The role of design in the Internet of Things

Defining the role of design in 2016 is a nightmare. When someone calls themself a ‘designer’ they could mean they design the interface of ecommerce websites, or they do frontend development, or they design the business structure around a product: its website, app and other touchpoints. Some will even design physical products.

When we refer to ‘design’ now, it’s so hyper-contextual that no-one outside of our silo of activity knows what we’re talking about, which can also lead to confusion about the role a designer plays in a team. This is felt very acutely in the world of the Internet of Things, where many different professions and variants of design are needed. But most people simply say they are looking for ‘designers’.

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Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is an industrial and interaction designer and focuses on the Internet of Things for her clients at designswarm.