Humanizing Technology through Design — Thomas Stovicek

Humanizing Technology through Design — Thomas Stovicek

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Thank you! I'm really excited to be here today and  talk about designing mobility experiences for   people and talk about a little bit about what  we're doing at Volvo and how we go through that   process and how design can help. If you can  put up the slides I will take you through - okay there we go - So my name is Thomas I'm leading UEx at Volvo,   we've had the organization now for  a year we've come together um with a number of UEx professionals that were within  the company but we decided   to bring them together because we felt that  we can make better experiences. I've been at   other companies like Facebook, Nokia, Microsoft I'm  bringing a lot of that experience into designing   new types of experiences that are happening  in the automotive industry, in car companies. So I'm here to talk about how the discipline  of design can help the evolving world   of mobility. So, first we should ask or we  can ask What is mobility? We talked  

a little bit about that this morning, but the  definition I use is that "it's the ability to move   freely and easily" around and  that's a goal that we have   at Volvo. But if you look at the  broader sense of things there's obviously   different things that help of course there's  walking, but there's vehicles in boats, planes,   trains, cars, there's bicycles and other things.  But when you look at what people are doing  and that's the important part when we're thinking  about how we're designing these experiences,   in people's daily lives they're running errands,  they're going to and from work and school,   they're visiting family and friends or  they're doing short trips and those are   important needs and that's what drives  the choice of mobility service that people use - oh they lost their slides - And I think what's important or the  way I think about is the car became one of the   primary methods for personal mobility,  it was convenient it was always there  and it was easy to provide  mobility services for people. So if we go back and look at how that  started it obviously started with   the before cars had engines and it was the horse  and buggy and that transformed the   car was invented in 188 and then it really  started to become more popularized in the early   20th century model T produced by Ford was an  example of a first mass manufactured car so   it was available to more people and it was more  affordable. So technologies is evolved and changed  

in the 60s cars started to look more like  this but in this form factor something that   stayed for a while and so even now cars  look similar though they have different   types of technologies, different safety  regulations those kinds of things   and people are doing the same sorts of things with  those vehicles. But what happened a few years ago   is new technology started coming up  with the smartphone revolution in the   2000s new technologies were available for the  cars to really change some of those behaviors   and that's really what's transforming  the industry. Now I feel like now there's   an intersection of a number of different future  possibilities and number of different technologies   that are all coming together at one point that  really starts to change what personal mobility   can be and provides some of the challenges  that we have as designers and as an industry,   so I'll dive into these a little bit more. First  is the digital and connectivity aspects so  

you know with smartphones and personal  computing going smaller more mobile and faster   that is starting to appear in the car  people are bringing their phones into the car   android, apple other companies are  making your products and services even   platforms available in the car and so that's  creating the ability for new possibilities, new   types of interactions and experiences within the  car it also brings with it potential complexity   there's with more more things comes more  complexity, more information being presented   to the user and that's of course a challenge when  you're driving a vehicle; cars are now connected   to the internet and through network  services that's also bringing different types of   communications and capabilities into the car but  again more complexity more chances of distraction. Lots of technologies around  assisted and autonomous driving these are technologies that will help  people drive more safely, protect people maybe catch mistakes that the drivers  didn't have on the assistant side   and the technology is slowly evolving  to provide more driving on behalf of the   user and when you can get into a vehicle  and not have to pilot it and you become   more of a passenger that it changes the  whole experience of the vehicle in your car. Electrification is coming into play  when we walked through that history of   cars it was all largely based on fossil fuels and  now and the infrastructure that supported   fueling your car to be able to get around  it is now fairly ubiquitous and people don't have   to think about it but with electrification  that infrastructure changes and people need   to learn new processes and we need to build  new infrastructure but that technology,   and I still don't i don't think we know exactly  where it's going, it provides different   possibilities in terms of the forms of the  product and possibly the forms of the services   and experiences that we can  build into and around the vehicles. And there's a lot of external factors. Climate  is one big one that we talk about and that has   an impact on mobility through the concerns that people have and the legislation that is   coming around to which affects the industry  and that affects people's buying choices and   what they need in the car that's also transforming  urban spaces, a lot of cities are creating   new rules and regulations for how and when  certain modes of mobility can operate in the   in the city so, some city centers  are not allowing cars at certain times and   those sorts of things but urban  spaces are also becoming smarter   there's lots of experiments out there with  different types of technologies, data sharing   interconnected systems to make  mobility smarter and more efficient   and that of course is going to impact the  capabilities of the digital connected car and provide potentially more complexity of course   depends how we design  the experiences around that. And lastly there's a change in business models. Throughout last hundred  

years, it was typically you would buy the car  maybe get a loan and that was the way of   owning the car and you would pay for maintenance  and those kinds of things, there   were car rental and other possibilities  but that didn't change for a long time but   recently there have been different business  models that have been started looking to more   all-inclusive, lower risk subscriptions which  changes the demographic of finances for   people trying to get personal mobility services.  Car sharing really change how we think about   rent renting or borrowing a car and then  right handling has become more predominant   changing the face of like taxes but that  all of those kinds of services also change   how you will interact with the  vehicle what that vehicle needs to do   and potentially changes the ownership models.  And of course customer expectations around   or what services they buy are also changing  and you hear a lot about it in urban cities   that younger people are not buying cars in the  same way that they have different expectations   on mobility how how they perform some  of the their daily chores and needs. So   lots of changing influences in  our society today so there's a change   in those technologies coming into the personal  mobility sector there's a change in the society,   but overall the basic user needs haven't  changed people are still using   mobility to go to and from work, for school  to run errands, to go visit friends and family   it's just the technologies that are  providing different capabilities and the needs of   society to provide mobility in  different ways and solve product problems. So   when we think about how design  and design processes can help   it's really looking at it from a human  point of view and starting to understand   problems, I think about design as problem-solving  and understanding you know the new challenges   that are facing the industry and people today  and how to craft that in an engaging way.  

So in Volvo we talk about a process around  learn to find build and evaluate at many   points in that process very light framework  that helps us look at small/large problems and   I'll take you through a few examples of how we can  apply that to some of the problems that we have   today and talk about what that might mean in the  future and it's all about trying to understand   where the problems are in solving frictions  in designing for simplicity, because I think one   of the big challenges with this point in  time is you have all of these new technology   capabilities coming into place that offers a  lot of potential complexity and we really need   to think about if we're designing for humans how  to simplify that in an elegant way and make it   less complicated for people. So we often start  off what we call journey thinking which is   a very tangible example when you used to  have a car in the past you would   get the keys, you would unlock the car, you would  go and sit in the car, you would start the car,   you would shift into drive and you  would go on your very way. Nowadays   you have to check with electrification  you might want to check the charge level,   you need to go get your keys, you can  approach the car, the car will unlock   itself so that's convenience you need to unplug  the car if it was charging you need to pull   put the cable away there's  more steps get in the car plug in   your phone because people want to be connected to  their their digital media when they're in the car   and start the car, set up your directions  because people are using maps to go places   nowadays start the radio or immediate shift  to drive and go away. And so this is a very   tangible example of journey. Thinking about all of all of the different steps   and we do that because you want to understand  where are their conveniences like in today with   a lot of today's cars you don't need to unlock  the car there's more automated security devices   there's a convenience but then we add frictions  by having to put cables away or other things   and so it's through this kind of mapping where  we can understand where there's opportunities for   improving experiences and thinking about  how we can deep dive on some of those problems   and here's an example of looking at a broader  journey and mapping that out. And why I think  

this is important is with this intersection  of all of these different technologies   and societal changes that daily journey  becomes very important and to really   understand what humans need in their  daily lives what are their emotions   what's really going to impact them. This kind  of mapping activity helps us stay focused on   the core goals of that of the user  they want they need to get to work on time   or they need to go visit family  and friends how can you remove as many of   those frictions as possible so  that it's a seamless journey. And through then in the next  phase once we've identified where all   those challenges and frictions are we can look  for ways of simplifying here we can use design methods you know creative  workshops brainstorming   all those things which many of you are familiar  with to take all of the different capabilities,   layer them on top of each other and simplify  them and just keep in mind that primary goal of   getting the user to the store or getting  them to perform their tasks for the day   and when you layer on that journey thinking now  we can start because of some of these capabilities   we can actually start to ask ourselves Where  does certain information live? or Where does   a certain task need to be made? It used to be that  it always evolved around the car but now because   cars are connected you can connect your phone, you  can connect to other devices in your ecosystem   and so we as designers have new  tools to think about how to solve   problems for people and you can solve them  in a different way because now people can  address one of those friction points before they  leave home so they can decide maybe while they're   having their morning coffee, what route they  take to go to work or where they're going to   buy a thing so when they get in the car they  don't have to worry about directions or maps.

And then simplifying things so   Volvo we're really trying to take all of that  complexity and put it into an HMI   interface which is how people interact with  that car but put it do it in a simple enough   way that we're exposing only what's needed  to the user at the time so they can focus on   that core experience. So simplification is really  important but it's tying it always tying it to   the core needs of the user and of course the  design processes around is about iteration   so you can only get there by constantly  revising your ideas and we of course work   through sketches, through  iteration, through prototyping   to really refine products and services for people  and that's how you you get to simplification I  think especially when there's so many levels of  possibilities and technologies and possible touch points you   need to go very broad in your ideation and you  do that in early phases in design through   sketching through low fidelity prototyping before  you get to something that's really high fidelity. And then the last phase trying prototyping  evaluating my saying is that you can't predict   how interconnected systems work because  they've all been designed separately until   you plug things in and try them out and so  the more complex the system is the more   important it is to continuously try as much  in real time and real technology as possible   to really understand where some of the nuances  are of the frictions and how that's changing the human method of interaction how that's  changing human perception that ultimately   leads to people being able to perform  their tasks. When I was at places like   Blackberry, again very very complex systems,  that were coming together to enable   basic mobility and once you put them  all together you had very unexpected behaviors in how notifications appeared what  information appeared when etc etc and those are   very important at that design level to make sure  that we get right you can only do that through   trying things and so at Volvo  we build prototypes of various levels to   try things out as much as we can throughout  the process and I think with this intersection   of all of these new technologies and capabilities  and all of these societal changes we need to find   ways of trying these things out, trying out  new solutions, trying out parts of ideas   so that we can understand better where those  friction points appear because that   process that we have learned  define design isn't an ongoing process and   you can only do so much in your journey  thinking in the early stage you have to go out   and investigate in real time and it's like  I said I think with the new challenges that are   facing us today it's even more important to  do that so we need to find those opportunities.

And again  gather the the right kinds of   information and data to support what  it is that we need to do to really solve these problems for people in a  humanistic way and always keeping the   user in the center of what our solutions will be. So in summary, mobility is going through a major   change especially when we look  at the automotive industry and   some of the new technologies and societal trends  that are facing us today but the basic human   needs haven't it's just how are we going  about our daily lives, what do we want to do   during and leading up to up to those needs  getting to and from work as a family   and what we need to do is really understand  that we need to simplify all the complexity,   understand where those frictions are by looking  across all of the different touch points   complete journey of the user to really  identify where are those points where we can make it easier for users and keep them  focused on their core tasks and I think   that that will help us make mobility  services that are more seamless and easy to use   and get more traction from the world. So thank you!

2021-07-26 05:29

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