IOT at UX Crunch

Being hosted at Lloyds The UX crunch had 3 guest speakers tonight to talk through their experiences of working with IOT. Here we had Avril O’Neil Co-founder & creative director at Ding Products, Tim Dained UX & Service Designer, previously at Cambridge Consultants, and Priya Prakasha Founder of D4SC (Design for Social Change).

The first speaker Avril from Ding products talked about her company which have designed a doorbell that would allow the person at the door to be able to talk to the house owner, wherever they are in the world. Saying that they have met the gap in the market where people are time poor, and receiving more deliveries than ever.

Within the design process they started to produce lots of small physical props to allow them to see how people interact with their products, before moving into building working prototypes. After looking at their competitors they found the competition was very tech focused, so they wanted to corner the market where they can simplify the tech, creating the easiest of interfaces that people can relate to. One of the main problems they faced was making a coherent product in the box, but still suited the environment when in use.

One topic that was brought up was security, but Ding said that they have specifically marketed their product as not a security device, and will give instructions on how best to use the product when away from your house, for instance when the user is on holiday. It will be interesting to see in a couple of years how users view this product and if that means ding may have to change their thoughts on security

Talking after, Avril highlighted the areas that she thought are important when designing for IOT:

1. The importance of the physical interaction with the actual product.

2. The product must be necessary, so when the hype and excitement has has died down there is still a real need for the product.

3. To create an offline experience, making sure the product can still function when not connected, which can often go amiss with IOT.

The next speaker Tim Dained came to talk about his experience with IOT, within the medical sector. Tim began talking about the sector and how it’s an opportunity to create a more personal experience for patients and clinicians, but the complexities of healthcare system which is stuck in silos that don’t share info and knowledge between each other as well as being very hierarchical.

One of the main issues or questions his team asked themselves was how can they create connected systems where people can manage their disease and not the disease manage them. With IOT becoming the touch point but not the center of the products universe.

3 of the things he learnt whilst working within the healthcare system.

1. Getting healthcare stakeholder to design together.

Knowing how the product will scale once it is in the public domain.

2. Knowing what you want to do with the data.

Creating a user journey to map out where all the data layers start to interact with the product/user.

3. Taking device connectivity for granted.

The third and final speaker was Priya who came to talk to us about Design for social change.

Here she became very interested in the design of our streets and social management when she was involved in a cycle accident and took it upon herself to look at how she could start to change the streets for the better. One of the things she first noticed is that the design changes you make to people’s lives have to be done gradually referring how it is like training for a marathon, starting small and gradually increasing as the user learns and becomes more accustomed to the changes being made.