31 March - 1 April 2016

Saïd Business School, Oxford, UK

Interusability: Designing a coherent system UX for connected products

Claire Rowland Independent

Session type: Talk
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Talk

Conventional usability/UX is concerned with interactions between a user and a single UI. But interactions for connected products (the internet of things) often span multiple devices with very different capabilities. Designers can’t just think about designing separate user interfaces, but need to design a coherent UX for the whole system. This is interusability.

This talk will cover:

  • Helping users form an effective mental model of the system: what different devices do, and how they are interconnected. When is it appropriate to explain the system model–how things actually work–and when to simplify so they don’t need to concern themselves with technical details?
  • Effective composition: distributing functionality between devices to suit the capabilities of the devices and context of use.
  • Appropriate consistency: how to determine which elements of the design should (and should not) be consistent across different interfaces, considering e.g. terminology, platform conventions, aesthetic styling, and interaction architecture.
  • Continuity: how patterns of connectivity unique to IoT can cause discontinuities in the UX between devices, and how to handle these in the design.

About the Speaker

Claire is an independent UX and product strategy consultant and the lead author of ‘Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things’. She has a particular interest in taking connected products from an early adopter user base to the mass market, and technologies that support mundane, everyday activities.

Before becoming independent, she worked on energy management and home automation products as the service design manager for AlertMe.com, a connected home platform provider.

Previously, she was head of research for design consultancy Fjord, where she led EU funded R&D work investigating the interusability of interconnected embedded devices. She has worked in UX design and research for mobile, multiplatform and web services since 1997.


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A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of service design techniques. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


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The information for this talk hasn't yet been confirmed.