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Web services, IoT usher in new design landscape

Posted: 07 Dec 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Accenture  Web service  IoT  Amazon  Facebook 

During a keynote at the recent Designers of Things event, a consultant stated that the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Web services is paving the way for new design principles. The new goal is to attract and impress customers with experiences that evolve in flexible ways that show you understand their needs, said Nandini Nayak, global managing director for design strategy at Fjord, a division of Accenture.

"When you think about the value your product provides in a human context, you may change the way you provide that value," Nayak stated. "It's not just about the sensors, but what they enable and how they are applied," she said.

Customers have been taught to have what she called "liquid expectations" that transcend the boundaries of any particular company or industry. For example, they have become used to letting payment services from Apple, Google and PayPal supplement what banks offer.

In addition, Web services from companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Uber are setting new standards for user experiences. For example, the Uber ride-sharing service now works with the Spotify music service so that when you enter an Uber car the radio will play your favourite music, not the driver's.

Such partnerships are important ways to extend the experience of a product or a brand, letting you delight and interact with customers in new ways.

"People are expecting rich experiences, fun and social interactions...this generation gets bored easily so you need to understand all the dimensions of how to delight them," Nayak said. "Experiences need to be emotionally correct and speak in the language of your target audience," she added.

Some brands and services can help automate boring tasks that involve secondary brands. For instance, Whole Foods or Maytag could partner to automate the job of replenishing laundry detergent, she suggested.

"Think about the user's environment, not industry categories, don't think this is a medical or financial product, think about how people interact in certain environments instead," Nayak advised.

Designers should think about building their products so they can learn more about their users and be flexible in creating new ways to satisfy them. "Supporting open APIs that connect with various services is good," she said.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times





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