Chapter 3. Networks: The Technology of Connectivity


This chapter explores networking: how the things communicate with one another. Designers take this for granted when working with multipurpose computers. But networking for connected devices is different, in ways that can have a radical impact on UX. There are different patterns of network connectivity in IoT; each has advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re a designer without a technical background, a basic working knowledge of how data flows around IoT systems will help you anticipate some of the challenges you may come across.

If you’re an engineer, you will already know much of what’s in this chapter, but you might not have thought about how it can affect the UX.

This chapter is lengthy, but it’s designed as a reference. If you’re keen to get on to the design chapters, just read the first section for now to understand why networking matters to UX. Come back to the rest later, when you want to know more about the underlying technology.

This chapter introduces:

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