More than Human Centred Design


IoT Communicator: A Physical Interface for Expressing Situational Info of an IoT System

IoT is becoming popular and ubiquitous. However, they seldom provide direct communication. Users often need to check a mobile app to know what is going on. In this study, we invented an IoT communicator interface. It uses light and sound to express individual device and group system's intentions and behaviors. We applied Disney's animation principles to design alternative group light patterns. The result of our study shows that group light behaviors could evoke meanings that are highly similar to the intents of the system. When the acoustic accompaniments were provided, participants could better perceive the presence of devices and get situational awareness easily.

Who is the target audience and why design for them? Interaction designers, HCI researchers, IoT developers, smarthome lovers or users

What were the challenges or limitations encountered in this project? IoT products and systems are becoming popular and ubiquitous. However, much of the IoT is opaque. The covert operations of digital devices and systems often lead to a "black box," which is difficult to understand its intentions and behaviors. In most of the existing systems, users are forced to interact with smart products through mediated representations, such as the App on a mobile device. The products seldom provide direct communications to people in the context.t.

What are the opportunities and next steps for this project? We could use the IoT communicator modules to create a superior user experience with smart products and systems. Designers and researchers can use the vocabularies of point LED lights and acoustic accompaniments to convey the intentions of individual devices and a system. It could facilitate direct communication and surprising experiences.

To the Demo Visitors: You could refer to my full paper to the detail of the design rationale, user study, and the findings. The link is http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3357236.3395450. The paper title is Designing the Expressivity of Multiple Smart Things for Intuitive and Unobtrusive Interactions.