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Martin Charlier - Designing Connected Products -

Designing for connected products is different. To create a great connected product, industrial design, software UX and system design need to be considered in collaboration. Teams must think creatively to design elegant solutions around the limited capabilities of embedded devices.

Effective prototyping is key, but there are lots of possible methods. Choosing the right ones is a question of purpose – what you need to learn – and the effort required to develop it. Techniques like video sketching or enactment, not commonly used in software UX design, can be especially well suited to developing IoT user experiences.

In this talk, Martin will draw on his experience in both product and digital design to present ways in which teams can work together effectively and choose the right design methods to prototype the product experience.

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Martin Charlier - Designing Connected Products -

  1. 1. 1 Effective Design for 
 Connected Products BLN IoT 2015 - Cambridge Martin Charlier @marcharlier
  2. 2. 2 Hello I’m an independent design consultant & co-founder of Rain Cloud. Previously: - FJORD
 (Digital strategy, UX, Service design) - Random International
 (New media art, physical-digital) - Frog Design
 (Industrial design, Design research)
  3. 3. 3 Designing Connected Products I’m a co-author of ‘Designing Connected Products’. Release date: May 2015 It’s a practical book aimed at UX design and technology experts. I’ve written two chapters: One about industrial design and one about interface types.
  4. 4. 4 • Aligning design disciplines • Effective prototyping • Hacking perceptions • Prioritising design requirements
  5. 5. 5 • Aligning design disciplines • Effective prototyping • Hacking perceptions • Prioritising design requirements
  6. 6. 6 Connected products involve many different facets of design you need to consider. - UI and Industrial Design aren’t the whole picture. - You’ll need a team that collectively covers all facets. - Some facets are more important than others for particular products. - You need a design approach that integrates all of these together. Designing Connected Products - Chapter 1
  7. 7. 7 To align these facets, translation and collaboration across disciplines is required. - This isn’t just about designers, it includes software & hardware engineering, API design, product management… - War rooms, a shared language and a manifestation of your product vision that is discipline- agnostic help. “A prototype is worth 
 a thousand meetings.”
  8. 8. 8 You might have to make hardware decisions that keep your options open to defer the design decision making. Example: Berg Little Printer (✞) - Consistent visual language across mobile UI, bridge device and edge device. - CMF & typography across physical and digital. - Paper insert as a means to defer design decisions, no etching or embossing.
  9. 9. 9 • Aligning design disciplines • Effective prototyping • Hacking perceptions • Prioritising design requirements
  10. 10. 10 There are prototyping methods that let you answer fundamental questions before requiring significant investment of time or technology. Is the overall concept desirable? What is it like to live with this product? What does the world look like with this product in it? Let’s look at a few…
  11. 11. 11 Media from the future: - Amazon starts new product development by writing the press release first, then the FAQs,… - “Iterating on a press release is a lot less expensive than iterating on the product itself (and quicker!).” - Other examples: Write a news article about the product. - Flipchart session: A print advert or ‘design the box’. Amazon product development: and-product-management/answer/Ian-McAllister More on Amazon: Design the box:
  12. 12. 12 Wizard Of Oz prototyping: - A (hidden) human plays the role of the system or technology. - The user can experience and react to a product concept even though its technology is unproven. User experiencing the prototype. Behind the scenes triggering based on user action. Credit: Ericsson Labs, Marcus Nyberg
  13. 13. 13 Video sketching: - Can be filmed Wizard Of Oz prototype or narrated storyboard. - Useful because it is shareable with others. - Many audiences: Validate with users; agree with stakeholders; unite under a common vision; create your tech requirements. - Keep it ‘sketchy’ - you don’t want to draw attention to unresolved detail, but the broader vision. Stills from a video prototype for the Economizer, a home electricity use monitoring project from Cooper Design for the Environmental Defense Fund. More info:
  14. 14. 14 Split your product experience up in order to prototype individual aspects as early as possible. - Create a ‘live with’ prototype to refine the experience in your products context of use. - Prototyping what you might consider tangential aspects of your product. E.g. the user manual or setup procedures. BERG / Timo Arnall BRCK - After the user experience.
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. 16 • Aligning design disciplines • Effective prototyping • Hacking perceptions • Prioritising design requirements
  17. 17. 17 <disclaimer> The following is not a critique of products, but just an observation I find interesting. </disclaimer>
  18. 18. 18 I am going to show you 6 different products, about things as diverse as…
  19. 19. 19 PETS
  20. 20. 20 MUSIC
  21. 21. 21 HEATING
  23. 23. 23 HOME
  24. 24. 24 Here is what they look like:
  25. 25. 25 Thermostat Smart Home Hub Connected TV box Multipurpose Sensor Cloud music playerPet monitor In case you were wondering:
  26. 26. 26 I’m not saying these are bad products. It’s just something I think 
 is worth thinking about.
  27. 27. 27 Industrial design is a powerful communication tool. - Brand recognition - Projecting your values - Desirable products - Don Norman’s three levels of design are helpful lenses to apply: Behavioural, Visceral and Reflective. Three dimensions of a product: - Behavioral: Functional and usability, how it makes you behave. - Visceral: Attractiveness, initial impact of the appearance. - Reflective: Prestige, what it makes you think, what it makes others think about you. Don Norman - Emotional Design
  28. 28. 28 ‘Gender coded design’ - Karin Ehrnberger
  29. 29. 29 Many less functional aspects that influence the perception and experience a user has. - Knobfeel, Weight, Texture, Materials - A B&O remote is 3 times the weight of an average remote. - In consumer electronics, it’s common to add artificial weights to the assembly to influence the value perception.
  30. 30. 30 Mood boards, or visual language collages are a tool to establish and document these aspects. - Select and define a desired direction. - Communicate across disciplines. - Exclude and identify what is *not* the desired direction. Paul Backett, “Sketching: Approaching the Paper with Purpose Paper-with-Purpose-by-Paul-Backett
  31. 31. 31 • Aligning design disciplines • Effective prototyping • Hacking perceptions • Prioritising design requirements
  32. 32. 32 A single connected ‘product’ can be made up of many separate physical parts. - Few device archetypes and category conventions to build on. - No interface platforms or building blocks to work with. - So where to start?
  33. 33. 33 ConspicuousInconspicuous Rare interaction Frequent interaction
  34. 34. 34 ConspicuousInconspicuous Rare interaction Frequent interaction What your users touch & see the most. Touched infrequently but very visible. Rarely touched and hidden away.
  35. 35. 35 ConspicuousInconspicuous Rare interaction Frequent interaction - Visceral and reflective design. - A symbol for your service / brand. - Help users display the product at its best. - Strike the right balance between representing your service / brand and integrating the device into its environment. - Both practical and aesthetic concerns. - Favour practicality over appearance. - Make the rare interactions simple: Big reset button in the middle? - Design to be cheap (DFM)
  36. 36. 36 But: You might want to challenge this model as a thought experiment. Future Routers - Goldsmiths University / TalkTalk
  37. 37. • Aligning design disciplines
 Start with a product vision that unites disciplines. • Effective prototyping
 Prototype what it feels like, not just technology. • Hacking perceptions
 Use ID as a communication tool, not just packaging. • Prioritising design requirements
 Use interaction and placement as design drivers. 37 Summary
  38. 38. 38 Thank you. Martin Charlier @marcharlier