IoT, Aerolab style
We decided to involve ourselves in several IOT projects, so we could try and change users’ experience with real objects.
Day in and day out we make products that exist in an intangible world. We’re constantly creating Apps and Websites that fulfil needs, solve problems and make people’s lives easier, all from behind a screen. Being the ambitious, restless bunch we are, we refuse to let our field of influence be limited to a virtual environment. For this reason we made a decision to get involved with IoT projects, so we could try and change users’ experience with real objects.
The Internet of Things universe brings forth a whole new way of problem solving, both user and business-wise. In short, it proposes a different way to solve society’s needs and, as such, embarking in the challenge of taking on IoT projects involves a great deal of responsibility for us as Digital Designers and Developers.
“Improving User Experience with physical products goes hand in hand with our goal of making people’s lives easier. To be able to engage in IoT projects is a great opportunity for us to solve real problems by making real products.” — Ezequiel Apelbaum, Commercial Director at Aerolab.
THE VALUE OF GOOD UX
Products change constantly, but there’s a principle that remains unaltered. When we craft a solution -be it analog or digital- it’s always centered around the user. We believe all products should add value to those who use it.
In the words of Joe Johnston, UX Director at HUGE:
‘At the end of the day it all comes down to value. To make something that’s valuable for your users allows you to overcome any possible obstacle in an IoT endeavor. If use complexity outweighs the value of a product, that product is doomed to fail’.
THE INTERNET OF SH*T
According to Gartner Inc, by 2020 there will be approximately 20.800 million connected devices all over the world. While the stats speak volumes to the accelerated proliferation of technology, they also serve as evidence of how Internet of Things brought forth an exponential growth in products that are useless, impractical or even malfunctioning.
Sometimes when companies attempt to fall in line with technology’s latest trends they tend to release products and applications that are not really necessary or that don’t have a clear proposition of value. A product that’s effective and innovative needs to be developed with simplifying and improving people’s lives as it’s main goal.
Any friction in user experience, no matter how small, could bring the user to give up on the product. That’s why Johnston indicates that product teams should embark on IoT projects with one simple mandate: less is more.
OUR IOT PROJECTS
A few weeks back we were approached by a client with a proposal that got our attention right away. The goal was to make a small climate station that compiled weather data and generated customized reports and predictive models for farmers.
The product consisted of ten sensors that received and stored weather data on a server and, based on that data, generated accurate and customized predictions for the app’s users. We are really looking forward to see how it goes!
Another one of the IoT projects we embarked on this last year was to re-design the UI/UX for Bluesmart’s mobile app. (Bluesmart is a Smart Suitcase manufactured by one of Argentina’s most prolific startups).
Also, as a part of an internal Hackathon, we designed and developed three really cool IoT products. You can check them out here.
LET’S CHANGE THE IOT EXPERIENCE
Technology is constantly getting closer to users and becoming more and more integrated with their lives. By getting involved with IoT projects we aim to simplify and harmonize that relationship between products and people.
Our objective is not to mass-produce hardware. We want to bring all of our knowledge and experience in UX design to the table. We aim to constantly expand our area of influence by experimenting and solve complex problems while adding value to users’ lives — Sergio Behrends, VP of Engineering at Aerolab.
Taking on this challenge defies us to keep out-doing ourselves day after day, and that’s what we’re all about.