Tagged: Accenture

Design Thinking for Internet of Things

To launch an Internet of Things product is easy. The difficulty is to launch a good IoT product that solves a real consumer need or  improves a process in a factory. This means, create something to have an utility and usability and  take advantage of the IoT possibilities. Here, is where design thinking can help you. This trendy path involves company multidisciplinary teams in order to prioritize the user’s preferences or necessities. This is is the center of design thinking, realizing that  people have something to say about the products they will use. If you can include  the possibilities of IoT on it, probably your new product has less risks when you will decide to launch it in the market. With IoT, the product, the “things” can tell you too, how to improve a design. For example, an IoT product sends information about how the consumer use it and you can include these preferences to build another one or to include new features ( the real customer experience). If you know well the customer experience journey, it will be easy to have a good product design.  

Photo by Defi de la Rua
Photo by Delfi de la Rua

Some agencies around the world are now working in Design Thinking for all type of business working with very qualified and multidisciplinary teams. One of them is Altair. They have a specific lab to help companies in product design and include all the process: from the concept design and prototype to the test and prototyping.

AltairTL

Another example well know is Fjordnet a company bought by Accenture in 2013. They have a portfolio of works that you can see at their website. One of them was with the airline company Finnair and the objective was to change the customer experience and improve it with a digital solution around the complete travel of a customer and not only the flight.

Finnair

They are a few product design companies, like Enero, smaller but  specialized in IoT products and design.   

If you want to know more about Design Thinking , here are some book recommendations to start:

Book Designing Connected Products

Book The Design of Everyday Things

Designing Connected Products have been writing for different authors and describes well all the path: From the differences of user experience with Iot products, the technology of connected devices , how to translate the research in products definitions, prototyping,….

If you are new to design and want to start with the basics, a good start is: The Design of Every Day Things was published for first time in 1988. the author Don Norman is an electric Engineer and a Phycologist and he puts in value concepts related with human behaviour, design and things.A must.

 

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Learning about Customer Engagement with IoT products

Nowadays in the Internet of People, many businesses rely on collecting big data on how users surf the web or share content in exchange of free applications such as social media, search engines or websites. Most business analysts state that people are the product and advertising is the income.

Consumers mainly pay for physical products like Cars, TVs, smoke detectors, etc… and these products are more and more connected devices to your smart phone or directly to the Internet. This connection enables the manufacturer to offer new features like real time traffic info for cars or online content for TVs.

Imagine you buy a new car that has embedded connectivity and your dealer ask you these questions: “Are you willing to share data from your car with the manufacturer? And what do you want in exchange?”

Well you can find a similar question Accenture Report, The Internet of Things: the Future of Consumer Adoption”

Survey Accenture

So many customers are willing to share their consumer habits in exchange of a free service or Feature.

If a connected product has an active connection to the Internet then the cost of collecting info on how your customers uses your product is just a few dollars (or euros) per year. Information on customer engagement with a product is something very new and very valuable. For example it helps the designer of the product to understand how the customers use the product and how to design the new version or new features.

So the Marketing potential for manufacturers of connected products is huge. The problem is not technology. The main concern should be how these companies build a relationship with their customers to be:

  • Clearly stated: If you buy a product that collects info on your habits: you should be noticed and be aware of this.
  • Accepted by the consumer: There should be mechanisms for the consumer to “opt-out” is this data exchange.
  • Secure and Private: The manufacturer should provide ways to offer privacy through making data anonymous or control third party info exchange like brands, advertisers, friends and family.
  • Fair: Most users will only accept this data collection if there is an incentive form them.

Brand Research and Analysis companies like Altimeter Group  are already doing reports on how to craft a digital strategy and the possibilities of customer experience in IoT products. On their report you can find their recommended methodology to build your strategy:

4 steps to architecting consumer IoT experiences

Customer Engagement Analysis of connected products should be a priority of any Digital Strategy. Carriots IoT platform is already evolving to support this.

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