One of the biggest challenges in designing novel connected hardware is knowing whether the final experience will be successful, and minimizing the investment in developing the wrong product. Building fully-functional hardware to evaluate an idea is a significant investment, and slow. This leads companies either to work incrementally, managing the risk of a bad investment by making only small changes to an existing product type; or throwing resources behind a potentially transformative idea based on a hunch. The first approach leads to conservative products, the second is very risky and successes are difficult to repeat.
We believe it’s possible to manage risk and still explore big, potentially transformative, ideas for products and services. Our approach looks at novel digital product systems (broadly in the Internet of Things, but not exclusively) with the explicit goal of building the minimum amount of technology as is necessary to answer questions about the value and impact of a new product or service.
Ideally we do no new hardware, service, or software development at all before changing or discarding a product idea. Our approach mixes Lean Startup approaches with several decades of ubiquitous computing UX design, to define a multi-stage process that aims to match the fidelity of a device with the breadth of questions the device is supposed to answer. As core assumptions are challenged and validated, more technology is developed and fidelity increases.
The talk will cover:
Mike Kuniavsky leads user experience design in the Innovation Services Group at PARC, a Xerox company. A 20-year veteran of digital product development, he designs products, business processes, and services at the leading edge of technological change. Prior to PARC, Mike co-founded several successful user experience-centered companies, including ThingM, which designs and manufactures ubiquitous computing and Internet of Things products, and Adaptive Path, a well-known design consultancy. He has worked with top technology companies such as Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Whirlpool, and Qualcomm to design new products, guide product strategy, and create user-centered design and development cultures. Mike is the author of Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research and Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design.
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