A “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?

A “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?

A “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?
Do I really need a “Food Manager” on my refrigerator? I had a chance to attend this year’s Consumer Electronics Show for the first time. While CES is dominated by physical products, I made it my mission as a user experience designer to search for interesting interface design …

via LUNAR > creativity that makes a difference industrial design, product design, engineering design, graphic design, interaction design » Customer Experience:

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Do I really need a “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?

I had a chance to attend this year’s Consumer Electronics Show for the first time. While CES is dominated by physical products, I made it my mission as a user experience designer to search for interesting interface design trends.

My first stop was one of the larger booths that had a lot of interesting home-automation products and interfaces. After wandering the booth for 45 minutes and seeing everything from a washing machine to a refrigerator with a brightly colored touch screen embedded in it, I began to think about what this new frontier of user experience would mean to the everyday user. Do I really need a “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?

CES

It’s clear what these electronics companies are trying to accomplish. “The Internet of Things” has long been a holy grail, but 13 years after the term was coined most consumers still don’t have connected homes — and it’s not clear we see the value in them. Even LG’s chief technology officer admitted as much at the company’s CES press conference saying, “Connectivity in the home is a very old topic, but the truth is that consumers are not embracing it.”

It’s easy to imagine how the perfect mix of technology and usability could create a compelling ecosystem in a connected home: “Hey, look! I’ll use my LG smart phone to connect to my LG television that operates my LG cleaning robot all while I remotely control my LG washing machine, my LG oven and my LG refrigerator.” But the core problem that remains today is knowing the right — and usually elusive — mix of technology and usability that truly creates a better user experience for people.

CES

Just because we can put a screen on an appliance and give it a hundred features, doesn’t mean we necessarily should. Processing power and connectivity are cheap enough to embed into everyday products like refrigerators, but it’s important that they contribute to a great holistic experience that customers want and need. It’s not just about a flashy touch screen with every feature under the sun that grabs attention on a showroom floor. Cars and TV were once some of the simplest devices to operate. Yet, throughout the show I saw these products and many others that were now showcasing interactive screens with hundreds of menu options and complex controls.

In fairness I’m not saying these experiences are bad or not useful. But as user experience designers and product strategists, we need to guide our non-UX peers, bosses and clients to look at what is truly going to add meaning and value to people’s everyday lives.

– Jonathan Cofer

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LUNAR > creativity that makes a difference industrial design, product design, engineering design, graphic design, interaction design » Customer Experience

A “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?

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