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Getting the IoT into Tesco: Internet of things UX for the mass market - IoT 14

My slides from the BLN IoT14 conference.

(I'm not affiliated with Tesco btw... it's just a title the conference suggested).

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Getting the IoT into Tesco: Internet of things UX for the mass market - IoT 14

  1. 1. Getting the IoT into Tesco or: IoT user experience for the mass market Tesco Toton by Roger Claire Rowland/@clurr BLN Internet of Things 2014 Wednesday, 16 April 14
  2. 2. Hello :) - Independent UX and product consultant - O’Reilly author: “UX design for the consumer internet of things” (due end 2014) Previously : - Service design manager for AlertMe - Head of research at Fjord - Smarcos: EU consortium researching interusability of interconnected embedded devices Wednesday, 16 April 14
  3. 3. photo by steven de polophoto by lyzadanger photo by nickpophoto by david ward Consumers are a very challenging audience for IoT Wednesday, 16 April 14 Before I worked in IoT, a lot of my design and research experience was with consumers, and I got interested in how new technology becomes mass market. In my IoT work, I deliberately focused on research and testing with people who were not early adopters, and this talk is informed by what I learned from them. One thing I definitely learned was that the kind of mundane day to day activities to which many consumer products relate are some of the most socially complex and interesting things to design for, therefore it’s really easy to get things wrong. In many respects, consumers are the most difficult audience for a complex new technology. Upshot: The IoT is still tech led and still not quite ready for consumer primetime. There are still many technical challenges but there is also a lot we don’t know about design.
  4. 4. Mass market products should - Solve a real problem people have (value) - Offer a good solution (desirable, usable) - Come at a cost (financial, effort) that feels in proportion to the value Wednesday, 16 April 14 What makes compelling mass market product? Many examples in home automation going back up to 40 years of systems that never managed to convince people en masse that what they did was worth the money and effort to install. This is x10 powerhouse for the commodore 64 from 1986, allowed you to control appliances, lights, heating from any phone. this system is nearly 30 years old and we’re not all using it, but those are exactly the same kind of things about which people are still getting excited on Kickstarter :)
  5. 5. UX for IoT is not just UI and industrial design UI/visual design screen layout, look and feel Platform design discovery, control and coordination for interconnected devices and services Service design customer lifecycle, customer services, integration with non digital touchpoints Productisation audience, proposition, objectives, functionality of a specific service Industrial design physical hardware: capabilities and form factor Interaction design architecture and behaviours per service, per device Interusability interactions spanning multiple devices with different capabilities Conceptual model How should users think about the system? Many different layers of design shape the end user experience Wednesday, 16 April 14 Platform design is concerned with discovery, control and coordination experiences for interconnected devices and services. A complicated one that’s a whole talk in itself... think of it as the UX angle on interoperability.
  6. 6. UX for IoT is different... We don’t (yet) expect Things to behave like the Internet The average consumer is going to find it very strange when objects take time to respond, or lose instructions. Wednesday, 16 April 14 In addition to the complexity of the design thinking required, also some inherent challenges putting the internet into things. We accept latency on the internet. It’s out of our control. We also accept a little bit of unreliability. We know that web pages may be slow to respond, and that Skype calls fail. We don’t like it, but we accept it. It’s not normal for this to happen in the physical world. We expect physical things to respond immediately and reliably. But when you put internet latency/reliability into physical objects, that might not happen. Over the internet, your lights might take 2 minutes to come on. We’re going to have to be careful how we design this and what promises we make, or it will just feel broken.
  7. 7. 3 key guidelines for successful consumer IoT products: -Solve a tangible problem -Keep the conceptual model simple -Make distributed interactions feel coherent Wednesday, 16 April 14 There are lots of things we could talk about, like setup experiences, service experience, industrial design, interface design for embedded devices, platforms. For the sake of time I’ve picked 3 fundamental guidelines that provide a framework for much of the UX:
  8. 8. Solve a tangible problem What does it do? Why would I want it? Wednesday, 16 April 14
  9. 9. In areas where they don’t have expert knowledge or are short on time consumers need products, not tools Product Tool Wednesday, 16 April 14 The majority market is used to buying products that make a promise to solve a specific problem and come reasonably well configured to solve it.
  10. 10. Nest do productisation really well Wednesday, 16 April 14 Leaving aside recent problems with user interaction, the Nest protect advertising is very interesting: it doesn’t talk about connectivity at all, it’s all about how it is a better smoke/CO alarm.
  11. 11. Belkin’s mobile app is good, but a connected socket is a tool that requires users to solve their own problems Wednesday, 16 April 14 Belkin WeMo has a pretty good UX, but is essentially an example of a tool: something that requires end users to define and solve own problems. It requires an imaginative leap even to think about what you might do with it. Tools can be powerful things, and empowering more people to use them is a great aim. But they require a lot of attention invested and I’d argue most majority consumers won’t have space for more than a couple of these things in their lives.
  12. 12. This, though, is a great idea Wednesday, 16 April 14 WeMo Crockpot slow cooker, out this spring Phone app allows you to adjust temperature, change timings, turn it on and off remotely. There’s a clear benefit, and the remote control aspect fits perfectly with context of use of a slow cooker: left running in house whilst you’re out.
  13. 13. Simple conceptual model The user’s understanding of how it works, and what it can do Wednesday, 16 April 14
  14. 14. Conceptual models should be simple Wednesday, 16 April 14 A conceptual model is the user’s understanding of how something works and what it can do.
  15. 15. Connectedness requires users to think about system models Wednesday, 16 April 14 Connectedness adds in additional complexity. There are extra bits. Some of the infrastructure devices are not very transparent in function: what do they DO? A hub is a mysterious box to many people. There are more things that can lose power or connectivity and more places where code can run. All of those have implications as to how the system works. In the case of a lighting system with automated rules that turn lights on and off at different times, in order to predict whether it will still run if your internet connection goes down, you essentially have to know where the code governing those rules runs. If it’s on your phone or in the cloud, then it won’t; if it’s in a hub it will.
  16. 16. Beware the surprise package Taking a successful mass market product and making it back into an early adopter product Scott Jenson, ‘The Simplicity Shift’ Wednesday, 16 April 14
  17. 17. You can try to explain the system model... BERG Cloud bridge: transparent network comms Wednesday, 16 April 14
  18. 18. ...but users shouldn’t have to understand exactly how a complex system works in order to be able to use it successfully Wednesday, 16 April 14 You have to explicitly design conceptual models, it’s not just about getting people to understand the way that you have built the system Learn what they need and design to fit the way people currently think: existing knowledge, behaviours and beliefs
  19. 19. Coherence across distributed interactions Interusability: distributed UX Cross-Platform Service User Experience: A Field Study and an Initial Framework. Minna Wäljas, Katarina Segerståhl, Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio- Mattila, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen MobileHCI'10 Wednesday, 16 April 14
  20. 20. vs Composition Distribute functionality to suit the context of use Wednesday, 16 April 14 Tado thermostat has no UI, it’s all on the phone. Keeps bill of materials down as UI components are expensive. Making a good phone UI is relatively cheap. It’s an elegant choice but has limitations: if you don’t have your phone to hand, or it’s not working, or you’re a guest in the house without access to the phone UI, you can’t adjust the heating. This is the old AlertMe I worked on: a standard thermostat with phone and web apps, which are easier to use (the one you see here looks rather plain as it’s an unbranded version). This means that you, and your guests or other residents without smartphones, can still use it as a conventional thermostat. Both approaches have value in different contexts.
  21. 21. Consistency Create device-appropriate interfaces that feel like a family Wednesday, 16 April 14 Nest example: rotating bezel on wall thermostat makes clicking noise as you turn it. The touchscreen interface uses up and down arrows to control temperature (rotational controls are inefficient and inaccurate on touchscreens), but still makes the same click.
  22. 22. Continuity Create fluent cross platform interactions... BERG Cloudwash prototype Wednesday, 16 April 14
  23. 23. 19 2 min delay 21 ...ensure data is up to date on all platforms if possible Constrained devices often suffer discontinuities iphone by daniel, cloud by edward boatman, router by joe harrison, thermometer by ashley reinke, radiator and boiler by axeny virtinsky Wednesday, 16 April 14 A lot of the knottiest design problems I’ve run into in my work are continuity challenges. It sounds obvious: If i interact with the service on one device, I would expect all other devices reflect that change in state. e.g. if I turn the target heating temperature up on my wall thermostat, you’d expect the new temperature to be immediately reflected on the smartphone too. But sometimes this isn’t technically possible. Many heating controllers in the UK are battery powered, and sending data to the network uses a lot of power, so they only connect intermittently. It’s possible to have a delay of up to two minutes before which a command sent from a smartphone is registered by a heating controller, during which time the two devices appear to be giving different information about the status of the system. This breaks fundamental usability principles.
  24. 24. Good consumer UX for IoT is deceptively hard A final thought Wednesday, 16 April 14
  25. 25. Tesler’s law of the conservation of complexity: As you make the user interaction simpler you make things more complicated for the designer or engineer Larry Tesler, former VP of Apple Wednesday, 16 April 14
  26. 26. Thank you @clurr claire@clairerowland.com Wednesday, 16 April 14