Academy Xi Blog

Disruptive Companies Invest in Design and Technology: Invest in the future today

By Academy Xi

Convergence of design and technology

The convergence of design and technology has enhanced our experience with the world around us. Soon, our day-to-day tasks will look and feel very different. We may wake up to find that the fridge has prepared our breakfast, a drone has delivered our mail, and a driverless car is waiting to take us to work.

We rely on designers and engineers to re-imagine the way we walk through life. In Australia, these designers and engineers can be found in small and large startup and technology businesses that are all vying for global expansion. But, as the startup pool in Australia increases, so do the gaps in design and technology skills.

According to the Startup Muster 2017 report, over 25%of founders require more mentorship and training, with nearly 30% admitting they need skills in User Experience Design.

However, skills in User Experience Design are already in short supply, so how can we re-imagine the world with a dwindling talent pool? CEO of Hyper Island, Johanna Frelin, believes that the companies who address the talent shortage and skills gap are the companies that will change their future success.

“These are the brands that will stay ahead of the game and gain a competitive advantage in their respective fields,” says Johanna.

Companies like Amazon are at the forefront of innovation because they invest in long-term growth, and a part of that growth is investing in research and design. Some of their projects like the Fire phone, drone delivery, and Amazon Fresh are not immediately profitable, and some may never be, but that’s the risk their designers and engineers are willing to take.

To be disruptive, companies need to hire and train workers to think far beyond 2018 and decide what kind of future they want to create.

Jobs of the future

Design and technology have evolved from Coders to Machine Learning Engineers, and from Computer Programmers to Virtual and Augmented Reality specialists. Each of these relatively new roles involves elements of design and technology.

As professions continue to evolve, it’s necessary that businesses look to the future and start training the next wave of designers. But, what will the next wave of design and technology roles look like?

Here’s a list of futuristic roles that may be closer than you think:

1. Drone Experience Engineer

Gavin Kelly, the co-founder of Artefact, foretells Amazon’s commercial drones will create a demand for drone Service Designers. This will call for a new wave of Service Designers to understand the end customer’s interaction with the online buying experience and the drone delivery service.

2. Cybernetic Director

Matias Duarte, Vice President of Material Design at Google, believes cybernetic directors will be responsible for the creative vision and autonomous execution of media services. The execution of digital design for media platforms may very well be taken over by artificial intelligent bots. These visual-design bots will need to be trained by a human — a Cybernetic Director — in distinct visual languages of digital brands.

3. Embodied Interactions Designer

Matt Schoenholz, Head of Design at Teague, believes Embodied Interactions Designers will focus on creating content for the changing nature of the screen. Whether that screen is physical or virtual, designers will need to understand interface pattern language and touch-points that are oriented both on screen and in the space around the user.

4. SIM Designer

Rob Girling, co-founder of Artefact, believes SIM designers will need to pull together customer data, behavioural models, and statistical models to design simulated people that predict and determine future customer behaviour. Before products are even realised, these SIMs will help to improve the understanding of the customer and ultimately the design of the product.


Take advantage of what lies ahead

At Academy Xi, we believe companies who invest in their employees’ education will be the innovators and disruptors of tomorrow. Companies who up-skill their staff in User Experience and Service Design or Virtual and Augmented Reality Design will benefit both now and in the future.