Future-gazing with HiRoad and hello 2020.

Hi there, HiRoaders

We’re rolling into that time of year when we’re mindful of the months behind and future-gazing for the months ahead.

As we close out 2019, we thought it would be fun to ask a few folks whose skills are helping power HiRoad to share their predictions on trends in gamification, artificial intelligence (AI) for customer service, digital privacy and visual design—aspects of modern life that we all might benefit from as we approach the next decade.


Musings on why games matter

We see gamification all around us, so it should come as no surprise to see the early manifestation of this come to insurance. I started working on games in 1999 at a major video game company, just as they released a new console. And this gives me a pretty long view of the industry. So now it seems perfectly natural that insurance is influenced by games.

Why does this matter?

At their core, games are a fundamental human behavior used to acquire skills in a given area. This is why it is no surprise that we’ve seen the gamification of just about every aspect of life.

Think about it—games have been fine-tuned with feedback and rewards that encourage people to engage more, retain longer, monetize more and get better at whatever skills are required to be successful. Apply that to driving behavior and now we get people to drive better through feedback on metrics such as braking, acceleration and cornering. In turn, we reward drivers because they take steps to improve their habits. Lastly, every other person on the road benefits from this gamification because they are now on the road with people who are actively driving with better skills and intentions.

You can bet that the future will come with all sorts of new ways to measure progress and share data. We humans will have to figure out how to do the maximum good with these changes.


Chatbots, AI and the human element

The empathy economy is an emerging concept and one that will differentiate brands in the future.

The use of automation is becoming more commonplace as it helps to increase efficiency. Chatbots are best used for non-sensitive communication where customers want fast and easy answers. But for more complex and sensitive issues, the use of chatbots can cause some friction or frustration, giving the impression that a company doesn’t value its customers.

As our lives become more and more complex and stressful, customers want to push the burden of emotion to other human beings.

In insurance, customers are calling in to deal with issues that are often complex and difficult. Human beings are best suited to deal with these complex and nuanced conversations. On the surface, these conversations may seem simple, but it’s not just what is being said, it’s how it’s being said.

Humans natural and instinctive capabilities for empathy and compassion cannot be replaced by chatbots, but artificial intelligence can help customer service specialists be more effective. AI software that performs voice analysis can give real-time feedback to specialists and help give empathy cues to augment the experience. And I look forward to finding ways our team can combine AI tools with personal communication to offer positive outcomes.


Thoughts on digital privacy

Digital privacy is rapidly becoming a major differentiator in the market. One of the biggest tech companies in the world is doubling down on privacy as a selling point, for example, while consumer sentiment is slowly turning against companies who do not appear to respect users’ privacy.

That said, the idea of “privacy” means different things to different people. Depending on who you are and who you’re talking to, you might be discussing two completely different concepts even though you’re both using the word “privacy”. When discussing privacy, it’s important to make sure that everyone involved is actually talking about the same concepts so that we can move the conversation forward.

Thanks to new laws and shifting public opinion, security and privacy professionals anticipate significant changes in 2020 and beyond around how companies collect, handle, use, and share people’s data.

Whatever changes might come, HiRoad will always make protecting your data and your privacy a top priority.


Design turns to craft, creativity & intuition

I’m seeing that a significant trend in 2020 will be the de-bureaucratization of design. There will be a renewed focus on the importance of craft, individual creativity and intuition.

In the last decade, the dominant focus was on process and strategy—almost entirely at the expense of conversation about actual design artifacts.

In 2020—even more so than in 2019—I believe we’ll see more people publicly questioning the value and effectiveness of standardized approaches for creating successful and engaging designs.

[Kirill puts actions to his words in this post. Notice the thoughtfully crafted design elements right here.]

What does the new decade hold for you?

It would be great to have a crystal ball and see where technology will lead us. Will it make things easier? Help us connect more or improve our behaviors? We’d love to know what trends you think will shape our lives and habits as we enter a new decade. Please share your ideas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We love hearing from you. Here’s to 2020!