When IoT Comes In The Way Of Good Product Design

It’s hard to design good products. Even exemplary companies like Apple get it wrong every now and then. Dieter Rams, the legendary designer who inspired generations of designers, outlined 10 principles of good design that I wish designers of connected products and IoT apply.

Instead we have this.

I unlocked my phone. I found the right home screen. I opened the Wink app. I navigated to the Lights section. I toggled over to the sets of light bulbs that I'd painstakingly grouped and labeled. I tapped "Living Room"—this was it—and the icon went from bright to dark. (Okay, so that was like six taps.)
Nothing happened.
I tapped "Living Room." The icon—not the lights—went from dark to bright. I tapped "Living Room," and the icon went from bright to dark. The lights seemed brighter than ever.
"How many gadget bloggers does it take to turn off a light?" said the friend, smirking. "I thought this was supposed to be a smart home."
I threw my phone at him, got up, walked ten feet to the switch. One tap, and the lights were off.

Allison’s rant on IoT in NY Times is all too real.

IoT’s future is bleak as long as designers are adding new technology for the sake of technology or mindless innovation and are less concerned about effectiveness and usability.

I am still not dejected, however. Amazon’s Echo gives me hope that some companies may be on the verge of figuring this out.

Kris Gorrepati

My 2 cents on Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, Design, New Product Development, Software Engineering, and related topics.

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