Mikael Eriksson Björling

Things that matters! About digital transformation, design, culture and lifestyle in the Networked Society


Personal – Inspiration

UX design in AI

Currently, computational capacity is doubling roughly every 18 months. The pace of this development, amplified by rapid improvements in software, has resulted in artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms that are quickly evolving to understand and interpret some of our most complex natural processes.
At the same time, the ability to access this capacity is multiplying due to sharp increases in bandwidth, improvements in latency and other quality of service parameters with technologies such as 5G. Interfaces are also becoming more seamless due to advances in cloud computing as well as visual, tactile, and verbal interface technologies.

These exponential improvements have brought what, just over a decade ago, were considered industrial-strength processing and communication capabilities into the homes and hands of individuals everywhere. As industries adopt these technologies to modernize and automate their business processes to increase value chain efficiency and effectiveness, a new service-based concept for the technology has emerged. The self-driving or autonomous car is an example of this new concept. Eventually cars will no longer have drivers, a fundamental change in the concept of a car. The passenger of such a vehicle will interact with it on a much higher and abstract level as a service. When we apply this concept to the telecom sector, i.e. creating a “self-driving network”, AI technology will be the brains behind this change. This presents two main challenges for those developing the concept and service:

  1. The conceptual shift from today’s understanding of what a network is, becoming something more abstract than what it is today, operating on new parameters.
  2. The fact that a user of such a service will interact with the system on a much higher, more abstract level.

Therefore, the understanding of the business goals and the user of the system is key to success. With the role of users shifting from drivers to passengers and from operators to managers, designers will need to create highly collaborative solutions allowing tangible and reliable interaction between AI technology and the user.

In light of this, the Experience Design team at Ericsson has been researching and developing how to design trustworthy, AI-powered services for telecom operators. Through designing the Cognitive Operation Support System service concept, we have identified four components of human trust that can be applied to AI powered systems. These four pillars – competence, benevolence, integrity and charisma – are the key areas designers and business owners need to address to be successful when it comes to the adoption of AI.

Read the rest of this paper or download a PDF file at

Design awards: What sets the new Ericsson interface design apart?

The new Ericsson Design System consists of everything a designer or developer needs to create iconic user experiences. From the design foundation with the visual hierarchy, themes, colors, typography, and iconography to components with ready to use code. The only thing you have to add to the drink is creativity! And the system is constantly evolving and is co-created together with its users.

Design has always been important for Ericsson. Creating smart solutions and aesthetics expressions that provide value in a perfect blend. When I think about classic Swedish industrial design, one of the first images that pops up in my head is the Ericofon designed by Ralph Lysell Ericsson in 1955.


Since 1955 the Red Dot Award has selected the best designs in different categories such as product design. This summer they selected Ericsson Design System as the winner in the category Interface Design for its innovative approach to user experience, enabling agile software design and implementation.


What does the design system look like?

The design system supports both the designer and the developer. As a designer you have all design elements including layout templates and examples accessible in either Sketch or Adobe Illustrator formats. And for the developer the design system supports the most common platforms.

The typography used in the design system is the brand-new font Hilda, that is optimized for digital interfaces and to be perfectly rendered and readable on screens. The Hilda font comes in a light, regular, medium, and bold weights.


New iconography has been created following a minimalistic approach where each icon is crafted to offer high legibility in small resolutions.


The color palette is optimized to be readable in different contexts and special focus has been to make the colors as accessible as possible for people with low-vision or color blindness. The colors in the deign system is used to guide the users towards key messages rather that as decorative and esthetic elements. Every color in the system has a meaning and has been carefully selected and tested.


The design system has a large and growing set of common components ready to be used, including usage guidelines, implementation guidelines as well as running example you can interact with. It also comes with code snippets in HTML Markup, LESS and JavaScript (Vanilla).

The design system supports all type of screens from the largest screens in a network operation center used by professionals to the smallest screens used by consumers it has an adaptive layout and it comes in two themes. One bright theme that is optimized for text readability and one dark theme that suits darker environment such as an operation center.


Let’s have look at how services and apps look like using Ericsson’s new Design System!

09_ExampleEnterprise communication administration dashboard.


My phone plan app and smartwatch app for network analytics.


Want to know more about Ericsson Design system? Read more at

Download EDS Infograph

User and experience design—expectations on service providers

UXOver the last 20 years, we have seen incredible changes in our society. Both in the ways we work and the type of jobs and professions that are available on the market. We have changed, and the way we interact with each other has changed. Almost every day we meet a completely new type of experience in our daily-life, like self-driving buses or Tesla’s self-driving taxis.

In fact, many of the situations we find ourselves in every day are designed with a special focus on creating a great experience for us. However, even though there is a much deeper understanding and focus on this today, many companies have a hard time delivering it.

Experience-design needs to be a key focus

20 years ago, the dotcom era was in full bloom. At that time, the shift from printed design towards digital design really started. The designers back then interacted with new digital tools both for designing print and digital products, with the introduction of tools like Quark Xpress, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Director, and Flash.

A whole set of new possibilities came with the new tools in the early 1990’s. But at that time there was less focus on the holistic experience, the customer and user journeys and their wants and needs.

It is easy to find prime examples of good-looking designs (esthetics) from the dotcom era, but those designs didn’t work because of little focus on the customers, the users, their contexts and their business models. Lack of usefulness, usability issues, and market timing were common mistakes, if you are curious about epic failures you can read more here. Today many  companies are aware of these things and there is a whole new trade around design. The next focus is all about user-centric designs that focus on the experience of the end user.

Multi-disciplinary team of UX and CX designers

At Ericsson Digital Services, we have a multi-disciplinary team of UX (User Experience) and CX  (Customer Experience) designers bringing skills such as interaction designers, visual designers, user researchers, data analysts, front-end developers and service designers, with one common focus. However, we need many, many more!

Tune in to the podcast with Dez Blanchfield and Didier Chincholle to get a deeper insight into what consumers expect today from their service providers, and how Ericsson Digital Services is helping to create intuitive experiences: Ericsson Future Digital Blog >>>

OCRWC – VM i hinderbanelöpning!

Blue Mountain Village. Photo by: Jeff S. PhotoArt at
Nu är det mindre än en vecka kvar till starten på OCRWC, Obstacle Cource Racing World Championship 2017 i Blue Mountain, Ontario Kanada. OCR, eller som det hette när jag var liten hinderbana. Det har funnits ganska få möjligheter att träna och springa hinderbana utanför det militära fram tills för några år sedan då både antal OCR lopp och träningsanläggningar poppat upp som svampar i skogen. Själv minns jag första gången jag prövade stridshinderbanan på Ränneslätt. Jag var 10 år gammal och familjen hade åkt de 6 milen till Eksjö garnisons övningsfält för att jag skulle kunna testa hinderbanan.

Här är några bilder från i våras. Till vänster springande med en stock på axlarna under Ultimate OCR och till höger precis kvalat in till VM under Toughest i Stockholm/Lida.


Fotografi av: Ultimate OCR och Toughest



OCRVM som börjar på fredag nästa vecka är det fjärde i ordningen i denna snabbväxande sport. Det sägs vara en av världens snabbast växande sporter. Jag hittar ingen officiell statistik på det men helt klart har antalet lopp och deltagare ökat enormt mycket de senaste åren. Själv tycker jag OCR är den ultimata kombinationen kondition, smidighet och funktionell styrka. Enkel i sin grundidé och stor i upplevelsen. Terränglöpning i härlig natur, utmanade hinder och bra människor!


Detta blir mitt första VM och jag springer 15km loppet på lördag 14/10 med starttid 12:15 lokal kanadensisk tid, vilket blir 18:15 svensk tid. Perfekt tid för lördagsmys med hinderbanelöpning! Surfa in på OCRWCs facebooksida och följ livesändningarna eller titta på deras instagramkonto.

De tre föregående åren har det sett ut såhär med deltagandet.

2014 var det 573 deltagare, 154 kvinnor och 419 herrar. Av dessa var det 17 svenska atleter. 251 tävlande klarade banan utan straff, 21 av de 154 kvinnorna och 230 av de 419 herrarna. Platsen för VM var King’s Domain, Ohio, USA,

2015 var det 1359 som gick över mållinjen på 15km banan. 742 gjorde det utan tidsstraff. Av de som startade var det 395 damer och 964 herrar.  Platsen för VM var King’s Domain, Ohio, USA.

2016 flyttade VM till Blue Mountain, Ontario, Kanada och antal deltagare var 2144. 1482 herrar och 662 damer kom över mållinjen. Av de som kom i mål gjorde 1244 detta utan straff. Jag hittar ingen siffra på hur många svenska atleter som startade förra året men skulle jag gissa var det säkert 50+. Någon som vet?

2017 går VM åter igen i Blue Mountain, Ontario Kanada, en skidort två timmar väster om Toronto.

Världsmästare på standardbanan (ca 15 km och ca 60 hinder) 2014, 2015 och 2016 är multisportande britten Jonathan Albon och det ska bli intressant att se om han även i år åker hem med en guldmedalj runt halsen.

För mer information om OCRWC och möjlighet till att följa live-sändningarna på

Vill du veta mer om OCR, träning etc. surfa in på Andreas Tjärnbergs eller lyssna på den eminenta OCR Podden

Allt om terränglöpning finns på och letar du lopp att springa finns de flesta listade i löparkalendern,se

Systemet och miljön

Wind, en prisbelönt kortfilm om hur levande system påverkas av sin miljö och hur det måste ändras när miljön ändras. Arbetslivet (ett levande system) påverkas i högsta grad av sin miljö (samhällsstruktur, marknad, ekonomi, etc.) Detta är en utmaning för de flesta när vi nu lämnar industrialismens miljö till det uppkopplade samhällets miljö.

Mer animeringar av Robert Loebel hittar ni på


From Stockholm to Sydney – exploring the City Index

I recently made a trip from Stockholm to Sydney. Sydney is really an iconic city, so beautiful and full of nice people! My hometown Stockholm and Sydney are located 15584 kilometers away from each other – roughly a 24 hour flight – and both cities are measured in the Ericsson City Index 2016. The City Index consists of a report and an interactive tool to compare and explore cities. So let’s have a look at how two of the world’s most beautiful cities do index-wise.

At first look, Stockholm is ranked number 1 and Sydney ranked in the middle of the index at place 20. How come? What are the major differences?

First of all, let me explain shortly how we have built the index. What we measure is Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) maturity and Triple Bottom Line (TBL) development in the city. ICT maturity and TBL development are both divided into three dimensions. The TBL dimensions – social, economic, and environmental – reflect the three dimensions of sustainable development. ICT maturity is broken down into ICT infrastructure, ICT affordability, and ICT usage.  These three dimensions capture the complexity of the connected society: a well-developed infrastructure, a competitive market that offers affordable prices to citizens and businesses, and sufficient know-how to invent, adopt, and adapt new ICT solutions.


As number 20 in the Networked Society City Index, Sydney is somewhat below what would be expected considering the size of its economy. Overall, Sydney performs better in the ICT maturity dimensions than in the TBL dimensions. The city has the second-best mobile broadband quality of all the index cities, but fixed broadband is lacking in quality compared with other similar cities. On the TBL side, Sydney performs best in the economic dimension. It has a competitive economy with a large number of business start-ups per capita.

Stockholm’s top ranking comes down to performing exceptionally well in all dimensions of both ICT maturity and in the TBL part of the index. Stockholm also scores well when it comes to ICT affordability and ICT infrastructure. This is reflected in the city’s ICT usage, which is among the highest in the index. Stockholm is also ranked first in the economic and environmental dimensions of the TBL.

You can explore these cities and 38 more and a number of parameters in our interactive tool.

Explore the Index at:

A new kind of shopping trip – how the virtual and real are blending


In my last post over the holiday season, I examined the increased usage of convenient and fast digital services and consumption experiences, and how that somewhat paradoxically also drives more analog – and often passionate – experience of crafting things physically, which is encouraged and reinforced by online communities for nearly any topic you can imagine.

But this dichotomy will not last. As we interact with more and more things and spaces around us, the digital and physical will merge, and this will, in the end, eliminate our thinking in terms of digital and physical, virtual and real.

These worlds are already blending in our experience of shopping, and retailers are looking hard for the best ingredients to perfect this recipe.

One interesting blend of digital and physical shopping is what Rebecca Minkoff the fashion brand does in their flagship stores in New York and Los Angeles. They try to bring the best of the digital into the store experience. You can browse collections, discover products, and select the size of items that are sent to the fitting room for trying on. In the fitting room, you can adjust the lighting to simulate different situations. Should it be nightclub light or full sunlight? The RFID tags on every item in the store makes them pop up in the magic mirror with suggestions for accessories.

Read more about his at the Networked Society blog >>>

How digital is driving DIY this holiday season

Digital development drives “craft consumption” and DIY (Do It Yourself), especially when we have a deep interest and when it has to do with people we love.

Källa: How digital is driving DIY this holiday season

On Singles Day, China – and the world – shops till it drops


Yesterday was November 11th, for many an ordinary day in an ordinary week. For example, a couple of days ago I ordered a pair of new headphones from a Swedish online store. Certainly not a purchase I make every day, but an ordinary one all the same.

But yesterday, I received an ad from the same company – 25 percent off everything in the store 11/11 because it’s “Singles Day.” Singles Day is China’s – and in fact, the world’s – largest online shopping event (apparently now also present in Sweden). And in that sense, it was very much NOT an ordinary day.

This major Chinese shopping day is now “beating” the big U.S. shopping days we hear about all the time – Black Friday (this year November 27th, always the day after the United States’ Thanksgiving Day) and Cyber Monday (November 30th, the Monday after Thanksgiving Day). Last year Singles Day generated $9.34 billion online sales in a single day, compared to Cyber Monday’s and Black Friday’s combined sales of $4.15 billion.


These massive November shopping events also mark the start of the shopping season that culminates in the celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah and other end-of-year cultural celebrations worldwide. Check out the rest of the post at the Networked Society blog >>

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