Traditional Hardware Products Haven’t Been Friendly Communicators…
Traditional hardware products haven’t been friendly communicators because they were not designed to be, and were possibly limited by the technologies available when they were produced.
Traditional hardware products have only ever needed to accomplish the tasks they were designed for, which means no communication with other types of products was perfectly acceptable. Nowadays, we have the option of evolving the functionality of hardware as the need arises, thus giving products a longer lifespan. This affords opportunity for users and manufacturers alike.
For users, a longer lifespan means more user engagement, more personalized experiences, and also new ways to incorporate products into one’s life. On the business side of things, longer shelf life can signal a lot of opportunity for engaging users’ resources with new types of product accompaniments and programs.
That is a whole other conversation, but it's worth noting that it signals for a new type of product strategy to solve for.
The biggest design challenge in helping hardware become a good communicator is defining a pattern for physical feedback (the LED light for example) without ever assuming that the functional requirements of the software will remain exactly the same tomorrow as they are today.
We must design for this type of future-state translation at the same time we design for what is applicable today. This is definitely not an issue for all IoT products, but one we take special care when solving for hardware that needs to show feedback visually.
Why UX Design Should Be Part of Your IoT Product Strategy
All of these considerations for the IoT user experience are best implemented from the beginning of your project, instead of scrambling to make things fit together on your final manufacturing run. The design of your software, the design of your connected device, and the way that they interact should factor hugely into your product strategy and evolve together as you test your product.
If you’re looking for a team with a deep understanding of the IoT experience, Very’s IoT development services may be a fit for you. Reach out to us today and let’s talk more about your project.