My core experience is in using user-centred methods to inform product and design innovation. The following examples are illustrative, I’m happy to work with you to define the approach that best suits your needs.
IoT product strategy consulting
If you have the germ of an idea for an IoT product, I can help you define an MVP and ensure it meets a real market need. This could include:
- Research your market, including exploratory user research and competitor assessments
- Define the product’s audience, your value proposition, and help you build out your business model
- Define the product’s key use cases and user requirements, and how you will measure success
- Practical design principles to define the kind of experience you want customers to have, and how you will deliver this
- Define your platform design strategy: if you plan to offer multiple complementary products and services on the same platform, how do you ensure these propositions complement each other and plan for designing the overall offering?
An energy technology company had a solar PV monitoring sensor and an idea that there was a gap in the market for a mass market monitoring product. I helped them define the target market, key requirements, the customer journey, and the app concept design, all informed by lean user research.
(As a contract director at Method) A consumer electronics manufacturer was looking for a new concept for a connected product in personal care. I ran a project team which used a research driven approach to identify an opportunity for a new product which leveraged some of the client’s existing technical innovations. We built out a design concept, high level business model and marketing strategy to show what it would take to bring the product to market.
(As a contract director at Method) A power tool manufacturer was rolling out connectivity into their tool portfolio, creating a business services platform for the construction industry. I ran a team which helped them translate strategic goals for the platform into a product roadmap, actionable design strategy and scalable UX architecture spanning key services.
Rapid concept development
Your strategy is in place and you need to figure out what your product will be like to use, and how users will interact with it. I can help you start prototyping your service to figure out how the system parts are used together, and how your service meets your users’ needs at each step of their journey. In the early stages, it’s possible to learn a lot from experience prototyping without the need for functioning hardware or software. This can run in parallel with early hardware prototyping and feasibility.
This could include:
- A blueprint to define your whole service experience, across digital and non-digital customer touchpoints
- Experience prototyping, through storyboards, flows and wireframe prototypes to define cross-device UX architecture and interaction logic
- Rapid iterative lean user research
- Managing visual UI designers and front end developers to produce high fidelity, functional prototypes
The Energy Systems Catapult sought my help with requirements definition and concepting for a project within their Smart Systems and Heating Programme, using highly complex sensor, systems and behavioural data to help consumers understand their heating options. I used rapid iterative prototyping and testing to help them turn high level epics into concrete data and functional requirements and to design their research trial application, working with their Head of Consumer Insight, UI designer and front end developers.
Chiaro Technology are developing a new product requiring complex interactions between hardware and software interfaces. They needed to define the software interface and cross-device interactions in order to proceed with hardware design. On this short project, I worked with them to define how functionality would be distributed across the different interfaces, to storyboard cross-device interaction logic, and to create a concept design for the companion smartphone app, tested as part of their ongoing user research programme.
Supporting and managing design teams
If your UX team is new to working with IoT, I can support them in dealing with the new challenges in working with connected products or hardware-enabled services.
We specialise in helping design teams understand the particular issues presented by designing for internet-enabled products.
- I can come in at the project outset and deliver a training course
- We can support UI-focused designers by working out the complex logic of distributed UX architecture across devices and interfaces
- We can deliver one-off assistance or be available on retainer to provide ongoing support when required
I have worked extensively with Method London as a contract Interaction Design Director, running design teams on IoT-related projects.
Den Automation is a startup producing connected sockets and light switches aimed at a mass market audience. In their early days of their product development, I provided connected home UX consulting to support their design team.
If you want to understand how to improve the experience of a product in development or in production, I can conduct user testing of concepts, more advanced prototypes/betas or production software/hardware. I have 20 years’ experience of in-person qualitative user research with a wide range of audiences, and an academic background in quantitative methods and statistics.
If you just need a quick assessment of your product’s UX to identify the biggest potential issues, we can also conduct expert reviews.
I have run UX testing and expert evaluation work spanning hardware and software interfaces for companies such as Den Automation, Kano Computing, and IxD Studio.
I run onsite training courses tailored to companies’ specific needs and budget to help design and product teams understand more about designing connected products.
I also run training sessions aimed at UX generalists at events such as UXLondon, UXLisbon, and O’Reilly Design. See Speaking and writing for details of past events.
In conjunction with my co-author Martin Charlier, I ran a two day training course on connected products for a medical device design team at Roche.
Interested in working together? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.