and better decisions. The opportunity to impact those who are most underserved, including those with chronic and stigmatized conditions and unequal access to care, humbly remind us of our design responsibility.  Among the projects we plan to share this year are our work with a leading pharmaceutical company, a collaboration with Group Health Research Institute, projects with Intuitive Surgical and the Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research & Prevention.

In recognition of the role design can play in accelerating innovation in healthcare, as well as Artefact’s unique point of view in the space, we have been invited to join the Innovation Learning Network, an organization dedicated to promoting healthcare innovation by connecting with others, finding inspiration and sharing knowledge. As part of our contribution, we hope to introduce ILN members to our approach to design, as well as unique tools and methodologies like the Design Maturity Survey, that would allow them to diagnose and work to improve the effectiveness of their innovation initiatives.

Education

Our passion and dedication to education and learning continues, as the education sector readies to incorporate new technologies more rapidly than ever before. Our challenge is to design opportunities and experiences where technology produces positive outcomes whilst facing the barriers unique to this sector including systemic inequitiessuch as the digital divide. The outcomes we strive towards enable life-long learning for all, inform better educational decisions, and advance learning and teaching practices appropriate for the 21st century methods.

We’ve just embarked on a collaboration with one of the most innovative academic institutions, Arizona State University, to design a Community Platform for MasterCard Foundation Scholars; talented young people from economically disadvantaged communities, particularly in Africa. The program aims to prepare scholarship recipients, more than 15,000, into leaders empowered to drive economic growth and social transformation across the region.

Autonomous vehicles

Following our work with Hyundai, we continue to work on defining what the future of connected cars holds. We are reimagining the next generation UX for a beloved and coveted brand and working to find the right balance between autonomy and our passion for driving. We will be sharing our point of view at major industry conferences throughout the year, starting this week with Interaction 16 in Helsinki and at SXSW later in March.

Augmented and virtual reality

A lot has been said about why it took AR and VR so long to become real, but in the last 12 months, the majority of these challenges have been overcome. Today, no one really doubts Mark Zuckerberg when he declared at MWC 2016: “Pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there, right there in person.” The real question is not when AR and VR will be here, but how it will change the way we live, we communicate, we create.

The opportunity for outcome-focused design will be to create experiences and interactions that balance immersion with inclusion, facilitate exploration, yet encourage communication, unchain imaginations with the ultimate goal to make not only the virtual reality but our real one better.