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Designing the UI for the
Internet of Things
Tim Lynch
Design lead, mobile and consumer products
Nuance Communications
@cla...
A little bit about me…
(Yes, we beat the record.)
I live in Boston, where I
am the lead UX
Designer for web/mobile
devices...
A little bit about Nuance…
We innovate technology to reduce the distance between
want and get.
“Tweet this and say not a
b...
A little bit about our design team…
We are a diverse team of
interaction and visual
designers, user
researchers, dialog
de...
Narrative design is core to what we
do as designers. We have the ability
to pull from general design experience
to create ...
The landscape of the
internet of things
We – designers and consumers – face
challenges each day when designing
for the Internet of Things:
• Smaller (or varying)
...
When we talk about devices that make
up the Internet of Things, what comes
to mind?
Light bulbs, thermostats, smart hubs, ...
These devices are the poster children of
connected devices – the IoT we know
and love today. They are generally
“smart dev...
But when we consider all the things that
are taking in and communicating data,
we often overlook the things we already
kno...
Sometimes, these things act as the
interface for other connected devices.
Other times, these things unto
themselves have b...
Then there are
connected things
that feel like
science fiction…
By 2020, there could be
200-billion connected
things, from...
This shift in ecosystem presents a
fundamental challenge.
As people living in this world of connected experiences, we need...
Interacting with
all these things
Small screens
Pebble Time
Consider different form factors
(screens).
Screens
Honeywell WiFi Smart
Thermostat
No screens
Ko...
As these devices pervade our
everyday lives – and become
smaller, pushed into the background,
and more personal – our inte...
Context: How are things used?
Life becomes the context.
Different inputs and outputs.
From Nicolas Nova’s “Curious Rituals” - https://curiousrituals.wordpress.com/
We’re in the wild-west with these
devices. Each device seems to put a
stake in the ground with some novel
way to interact ...
Method’s Henri (via FastCoDesign) - http://method.com/work/ixda15
“With the rise of smart objects and the connected home,
...
Speech as a
unifying modality
Speech is the
simplest and
most human
communication
method.
Using speech, the user
interface becomes almost
invisible and ...
The goal is to
communicate with
devices as we
would each other
– as humans.
How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Com...
Let’s pretend you have a connected
mattress.
The Chattress
Hey friend
:)
Foundations of the ‘voice interface’
The Chattress
You seem down
today…what’s
wrong?
ASR
Recognize the
words
NLU
Meaning
b...
Intelligence is the secret sauce that
permeates the entire experience,
influencing the conversational
partnership we have ...
Intelligence & personalization
The intelligent Chattress
Intelligence
Context Knowledge
Memory
‘Smarts’ can manifest itsel...
Design considerations
(Tweet this section)
A speech experience itself, though
– without a holistic and thoughtful
design – won’t make for a good
user experience.
Spe...
Understand
expectations
Leverage the
strengths of
speech
Partner with
other modalities
Introduce
yourself
Frame the
scope
...
1. Understand expectations.
People don’t want to
speak to their
devices simply to
have a
conversation…
they want to get
th...
2. Leverage the strengths of speech.
Speech can empower goal-oriented tasks, streamline existing
flows, and improve the ex...
3. Partner with other modalities.
Rarely should speech be
thought about as the only
modality.
Use it to support and
amplif...
4. Introduce yourself.
Make speech obvious and well-integrated into the full
experience. Once discovered, people will expe...
5. Frame the scope with guidance.
The promise of natural language is you can say anything.
A challenge is you think you ca...
6. Support what is natural.
The “natural” in “natural language” can mean lengthy
phrases… but it can also mean simple frag...
7. Provide conversational feedback.
Speech systems should follow our own conversational
norms, conveying they are listenin...
8. Identify “errors” as opportunities.
“Sorry, I’m not
hearing anything.
Try checking your
mic settings.”
Audio
“Sorry, wh...
9. Deliver a consistent
point of view.
Dialog, TTS, visual, audio, interaction, scope, content, form
factor… should all wo...
So, if you take away one thing,
it should be…
Thoughtfully-designed speech
systems allow us to meaningfully
interact with ...
Thank you!
Tim Lynch
Design lead, mobile and consumer products
Nuance Communications
@clampants | @NuanceInc
#IoTUI
#SXSW
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SXSW 2015: How to design user interfaces for the Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things is evolving and the number of connected devices growing, but with each new device and form factor created comes some novel way to interact with it – different inputs and outputs. As designers, we have an exciting opportunity in front of us to inform how speech, alongside other modalities, manifests itself on these different devices, and what that ultimately means for the people using them.

This presentation was originally given by Nuance's Tim Lynch at SXSW Interactive 2015. Find the 'tweet' buttons throughout the presentation to share your favorite parts.

Published in: Internet, Design
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SXSW 2015: How to design user interfaces for the Internet of Things

  1. Designing the UI for the Internet of Things Tim Lynch Design lead, mobile and consumer products Nuance Communications @clampants | @NuanceInc Voice interfaces for connected experiences #IoTUI #SXSW
  2. A little bit about me… (Yes, we beat the record.) I live in Boston, where I am the lead UX Designer for web/mobile devices at Nuance. I love Austin, have family here, and almost moved here, yet somehow I ended up living in a city with 800 ft. of snow in a month and below 0° F winters. So thank you for having me and letting me thaw.
  3. A little bit about Nuance… We innovate technology to reduce the distance between want and get. “Tweet this and say not a bad way to start the day” “Bring up the record for patient Nicole Redman”
  4. A little bit about our design team… We are a diverse team of interaction and visual designers, user researchers, dialog designers across the country, redefining speech experiences across handsets and tablets, automotive, television, desktop, IoT, wearables, augmented reality, gaming… The list goes on. Did I mention it’s fun?
  5. Narrative design is core to what we do as designers. We have the ability to pull from general design experience to create meaningful voice experiences for users.
  6. The landscape of the internet of things
  7. We – designers and consumers – face challenges each day when designing for the Internet of Things: • Smaller (or varying) screen sizes • Designing for transmodal experiences • Disparate device branding and cues • User expectations of immediacy • And so on.
  8. When we talk about devices that make up the Internet of Things, what comes to mind? Light bulbs, thermostats, smart hubs, speakers, Crock Pots, refrigerators…
  9. These devices are the poster children of connected devices – the IoT we know and love today. They are generally “smart devices” that… a) Are loaded with sensors b) Can “talk” (convey data and information) to us and each other
  10. But when we consider all the things that are taking in and communicating data, we often overlook the things we already know –things that were smart and sensor-laden well before the phrase “Internet of Things.”
  11. Sometimes, these things act as the interface for other connected devices. Other times, these things unto themselves have become connected devices.
  12. Then there are connected things that feel like science fiction… By 2020, there could be 200-billion connected things, from smart dust to entire cities.* How will we interact with it all? * http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/internet-of-things/infographics/guide-to-iot.html
  13. This shift in ecosystem presents a fundamental challenge. As people living in this world of connected experiences, we need to interact with these things in personal, meaningful ways… and our devices need to interact with us similarly.
  14. Interacting with all these things
  15. Small screens Pebble Time Consider different form factors (screens). Screens Honeywell WiFi Smart Thermostat No screens Kohler Moxie Showerhead & Speaker
  16. As these devices pervade our everyday lives – and become smaller, pushed into the background, and more personal – our interactions with them become more enmeshed in the day-to-day.
  17. Context: How are things used? Life becomes the context.
  18. Different inputs and outputs. From Nicolas Nova’s “Curious Rituals” - https://curiousrituals.wordpress.com/
  19. We’re in the wild-west with these devices. Each device seems to put a stake in the ground with some novel way to interact with it. Touches, gestures, and swipes on one device trigger one response, while on another they trigger something completely different.
  20. Method’s Henri (via FastCoDesign) - http://method.com/work/ixda15 “With the rise of smart objects and the connected home, we’ve found that products increasingly need to communicate even without a screen, through things like light and sound patterns.” –Daniel Nacamuli
  21. Speech as a unifying modality
  22. Speech is the simplest and most human communication method. Using speech, the user interface becomes almost invisible and the experience is as natural as part of the day-to-day.
  23. The goal is to communicate with devices as we would each other – as humans. How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship - by Clifford Nass - http://goo.gl/YYozKs Dialog evokes meaning, identity, emotion, and trust.
  24. Let’s pretend you have a connected mattress. The Chattress Hey friend :)
  25. Foundations of the ‘voice interface’ The Chattress You seem down today…what’s wrong? ASR Recognize the words NLU Meaning behind the words Dialog Appropriate response Nothing, mattress :(
  26. Intelligence is the secret sauce that permeates the entire experience, influencing the conversational partnership we have and creating a much more personalized experience.
  27. Intelligence & personalization The intelligent Chattress Intelligence Context Knowledge Memory ‘Smarts’ can manifest itself through context, memory, and knowledge.
  28. Design considerations (Tweet this section)
  29. A speech experience itself, though – without a holistic and thoughtful design – won’t make for a good user experience. Speech experiences will fail (or fail to be adopted) when they: • Fail to meet people’s expectations • Don’t take into account context or other modalities • Are hidden or unclear in purpose • Ignore conversational norms • Treat errors as dead-ends
  30. Understand expectations Leverage the strengths of speech Partner with other modalities Introduce yourself Frame the scope Support what is natural Provide conversational feedback Identify errors as opportunities Deliver a consistent point of view To remedy this, consider these speech design factors.
  31. 1. Understand expectations. People don’t want to speak to their devices simply to have a conversation… they want to get things done. Design with those things in mind. Police Dog, Tess (via the State Library of New South Wales, NZ - https://flic.kr/p/5TJoyH)
  32. 2. Leverage the strengths of speech. Speech can empower goal-oriented tasks, streamline existing flows, and improve the experience in certain contexts.
  33. 3. Partner with other modalities. Rarely should speech be thought about as the only modality. Use it to support and amplify other modalities.
  34. 4. Introduce yourself. Make speech obvious and well-integrated into the full experience. Once discovered, people will experiment.
  35. 5. Frame the scope with guidance. The promise of natural language is you can say anything. A challenge is you think you can say anything…
  36. 6. Support what is natural. The “natural” in “natural language” can mean lengthy phrases… but it can also mean simple fragments. Natural language should encompass structured commands, but be able to extend out to full, grammatically correct sentence structure.
  37. 7. Provide conversational feedback. Speech systems should follow our own conversational norms, conveying they are listening and understanding.
  38. 8. Identify “errors” as opportunities. “Sorry, I’m not hearing anything. Try checking your mic settings.” Audio “Sorry, what time was that?” Recognition “Did you mean two people or two o’clock?” Interpretation “Ah…I can’t help you with that yet, but try this…” Dialog It’s OK if something goes wrong – as long as people understand what happened (and what to do to fix it). (Tweet this)
  39. 9. Deliver a consistent point of view. Dialog, TTS, visual, audio, interaction, scope, content, form factor… should all work in concert across devices.
  40. So, if you take away one thing, it should be… Thoughtfully-designed speech systems allow us to meaningfully interact with our connected devices.
  41. Thank you! Tim Lynch Design lead, mobile and consumer products Nuance Communications @clampants | @NuanceInc #IoTUI #SXSW

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