Chapter 9. Prototyping Interactive Objects


There’s an enormous opportunity in design right now, and it’s upon us for two reasons. First, consumer expectations have evolved to a point at which they are not only open to but are expecting advanced digital functionality in their off-screen lives. Digital natives don’t even remember a time when Internet-based tools did not exist, and those tools shifting into their physical space seems completely natural. The second reason is the increased accessibility of technology. When I say accessibility, I mean not only the incredibly low—and still plummeting—monetary cost of computing, but also the democratization of the production of technology. Thanks largely to the Maker movement and the open source movement, people who do not have an engineering background can create their own tools that are customized to their individual needs.

As digital product designers, we are positioned perfectly to enter the field of emerging technology. Our jobs as designers have always been to take in many inputs and synthesize a solution. Many times, these inputs are business goals, the needs of users, and knowledge of the platform in which the design will be constructed. What changes in the case of designing for emerging technology is the platform of the product. The platform that we are designing to currently is people’s physical lives, and that platform is mediated through the input and output of data. New tools and resources open up new areas of ...

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