24 Mar The smart revolution and me…
What we wanted to do…
The way we interact with the world around is rapidly changing. Smart assistants can converse with us and we find ourselves in a strange situation when we talk to our fridge, but during this time we see ideas with loads of potential being developed and some ideas that unfortunately lost their way. Whatever the case, this is a time that is interesting for us designers. It is not a time to stay still and a time to continue pushing through and questioning the boundaries of interaction (human-human as well as human-machine)
Our MCBW event at LUNAR Europe in early March focused on the smart revolution. We had three speakers who gave us their thoughts on smart products in the workplace, in manufacturing and in the home. Since this was the topic for the evening, we decided to involve our guests to get their thoughts and opinions on what the future holds for us.
So here is what we did…
We asked each participant to answer two multiple choice questions that gave us a sense of how the smart revolution is perceived. We also added an open ended question that was meant to question what the audience believes is a problem that currently needs addressing by smart products.
They were then asked to locate the cards on a map on the wall. We collected their thoughts and (obviously) mapped out the information to create meaning and give us a better understanding of a way to go forward.
This is what we found out..
It was an interesting exercise for us to look at what people had to say about the questions we asked. The responses revealed that most of our guests believe that we are at the beginning of the smart revolution. There is a lot of excitement that if it all moves in the right direction real value can be added to people’s lives. Since most of our guests are fast learners, just some few ones believe that they would have to constantly be trying to keep up with technology.
And here is how we take this forward..
For us at LUNAR Europe it was interesting to find out that people are excited about adapting to the changing technology around them. Most people have a positive perception of products around them getting smarter but have some concerns about the direction it is moving in. This puts us in a position where we must question and adapt the way we choose to go forward. As the technology is advancing, it is up to us to find the right context for the “smartness” of things. Many people we spoke to indicated that they would prefer to see artificial intelligence address more important areas such as healthcare, deal with present challenges in society and even questioned the ethics involved.
This exercise was a good opportunity for us to learn how the users we design for want us to shape the world around them. The experience left us feeling reassured and also gave us a sense of responsibility in terms of the work we want to now do. We are looking forward to implement our learning into the work we do on a daily basis for our clients and partners.
You can be a part of the discussion as well..