THE FULL PRESENTATION CAN BE FOUND HERE RESPONSIBLEIOT.COM
There’s no denying that there’s an abundance of products in the IoT field. When the hype reached it’s peak in 2014, the field was filled with a plethora of connected devices with little apparent user value.
At conferences, panels concluded that the field was one massive "solution looking for a problem”, over and over again. The neat idea of everything being connected was stuck in its infancy where solutions were siloed inside their own platforms with little cross-platform connectivity made possible.
Stories about how vulnerable we made our wi-fi networks when we allow access to connected devices, made for a good argument not to jump on board the trend.
As designers, we were elbow deep in this new challenge and the breath of fresh air that new technology gives, but as consumers we were hesitant to get involved until the products had matured.
Some problems needed solutions. A few were obvious: security & privacy, cross-platform connectivity and/or a joint standard. Ecological sustainability was an issue as well; these mass-produced plastic-covered electronics had ‘landfill' written all over them.
But what else? Connected products are impacting our lives and our behaviours, they inform us, guide us and help us. While there was some obviously great examples of products impacting our behaviours for the better (in sport and health industry predominantly), others left a great big question mark of uncertainty about how they would impact our behaviours in the long term (like door locks and home surveillance systems).
The uncertainty of the behavioural impact was a problem that needed to be solved in other ways than with technical development; these were UX decisions.
While we believe these problems will solve themselves over time, in the same way that other mature design fields have developed best practices over time, we asked ourselves if we could foresee what the UX features were that would have to be solved?
What would be the features that would bring IoT design into Responsible IoT design?
With the fast pace that IoT design is developing at (expected to reach maturity/plateau of productivity in 5-10 years) the same designers that make the problems, will likely be the ones fixing them too.
Now, this might sound ambitious, but we didn’t set out to try to solve problems not yet risen. We simply wanted to make an estimation of where we should anticipate bumps in the road.
This resulted in months of discussions, sketching and listening, peaking at The Conference 2015 with a workshop on the subject of Responsible Iot. We invited industry experts to give us their opinions on the subject, to help us draw up what has now become 3 features of Responsible Iot.
THE 3 FEATURES OF RESPONSIBLE IOT WE BELIEVE WILL BE IMPORTANT FOR DESIGNERS TO CONSIDER, FOR THE FIELD TO MATURE, ARE:
What’s the expected lifespan in your context? Your connected product is entering, and building upon already existing contexts of use that you need to consider. When adding connectivity (and screens) to appliances for example, the technology added needs to withstand the same product lifespan as the original appliance.
What relationships are you creating? Responsible IoT design means creating trustworthy products and services, and about getting buy-in on the offering as a whole. Trust is built by creating products that are equally reliable, understandable and beneficial.
What are the elements of your product's offering? This means understanding the elements contributing to the experience: the physical object; the digital experience; and the user’s habits you’re impacting or creating.
The 3 features are explained further in our report, We encourage you to read it and are looking forward to your input on the features.