Design’s critical role in IoT

Design’s critical role in IoT

The Harvard Business Review as usual has a great new article on the Internet of Things (IoT). In The Internet of Things Needs Design, Not Just Technology the authors outline why design and technology need to work together as partners. This rests on the critical observation that IoT is not an end product- consumers value the benefits not the means.

Here’s some excerpts that resonated with me:

Increasingly, the pull of user experience will drive market demand, and product design will be critical to getting consumers to adopt offerings in this new IoT 2.0 world… The fundamental principle in the IoT 2.0 era is that IoT is not the end product… Customers do not buy IoT… IoT connectivity can enhance a product’s value, but it can never serve as the rationale for the customer purchase.

When end users fail to engage with an IoT offering, technology is most often viewed as the problem and solution.. Effective product design and innovation are the result of an integrated, thoughtful process that focuses on making things that simplify, delight, or enrich the lives of people. The IoT, because of its innate technological integration and new customer experiences, demands a significantly higher level of design and technology partnership.

Building the technology and design partnership

The authors go on to list five ways to get the technology-design partnership for the IoT going:

1. Agree to a clear problem statement.

2. Appoint a systems lead who understands design.

3. Work with designers who understand technology.

4. Follow a build-test-learn process.

5. Simplify for success. Consumer

A great article and worth reading in full for everyone interested in IoT- including technologists and designers.


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