Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things
June 23–25, 2015 • San Francisco, CA

Understanding industrial design: Principles for UX and interaction design

Shu Kuen Chang (IDEO), Simon King (CMU Design Center)
1:15pm–1:55pm Wednesday, 06/24/2015
Location: Cowell Theater (Herbst Pavilion)
Average rating: ***..
(3.89, 9 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Familiarity with modern UX and interaction design practices


Throughout the last century, the discipline of industrial design has refined and codified an understanding of how to design physical products for people. Interaction designers who are working on UX for IoT should look to the principles of industrial design for inspiration and grounding. The context and capabilities may be different, but the core qualities that define the products we love to live with have not changed.

This talk builds upon the speaker’s forthcoming O’Reilly book by the same name, which illuminates ten industrial design principles, such as Playful, Sensorial, Timeless, and Honest, with historical examples and tangible inspiration for today’s UX challenges.

A subset of these principles will be shared in this talk, enhanced by the ability to use video and in-person demonstrations to share relevant examples. Although this session is targeted to interaction designers working on IoT, it will be accessible and informative to a broader audience of anyone involved in the design of physical products.

Photo of Shu Kuen Chang

Shu Kuen Chang


A high-level strategic thinker leading IDEO’s industrial design program, Design Director Kuen Chang is passionate about a hands-on approach. These days, he finds himself working at the intersection of physical and digital design, often in the health/wellness and consumer markets. Ultimately, with every project, Kuen strives to create brand-defining iconic products and experiences.

Since joining IDEO in 1996, Kuen has helped clients such as Ford, Omron, AT&T, Bayer, Delta, Lilly, SC Johnson, and 3M among many others, develop portfolio-level product innovations that are not only profitable but memorable. A few recent physical/digital crossover projects include a diabetes tracking device, a wearable fitness tracker, and a physical/digital dashboard for Ford. A prolific maker, Kuen’s name can be found on over 40 design and utility patents, and his work has garnered numerous international design awards from the IDSA, ID Magazine, Red Dot, Braun, and the Medical Device Excellence Awards competition. Two of his designs can be found in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kuen quickly put his product design bachelor’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design to good use by starting his career at LG Electronics and Crown Equipment Corporation. In 2006-2008, he took a brief hiatus from IDEO to join Motorola’s Mobile Devices group, where he led the design development of its flagship music mobile phone ROKR E8. When Kuen’s not building products, he can be found scouring eBay to add to his collection of classic mid-century product designs, planting his “digital garden” on Pinterest, or watching a Chicago Bulls game—or all three.

Photo of Simon King

Simon King

CMU Design Center

Simon King is a design director at IDEO in Chicago. His work encompasses both macro- and micro-interactions across diverse mediums and audiences, including large-scale medical imaging equipment, vehicle HMI platforms, personal health apps, and financial planning tools. He holds an MDes in interaction design from Carnegie Mellon University and a BFA in graphic design from Western Michigan University.

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Picture of Kate Benson
Kate Benson
06/28/2015 8:36pm PDT

Hello, would it be possible to receive your slide deck ? Thanks !