Wearables, emerging user interfaces, user research techniques, and smart connected objects emerged as themes when we surveyed Bresslergroup staffers about the biggest innovations of 2014 to influence product design. Everything from specific products to macro trends were fair game. Here are the ten that topped the list.
Our challenge: A (fictitious) client wants to control the spread of infection in a hospital setting by leveraging two components — 1) a smart, disposable surgical gown and 2) a digital ID badge with the potential for a wide range of functionality. How we crunched a multiyear product-development lifecycle for a digital badge to track hospital sterility breaches into two days.
As designers we’ve gone from styling objects to solving real problems to designing digital experiences. Industrial designers are no longer product designers; we’re interaction designers and experience designers. Designers are constantly reinventing ourselves — this talk is about my personal and professional reinvention.
I noticed there are a number of Raspberry Pi cases available but most don’t have a lot of functionality or utility. I’ve always wanted to make a product of my own — something small I could manage — and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. I decided to design a Raspberry Pi case that’s functional, affordable, quirky, and fun.
There’s practically a whole computer inside the Bruvelo smart coffee maker. Core77 called it “quite possibly the most high-tech consumer level coffeemaker ever.” How do you make such a complex device simple? It helped that our electrical and mechanical engineers and industrial and interaction designers were all working together.
Can’t we be friends? To be successful and safe, automated systems need to work as a team with a human partner. How do you nurture this system-human collaboration so it evolves over time like a friendship? The healthcare industry can learn a lot from other industries well-versed in navigating this balance.
We’ve noticed hydroforming, a manufacturing technique once limited to the automotive and airline industries, materializing in rock-climbing gear and designer furniture. At the moment its high cost is limiting, but we’re excited about its potential as the technique becomes more accessible.
An interaction design outlook limited to “smartphone patterns” is ill-equipped to address the wide breadth and depth of human-computer interaction contexts. Part 2 explores why — and where (inside a hospital, factory, or some other critical context) — these techniques often aren’t the answer.
Why invest in a usable user interface? Thankfully for those trying to make the business case, there’s been a lot of research into the ROI of good design processes in general and specifically on product usability. We divide the benefits into two categories — those that directly affect the manufacturer, and those that primarily affect the consumer.
Why do some industries recognize the value of a usable user interface while others view usability as a burden? And where do you fall on our Usability Maturity Ladder? If your company has to ask why it should invest in interaction design, you probably have some climbing to do.