UX London: Meaning in an Internet of Things

by May 29, 2014

In her Making Meaning in an Internet of Things presentation at UX London 2014 Carla Diana shared a framework for thinking about connected, smart devices. Here are my notes from her talk:

  • We didn't anticipate how quickly many devices would have computers within them.
  • Pay attention to the mavericks. What kinds of needs are coming out from early adopters?
  • Many smart sensor applications are now available. Look at these to understand what not to do, they are often too complicated for average people?
  • So where do we find meaning? How do we go from data to wisdom? For example GPS coordinates to driving direction to emotional meaning (which devices can't tell you).
  • How can you turn data into knowledge about yourself, others, or the world?
  • Working with others: sharing information, presence, team dynamics.
  • Environment: exposing the invisible (umbrella the lights up if it is needed), remote control, macroscopic and microscopic data collection (environmental sensors).
  • We really have a blank slate moment. That creates a lot of opportunity for designers. Products have to be about something, people need a sense of purpose and need.
  • Data must be truly meaningful, complete, and fairly complete.
  • Information must come from multiple sources.
  • Products must be easy to set up and provide feedback in a human language.
  • Privacy and battery/power connections are still issues.
  • Start making and learning. There's lots of frameworks and tools available to start exploring Internet of things applications.
  • How can natural gestures be turned into something that can broadcast and communicate?