Facets

Abstract

Facets is an Internet of Things toolkit that makes connected experiences tangible.

Designing for the Internet of Things means to add a digital layer to physical products that enables new kinds of product-service systems. However it is difficult to talk about abstract connections between objects and user experiences that don’t exist yet.

Facets helps designers start talking about such connected objects in three stages of a client meeting. The box-like modules inspire, support bridging between the toolkit and the the client's context and help co-creating first ideas and scenarios for connected product-service systems.

Inspiration and Method

More companies than ever are creating connected product-service systems by now mostly to disrupt the market. This inspires people across companies from R&D to CEO level to explore the new market sector.

I identified the context of early meetings between Veryday and their clients as an opportunity for me to create impactful design.

The main methods in the design process were engaging workshops with designers from Veryday and the creation of various prototypes. The goal behind the key prototypes was threefold: to understand an existing context, to explore what is possible and to communicate a concept (cf. Buchenau & Suri, 2000).

Buchenau, M. & Fulton Suri, J. (2000). Experience Prototyping. Proceedings of DIS, : ACM Press.

Result

Here is how you use the toolkit:

Before the meeting:
Change the look and feel of the box-like modules to help you tell a story about connected products. The appearance can easily be adapted to the context of your next meeting.

During the meeting:
Use the character modules to inspire the client. The two modules communicate with each other to create a connected user experience.

Once getting excited about the behavior of the modules the client might wonder how this could be useful for their product or service offering. The clip-on output module can be attached to any object to bridge between the toolkit and the client’s context.

A pre-defined behavior of the modules has its limitations during meetings that are dynamic by nature. That’s why the action trigger module in combination with an app is used to quickly generate new scenarios on the fly.