The last round of user research for my project with Mozilla’s Connected Devices team threw up a ton of useful ideas and insights. We shuffled them around on a gazillion post-its and narrowed in eventually on a theme of communication – specifically simple, non-intrusive/non-interrupting ambient messages. We saw a recurring need for ways to say “I’m still here”, “I’m OK”, “I’m thinking of you”. I was reminded of the Goodnight Lamp – one of the first really nice IoT products I remember seeing.
We wanted to validate our thoughts, and dig a little deeper into this area, so we came up with another study, this time using a simple functional prototype. Not so much a product prototype, more a prop and a way to move away from the abstract and focus in on actual reactions when interacting with a thing. In this post I’ll go into some detail on what we built, how we went about it and what we learnt.