Paul Adams – Everything Personalised & Connected – UX London 2013

What is the future? “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”

  1. Internet permeates everything
  2. Web of people
  3. Social will go away
  4. Mobile is about access to info
  5. Exponential increase in information

How does this change our design process?

1. Internet will permeate everything (internet of things)

  • The internet will be just expected to be there like electricity. It will be assumed and not thought about a lot
  • Will end up with a network of info about anything, everyone that creates value and build products and services
  • Eg Nike+ – internet is in clothes and shoes, Nest thermostat in homes, Philips and lighting, all online, Fitbit scale – sends weight info to cloud, internet in taxis, credit card transactions on iphone

2. Internet is being rebuilt around people

  • We are a social species
  • First 20 years of web were the Beta. About content, people accessing websites. Our design process is currently oriented around this. Lots of agencies produce 80 page IA artefacts. This skillset will become more obsolete as things change
  • Eg, Etsy users like to buy stuff for other people but Etsy isn’t personalized, hard to know where to start. So Etsy provides gift ideas via Facebook – ‘Who do you want to shop for?’ And Etsy then gives personalized gift ideas based on what they pull about that person from Facebook
  • This is transformational
  • News articles will change – Personalised content. News based on your interests. News your friends have read. News people like you have read. Totally different product experience
  • TV will show movies your friends have watching. Friends favourite movies. Things friends sent you to watching. Things for you based on your interests. Personalized. Higher engagement rates

3. Social web will go away

  •  ‘How do I get people to share more?’ is a crazy question
  • Social is completely obvious. We don’t say – dinner tonight, let’s make it social’
  • If you give people a reason to share their information / interests, they will share it
  • The real question is, why do people talk?
  • 1. Identity – People want to feel unique. Want others to perceive them in a certain way.
  • 2. Want to feel connected – Want to feel part of a close group of friends / family. Find meaningfulness in being part of something
  • How can we help people tell the story of their life? How can we help people stay in touch? How can we facilitate communication between people?
  • People communicate through many lightweight interactions. Most people are building big immersive experience. We currently design hoping people will stay for hours, immersed in this world we have designed
  • Product development is headed in a different direction. They’re all lightweight. Aggregation of small interactions is greater than sum of parts
  • Spotify – People say ‘I don’t care what other people are listening to’ But Spotify would know how to suggest music to you and other products and services

4. Mobile is about access to information

  • Don’t frame our research questions by the technology. ‘Tablet users’. ‘Webapp’.
  • Analogy – When car was invented, there were only horses. Cars are not horses. But people ere obsessed by the technology of the car. But the car changed how we live. It created suburbia. Changed commerce.
  • Believe mobile technologies will do the same. When buying, we can now instantly look up info about it. More and more companies are building these things, it’s going to be everywhere, and that is the world we need to study and design for
  • The future of the businesses we work with is in devices we are carrying around with us. It’s an ecosystem, it’s not a destination, you don’t drive traffic to it. All products will be used in a mobile way. Exponentially.
  • Critically important to stop looking at things with giant screens, instead they are on tiny screens and they are moving everywhere all the time

5. Information being published is increasing exponentially

  • Access to that info is also increasing exponentially. We can access it anywhere we go anywhere anytime
  • Our memory will stay the same. Capacity for remembering isn’t growing at the same time. Big challenge for design.
  • To filter this sea of info, people are turning to their friends / other people

We need to design differently

  • Design and build for lots of personalized data being known
  • Design complex, dynamically changing social systems
  • Traditional human compter interaction was based on human interacting with computer only
  • We now need to build human to human things
  • You can’t design a dynamically changing social system by drawing UI or screen states
  • Predominantly coming out of design agencies is 80 page PDFs
  • Impossible to talk about it in IA PDFs or static content. You can’t design in Photoshop or omnigraffle or PDF. PHOTOSHOP LIES
  • We are all guilty of this. Our design comps look beautiful. But they’re static.
  • Because changing one part of the system changes the rest, you need to build working protoypes that use real data. Fake data doesn’t cut it.
  • Because changing one part of the system changes the rest, you need to design against metrics. What metrics do users / businesses care about?
  • Because you can never predict social behaviour, you need to build and ship as soon as possible. Build a hypothesis based on existing research. Build a simple product as fast as possible. Use working prototypes. Launch it. Measure. Iterate.
  • If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late!

With thanks to @Padday for a brilliant talk!


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