Nov 13

Why I don’t like ‘The Internet of Things’

The Internet is permeating everything. It’s already in our clothes, in our homes, in our cars. In a short number of years we will think of the Internet in the same way as we currently think of electricity. Something that is always there, invisible, but powering almost everything. Something we don’t consciously think about unless it doesn’t work.

We’re already starting to think of the Internet this way. We’ve swiftly moved from thinking about ‘going online’ just a few years ago to opening apps on our phones many times a day and not thinking about the fact that they are connected to the Internet, that they are constantly online, updating in the background.

We’re also starting to see the Internet embedded into hardware where the product is part hardware, part software, and the experience is the magical seamless integration of those things. Examples include Nike+, the Nest thermostat, Square. I think this marrying of hardware and software is where most of the most exciting things will happen in the next few years.

This idea that the Internet is like electricity, and that hardware and software seamlessly interact, explains why I don’t like the phrase ‘The Internet of Things’. To me it’s just the Internet.

Oct 13

How to hire designers

Check out my latest post on Inside Intercom:

For years the importance of great design in software development was underestimated and misunderstood. Designers the world over lamented that their colleagues in Product Management and Engineering were asking them for a visual treatment of something already defined. They mockingly referred to themselves as “Photoshop monkeys”. Designers in the “Photoshop monkey” role were always looking out for a new team, a new job. They knew this wasn’t what design was about…

Sep 13

The Dribbblisation of Design

Check out my latest post on Inside Intercom:

In the last year I’ve reviewed a lot of product design work from job applicants, at Facebook and now at Intercom, and I’ve noticed a worrying pattern. Too many designers are designing to impress their peers rather than address real business problems. This has long been a problem in creative advertising (where creative work is often more aligned with winning awards than with primary client business objectives) and its becoming more prominent in product and interaction design…

Sep 13

Why cards are the future of the web

Check out my latest post on Inside Intercom:

Cards are fast becoming the best design pattern for mobile devices.

We are currently witnessing a re-architecture of the web, away from pages and destinations, towards completely personalised experiences built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content. Content being broken down into individual components and re-aggregated is the result of the rise of mobile technologies, billions of screens of all shapes and sizes, and unprecedented access to data from all kinds of sources through APIs and SDKs. This is driving the web away from many pages of content linked together, towards individual pieces of content aggregated together into one experience…

Aug 13

Asking customers what you want to hear

Check out my latest post on Inside Intercom:

There is nothing more insightful than learning how to improve your business directly from your customers. The challenge is asking the right questions.

Qualitative research data is only as good as the questions asked. Bad questions mean bad data, no matter how helpful and enthusiastic your customers are in response…