January 7, 2016

Bill Horan on Trends & Strategies for Digital-Physical Products in Appliance Design

Bill Horan’s feature “Branded Interactions: Trends and Strategies for Digital-Physical Products” (registration required) was published in Appliance Design’s January 2016 issue. In it, Horan writes about the transformation of product design and product branding due to the accelerating adoption of technologies, such as cloud computing, touch-sensitive surfaces, augmented reality, gestural interfaces, sensors, and virtual reality.

At the same time, writes Horan, Wi-Fi modules, cloud service providers, chips, and other tools needed to connect products to the Internet have come down the cost curve to enable the continued growth of the IoT market. The Internet of Things contributes to the growing complexity of product branding by changing the nature of the product-user relationship. As products become connected, they communicate and interact with users on new, more intimate levels. Meanwhile, designers are busy figuring out how to craft these new types of interactions in ways that will improve functionality, increase delight, and reinforce brand loyalty.

In his article, Horan proposes several ways to reframe your design process and strategy, including focusing on the three most successful types of branded interactions, creating cross-disciplinary product-development teams, and thinking experientially. Read the rest of his article at Appliance Design.