WORK / Article Connected Living Design Principles : 6 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 6. Appropriate presence

As you define the personality that underpins your service consider carefully the appropriate presence in people’s homes and lives. This can vary throughout the experience. For example, in home security, the external presence of a security system may need to project a strong, robust presence to deter potential wrongdoers. However, many people don’t want to think about the service inside their homes. They just want it to work in the background and feel reassured that the system is reliable and secure. When something does happen, the system must respond appropriately by taking actions to reassure the family, not scare them.


ResMed’s Smart Sleep Monitor, designed to fit appropriately into the bedroom

There has also been a tendency to over embellish smart home devices as brands vie for attention in the market. Firstly, this can raise the production cost to a point where it’s not an attractive prospect for customers and, secondly, it may misunderstand the real value people place on the service. In contrast to this we’ve seen a myriad of badly designed and poorly presented devices that fail to reach a level of quality to meet today’s consumer expectations. Quality does not mean expensive but it does require focus and craft in design and execution. Know your role in people’s lives and design every aspect of your service appropriately.


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.

Click here for design principle two.

Click here for design principle three.

Click here for design principle four.

Click here for design principle five.

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