User Experience Design for the Internet of Things

Why It's More than UI and Industrial Design

User Experience Design for the Internet of Things

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Industrial design and app UI are the most visible elements of connected product design. But while they are important, they’re only part of the picture. You could create a beautiful app and a stunning piece of hardware, and users could still have a poor experience if the system components don’t work together coherently.

In this report, UX and product consultant Claire Rowland introduces a framework for understanding the UX of consumer IoT products.

Even quite simple connected products are conceptually more complex than non-connected ones. User Experience for the IoT explains different aspects of experience design for connected products and shows you how they fit together.

  • Understand the differences between UI and interaction design—for embedded devices as well as apps
  • Learn the key activities involved in designing the form of physical devices
  • Design a coherent experience across the whole system through appropriate distribution of functionality, consistency across different UIs, and fluent cross-device interactions
  • Tackle the UX impact of putting the quirks of the network into physical devices, such as latency, reliability, and intermittent connectivity
  • Learn how device and service experience are inseparable for IoT products
  • Craft a compelling value proposition to move your product from early adopters to the mass market
  • Explore the UX challenges of interoperability and designing platforms for common-sense coordination between multiple connected products

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Claire Rowland

Claire Rowland

Claire is an independent product and UX strategy consultant specializing in the internet of things. She has a particular interest in taking connected products from an early adopter user base to the mass market, and technologies that support mundane, everyday activities. Before becoming independent, she worked on energy management and home automation products as the service design manager for, a connected home platform provider. Previously, she was head of research for design consultancy Fjord, where she led EU funded R&D work investigating the interusability of interconnected embedded devices. She has worked in UX design and research for mobile, multiplatform and web services since 1997.