Seriously. How much do you focus on design vs. just technology when you’re planning or developing an IoT product or service? If you’re not at least weighing them equally, you’re missing out, but there is more to consider.
Minnesota executive and friend of IoTFuse, Scott Nelson, CEO/CTO of Reuleaux Technology (along with colleague Paul Metaxatos from Boston firm Motiv) wrote a must-read article The Internet of Things Needs Design, Not Just Technology for the Harvard Business Review.
In part they point out a key message which permeated the keynotes and many presentations during our recent IoTFuse 2016 conference (emphasis is mine):
The fundamental principle in the IoT 2.0 era is that IoT is not the end product. The IoT is not an iPhone, a networking application, or a wearable device. Customers do not buy IoT. In fact, studies suggest that most consumers are unaware of what IoT is or does. IoT connectivity can enhance a product’s value, but it can never serve as the rationale for the customer purchase.
Great design always matters but too often takes a back-seat to the technology’s functionality. Or the app, system, or connectivity methods minimize the human element by gaining a deep, intuitive and full understanding of how people will initially use an IoT product or service and how they will gain mastery and expect more from them over time.
We all know that there are some IoT products and services which successfully achieve a “set it and forget it” objective and seamlessly fade into the background of a person or organization’s daily life. The article goes on to say (again, emphasis is mine):
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.
There are so many key take-aways from this article I really encourage you to stop whatever you’re doing and read it now.