Technology is offering groundbreaking new opportunities for ambitious businesses — but outstanding design and a sharp focus on the customer are what will set brands apart in the years to come.

When people want to know the answer to a question, Google is often the first place they turn. But what happens when Google itself needs an answer? If you use Google Maps, chances are at some point you’ve received a push notification informing you that the world’s most sophisticated search engine requires some human help. It looks like this:

Billionaires are battling it out to make history in today’s new space race. But what can space colonies teach us about improving the public sector here on earth and how can design teams take practical advantage?

There’s no denying that the 21st-century space race is well and truly underway. Billionaire entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk are locked in a fierce battle to be the first to send people to Mars — a moment that will define humans as an interplanetary species and earn one lucky company a place in the history books. …

VR goggles in use for the first time

Gimmicky applications of virtual and augmented reality make the headlines all too often. This year, the biggest challenge for the immersive tech industry is to move beyond escapism and start designing genuinely useful virtual experiences.

At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Minnesota, 13 year-old Olivia Curtis wears virtual reality goggles each time she undergoes Remicade infusion therapy. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at age four, but has been terrified of the treatment since doctors mislocated a vein during a routine appointment. …

Disruptive technologies like blockchain are redefining how organisations are structured and unearthing fresh opportunities for innovation in service and experience design

The idea of a team or organisation with no-one in charge might sound like madness, but the hierarchical models of management still used by so many companies today were designed for drastically different societies and economies. In the digital age, we need new models that fit the needs of the people and businesses that use them. …

Building on Scotland’s early success in the sector means attracting new investors, narrowing the focus, and reaching across borders.

Over the past few years, Scotland has been working hard to become a world leader in fintech. Despite political upheaval in Westminster and the plummeting value of the pound, there are now almost 100 fintech businesses operating in Scotland — a significant mark of progress for the sector. But the competition is fierce; European cities like Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin have also been investing in their fintech ecosystems and vying for recognition. So where do we go from here?

The fintech journey so far has offered interesting insights into what makes Scotland an attractive place to do business. Stephen Ingledew

Sarah Ronald

Award-winning design entrepreneur, bar owner, investor. Passion for insight, human behaviour and our intersection with technology.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store