It’s one of the most important design questions of the year: What are the most significant cultural, commercial and design challenges that our clients will face over the next 12 months? With help from our colleagues at Accenture, we have distilled our thinking to nine key trends that reflect the impact of digital on the real world and explore how this will shape both consumer expectations and service design. As smart, contextually aware digital services start to bring the Internet of Things to life in a way that starts to feel tangible instead of theoretical, the pace and scale of change over the next 12 months will be unprecedented, exhilarating and crammed with creative opportunities. Amid the turbulence we have identified two overarching themes that permeate each of the nine trends we have identified. The digitalization of everything is becoming apparent Software is now becoming embedded in the environment very fast indeed, in ways that we will all be experiencing and talking about. At the same time, people are being placed back alongside automation when it comes to the front line of customer service, and human-machine interactions are becoming more emotional. Consumers want to be enchanted Maybe it’s the result of a generation weaned on Harry Potter, but Generation Y are hard to surprise: they confidently expect services to become more magical - for example by guessing their intent or making boring transactional stuff disappear. Companies that can conjure with skill, will differentiate themselves. As the physical world becomes more connected, in 2015 the winning digital brands will be those that seek to connect the gaps between services, devices and places. These gaps can’t be avoided but they can be managed better. Platforms that scale to do this are essential and the owners of these will be at the top of the value chain. If we had to pick one word to sum it up, it is this: ambition. However in itself, this is not enough: the best organisations will figure out how to deliver on ambition – but in way that places consumer needs ahead of commercial imperatives. Our 2015 Trends aim to provoke, inform, inspire, but above all to provide actionable insight. We call that Design at the Heart.