Internet of Things Will Bring UX Principles to Public

July 26, 2016 - 2 minutes read

IoT citySelf-driving cars. Wearable MedTech devices. IoT appliances that communicate and react to users. UX design isn’t just applicable to mobile app development anymore — increasingly, as mobile app developers tackle “real-world” applications and physical interactions, UX design will grow to encompass civic design and urban planning. Are app developers ready?

When it enters the public space, UX design becomes about much more than simply delighting users. In the context of traffic, public spaces and home security it can literally save lives — or, more worryingly, fail to save them. An example of good UX design: the sign on trains that designates quiet cars. An example of counter-intuitive UX: traffic control infrastructure in Paris that purposely creates traffic jam to discourage driving and encourage use of public transit. An example of bad UX: pedestrian crossing signals that flash red rather than count down when the light turns red; over 100 pedestrians were killed by drivers in the past year in NYC alone.

Rather than simply making a division between analog and digital, UX designers are in a unique position as mobile app software enters MedTech and IoT applications. UX, more so than UI design or backend engineering, is a conceptual discipline. The power to step back and look for invisible but critical design failures will be essential, particularly for MedTech and wearable technology. Consumers are ready to welcome these devices into their lives, but they have to be able to trust them. It will be the task of UX designers, more so than any other tech discipline, to make that trust real.

In the meantime, NYC iPhone app developers are ready and waiting to bring the Internet of Things to life. Are developers ready?

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