WORK / Article Connected Living Design Principles : 2 of 7

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Cathal Loughnane

Creative Director

Cathal Loughnane is a Creative Director with Design Partners, a leading Irish strategic product design consultancy. He studied Industrial Design at Carlow IT and the National College of Art & Design, Dublin and has played a core role in developing Design Partners' unique approach to industrial design, merging craft techniques with advanced computer-aided technology. His consulting work with a broad spectrum of global brands has been recognised internationally by Red Dot and Industrie Forum in Germany and Good Design in the U.S.A. and Japan.

Cormac Ó Conaire

Creative Director

Cormac Ó Conaire is Creative Director & Partner at Design Partners. With a focus on designing future product experiences, he has designed several world best-selling products in partnership with his clients. Cormac has received over 50 international accolades in industrial, interaction, digital and strategic design.


CES 2018

Design Partners will be discussing the 7 Design Principles for Connected Living further at CES 2018. Find us at Booth #60108 at Tech East. Go to the Renaissance Las Vegas entrance of the South Plaza to find us at the Design & Source Showcase.

Principle 2. Joyful Interactions

In the moments that we want people to interact with a product or service ensure the experience is joyful and engaging. Remove as many steps as possible and provide instant engagement. Present people only with the most relevant information and do so in a way that is beautiful and useful. Consider all the ways people can engage with the service, physical and digital. What combination of touchpoints and sensory inputs will provide the most meaningful and seamless experience? Create a future of intelligent artefacts that respond to human touch, voice, presence and even emotions. Through AI and machine learning there is the potential for interfaces to become wonderfully personalised; even thoughtful and considerate. These are ironically very human attributes.


Multi-Sensor Smart Home Controller designed for Silvair

There is a powerful human need for physical interaction with the world. Touch is our most evolved sense, yet this primary sense is often forgotten when developing technology interactions. Our fingertips are highly sensitive and hungry for information, working at a subconscious level to describe the world around us. The coarse texture of a fabric, the smooth surface of a wooden table, the temperature of our coffee cup, etc. We derive pleasure from the perfect click of a well-engineered button, the weighty action of a volume dial, the responsive bounce of our laptop keys. Hence the massive boom in fidget toys recently.

To achieve these joyful interactions you must build experience prototypes to test such interactions with people. We always know we’re on to a winner when people respond with a quiet smile and immediately want to experience the interaction again and again. Win people’s hearts through joyful interactions and the value for business is greater adoption and sustained user engagement.


Translating emerging technologies into meaningful innovations

This is part of a blog series of 7 design principles Design Partners have developed for creating new product experiences for the smart home and for connected living. The overarching theme of the series is how design can translate emerging technologies into meaningful innovations. The principles were first presented at the European Smart Homes Conference, London.

Click here for design principle one.

Read Design Principle three here.

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