Smart products are using an array of software components to create meaningful product experiences layered over innovative hardware. This is posing a new design challenge for product designers as we migrate from a process of focusing on one main component to a process that requires juggling the design of many components concurrently. The key to cracking this problem isn’t that difficult; design the flow of data from one component to another using the user’s natural behavior as a guide.
The problem lies in implementing this type of workflow because it requires a shift in thinking and an increased level of coordination. Starting with the user’s intent and their environment, the designer can orchestrate an experience across the components, ultimately defining the features and functionality of each. By embracing the convergence of traditional product design and newer, software design strategies, a hybrid process will emerge that can tackle the increasingly complex task of designing a smart product.