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The network as a design material: Interaction 16 workshop

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Exploring the UX challenges which the properties of networks and connectivity patterns pose to connected products/the internet of things: latency, reliability, intermittent connectivity

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The network as a design material: Interaction 16 workshop

  1. 1. The network as a design material: distributed systems UX for the internet of things Claire Rowland & Helen Le Voi @clurr / @hlevoi Interaction 16, 1st March 2016 with special thanks to Liz Goodman /@egoodman
  2. 2. Hello…
  3. 3. “This is more than a UX book; it covers all of the critical design and technology issues around making great connected products.” David Rose. Author: Enchanted Objects
 “As a grizzled veteran of several campaigns within the matter-battle of the Internet ofThings, I was pleasantly surprised to find the number of times this book made me pause, think, and rethink my own work (and that of others).A very valuable addition to the canon of design thinking in this emerging area.” Matt Jones. Google 
 “Whether you’re an IoT pro or just getting started designing connected products, this comprehensive book has something for everyone, from examinations of different network protocols all the way up to value propositions and considerations for hardware, software, and services.This book takes a clear-eyed look at IoT from all angles.” Dan Saffer. Mayfield Robotics
  4. 4. Today’s workshop Through presentations and breakout exercises, the aim of today is to give you • An understanding the role the network plays in shaping the experience of connected products • Knowledge of the UX challenges • An opportunity to explore ways of addressing these challenges for different types of product and contexts of use
  5. 5. Why networks are important in connected product UX 30 minutes How things connect - different architectures (demos and acting it out) 30 minutes Break 15 minutes Network challenges part 1 40 minutes Design exercises round 1 40 minutes Break 15 minutes Network challenges part 2 15 minutes Design exercises round 2 40 minutes Discussion and wrap-up 15 minutes Timings
  6. 6. Why networks are important in connected product UX
  7. 7. Internet of Things, Connected Products, Ubiquitous Computing…
  8. 8. 33billion Devices will be connected by 2020 - that’s nearly 3x as many as in 2014 Ref: Strategy Analytics
  9. 9. Images: Emmett Tullos, Bigbelly, Smart Structures,Wikicommons, PowerOasis, OnFarm, GROUND Lab Industrial
  10. 10. By 2020, consumer spending on smart systems for the household will reach $130 billion globally Ref: Strategy Analytics
  11. 11. Consumer Images:Withings, Made by Many, ecobee, Pod, Philips, Streetline, Evrythng/Diageo, Lockitron, Proteus
  12. 12. “The rush to create new commercial prototypes, products, services, systems & stacks often means culture, custom, needs & desires are overstepped in the reach for profitable new use cases” @thingclash We’ve seen this before… Are we designing the right things?
  13. 13. Security Privacy Environmental impact Interoperability Value propositions Business models Industrial design Novel UIs and interactions Interusability Machine learning Designing with data Ambient interfaces Socio-cultural issues Smart environments Designing for networks Confusing conceptual models IoT design challenges
  14. 14. http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/heck-internet-things-dont-yet/ Shiny visions of the future - …
  15. 15. …but the reality is often new ways to fail ‘It’s a bit glitchy but it’s OK, you just have to be in the room at the same time’. Actual review of the Wink hub
  16. 16. and “A bit glitchy” could be fatal… or vulnerable…
  17. 17. Exercise One Who here has designed for IoT? ?What challenges did you face? What do you think the big UX issues might be?
  18. 18. When we talk about design for IoT… We tend to focus on UI & industrial design
  19. 19. Facets of IoT UX Most visible Least visible Conceptual model How should users think about the system? Interusability Interactions spanning multiple devices with different capabilities UI/visual design Screen layout. Look and feel Platform design Conceptual architecture and technology enablers spanning products/services Industrial design Physical hardware: capabilities and form factor Interaction design Architecture and behaviours per service, per device Service design Customer lifecycle, customer services, integration with non digital touchpoints Productisation Audience, proposition, objectives, functionality of a specific service
  20. 20. It’s not just things… it’s about the interconnections between things “The network is now a design material” Liz Goodman
  21. 21. In pure software services, we’re used to this
  22. 22. Things can be slow to upload or download
  23. 23. Skype calls are choppy, or fail
  24. 24. Image: Nissim Farim But we don’t (yet) expect Things to behave like the Internet The average consumer is going to find it very strange when objects take time to respond, or lose instructions
  25. 25. How things connect
  26. 26. There are lots of ways that things can connect • Many different network types • Local or long distance • Some use internet compatible networks, some don’t • Some are open, some are proprietary
  27. 27. Exercise 1 Connected lightbulbs: ways things can connect
  28. 28. Lightbulb A (WiFi)
  29. 29. Lightbulb B (Zigbee)
  30. 30. Smoke alarm to lightbulb (API to API)
  31. 31. So what are the issues? • How fast messages get through (delays/latency) • How reliably they get through (reliability) • How frequently things connect (intermittently or constantly)
  32. 32. Network challenges Part 1
  33. 33. Latency: how fast messages get through “Latency is a time delay between the moment something is initiated, and the moment one of its effects begins or becomes detectable.The word derives from the fact that during the period of latency the effects of an action are latent, meaning "potential" or "not yet observed” https://www.itu.int/ITU-D/asp/CMS/Events/2009/PacMinForum/doc/Theme-2_O3b_Latency_White_Paper.pdf
  34. 34. Demo Hue over local WiFi (fast) and Internet (slower)
  35. 35. What’s happening here? (Local WiFi)
  36. 36. What’s happening here? (4G)
  37. 37. Why we can’t make latency go away (1) It takes time to pass a signal over a network TCP/IP networking prioritises reliability at the expense of speed Applications take time to manipulate and present data
  38. 38. Here’s a really extreme example It takes 28 minutes for data to travel from Earth to Philae/Rosetta, and the bandwidth is 28kbps Image: ESA
  39. 39. Why we can’t make latency go away (2) 3rd party APIs (like Gmail and Twitter) may limit the number of calls you can make to their API in a given time slot
  40. 40. Due to Gmail’s API rate limits, it may take 15 minutes for a Hue bulb to notify you of an inbound email
  41. 41. Questions ? • Have you experienced these issues with connected products? • Have you experienced them with software only services?
  42. 42. Reliability (unpredictable outages)
  43. 43. Why does it happen? Things will always lose connectivity or break from time to time Networks can suffer interference Data packets can go missing And…sometimes you won’t know it hasn’t worked
  44. 44. Lightbulb B Instruction goes missing
  45. 45. What’s the impact? It depends on the system architecture… • When everything’s working OK, the differences in architecture between systems don’t matter so much • But when connectivity problems happen, the impact on the UX will sometimes depend on the architecture of the system
  46. 46. Lightbulb A Lightbulb Bvs rules in cloud rules on hub
  47. 47. Connectedness requires designers and users to think about system models Which bit does what? Where does code run? What fails/still works if connectivity is lost?
  48. 48. Sometimes, you might not know it hasn’t worked ?
  49. 49. Image: Ulfbastel via Wikicommons Interoperating products can suffer from even more problems
  50. 50. Questions ? • Have you experienced reliability issues with connected products? • Have you experienced them with software only services?
  51. 51. Why do these challenges matter? (Bringing this together)
  52. 52. Sometimes, inexplicably, things don’t work as expected Or at all…
  53. 53. Review: “If you used the [X] app to turn on/off things, you are fine, but when you started to mix in turning on a light from the switch, the status would never seem to update the [X] Hub/app correctly. You were left guessing as to whether something was truly on or not.Also, there was always a few second delay when changing the status of things. It was not instantaneous as I would have hoped it would be. “This did not bode well for my confidence in any type of safety device (smoke alarms/locks/etc). Having a light be on when it should be off is one thing, but if you are relying on a system to notify you in case of a fire or if you door was locked/unlocked, I was left not feeling very confident that the Hub would actually work when needed.” http://zatznotfunny.com/2014-08/battle-of-the-home-automation-hubs/ Uncertainty Is it actually working?
  54. 54. Health and safety risks Violation of value proposition Frequent irritation and confusion Summing up the consequences
  55. 55. Our approach Design continuity into a world with unavoidable gaps between devices Adapted from: Cross-Platform Service User Experience:A Field Study and an Initial Framework. Minna Wäljas, Katarina Segerståhl, KaisaVäänänen-Vainio-Mattila, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen MobileHCI'10
  56. 56. Continuity Kindle Whispersync Image: Kei Noguchi via CC licence The flow of interactions and data in a coherent narrative sequence across devices
  57. 57. Continuity does not mean designing a seamless experience It often means handling inevitable glitches gracefully
  58. 58. How do you use interaction design to create continuity?
  59. 59. The old goal Sustain an illusion of direct manipulation
  60. 60. The new goal Help people make sense of how systems are actually acting
  61. 61. Option 1 
 The optimistic white lie Confirm action, backpedal if something goes wrong
  62. 62. Instagram does this The photo is already shown as ‘liked’, even though the phone OS tells us that the instruction is still being sent
  63. 63. So does Hue… Let me think about that… nope
  64. 64. Option 2 
 Be truthful, even if it leads to doubt Acknowledge action, show that it is in progress Confirm only once it’s done
  65. 65. WeMo Switch does this subtly
  66. 66. Lowes Iris is more explicit Images: Lowes
  67. 67. How do you decide what to do?
  68. 68. Exercise Designing for continuity
  69. 69. Exercise - 20 min Split into groups (8 groups of 3) - 5 min Each group gets a printed-out brief Individual writing/sketching - 5 min Group deliberation - 10 min Decide on one direction and explain WHY in 2-3 sentences Extra credit for sketching/acting out the interaction so that we can see it! Think about how things connect, and what delays/failures may occur
  70. 70. You’re working on an in-car audio system. It streams music from the cloud and has a physical “like” button. The button talks over Bluetooth to a phone, which talks to a music account in the cloud. What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design?
  71. 71. You’re working on a smart lock for front doors. It can be locked and unlocked remotely from a phone. What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design?
  72. 72. You’re working on a personal emergency alarm button for older or vulnerable people. It connects over a local wireless network to a hub in the home. What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design? Image: natematias via Flickr
  73. 73. You’re working on a remote fish tank monitoring and fish feeding device. It connects over a local wireless network to a hub in the home. (NB: overfeeding fish is bad). What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design? Image: johnskate17 via Wikicommons
  74. 74. Present back, discuss Discussion - 20 minutes Each group gets 2 min!
  75. 75. Network challenges Part 2
  76. 76. Intermittent connectivity
  77. 77. Why is intermittent connectivity an issue? Many devices run on batteries Wireless connections consume lots of power Battery powered devices have to spend much of their time offline to save power
  78. 78. Hive Active Heating Controller
  79. 79. Demo Intermittency (and latency)
  80. 80. Why does this matter? Conflicting system status displays 19 2 min delay 21
  81. 81. Why does this matter? Data may be out of date (whether that matters depends on context) A blood glucose reading from one week ago is not For most purposes, a body mass measurement from one week ago is still quite useful
  82. 82. A live energy reading (every few seconds) can help you understand the consumption of that appliance you just turned on Timeliness of data is fundamental to UX and value proposition A 30 minute energy reading will tell you about your consumption patterns over time Images: Onzo. Electric Ireland
  83. 83. • Devices get out of sync, reporting different status information: this breaks Nielsen’s heuristic of ‘visibility of system status’ • Which one is ‘right?’ Are any of them broken, or just out of sync? • How old is the data? Could it be wrong now? What’s the margin of error? What’s the impact of it being wrong? These are also continuity issues
  84. 84. Exercise - 20 min Split into groups (8 groups of 3) - 5 min Each group gets a printed-out brief Individual writing/sketching - 5 min Group deliberation - 10 min Decide on one direction and explain WHY in 2-3 sentences Extra credit for sketching/acting out the interaction so that we can see it! Think about how these things are powered and how they connect
  85. 85. You’re working on outdoor gear/clothing with an automatic distress beacon. The beacon is triggered (how? when?) What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design?
  86. 86. You’re working on an insulin pump that reports blood sugar levels to your doctor’s office every 15 minutes What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design?
  87. 87. You’re working on a location tracker designed to be worn by sheep. It sends data to a farm manager’s computer about their location and wellbeing. What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design?
  88. 88. You’re working on a management interface for a parking lot sensor system. It tracks which spaces are available or in use. What are the key user interactions? What, if any, issues might arise during those interactions from latency, reliability or intermittent connectivity? How would you handle these in the UX design?
  89. 89. Discussion - 20 minutes Each group gets 2 min! Present back, discuss
  90. 90. Discussion
  91. 91. Questions to ask yourself Is the product… ? Life or safety critical? Time-sensitive? A remote control? What else?
  92. 92. Safety critical/urgent Messages must get through quickly Status information needs to be updated frequently, and clearly indicate how old it is Need to know when instructions have been received and acted upon Low touch/non-critical: OK if data or instructions take time to get through Assume it’s working unless notified of a problem Senior safety/intruder alarm Baby monitor The ‘right’ approach depends on context Images: MyLively, Efergy
  93. 93. In some cases, badly handled network glitches could undermine the value of the product
  94. 94. How irritating are glitches and delays going to be, over time? How irritating are your glitches and delays going to be in a world filled with glitches and delays? And don’t underestimate the sheer power of irritation Image: GhostFaceScream2 viaYoutube
  95. 95. What about non-visual UIs? We haven’t worked in this area yet. Have you? How might you handle network issues in this instance?
  96. 96. Summary What was useful? What will you take back and apply to your work? ?
  97. 97. If you’ve enjoyed today, the book covers - How the technology of IoT affects UX - Product and design strategy for connected devices - Industrial design - Interface and interaction design for embedded devices - Cross-device interactions and interusability - Interoperability - Responsible IoT design - Designing with data - Prototyping and user research methods for connected products www.designingconnectedproducts.com @clurr | claire@clairerowland.com @hlevoi | helenlevoi@me.com
  98. 98. Thank you!

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