Getting back into the rhythm after a short break for Christmas (a time, I won’t deny, I enjoy thoroughly, like a child), I come back to the eternal topic of the relationship between users and technology. In early December, I had the chance to present a simplified version of my ideas and work on how to include users and trend analysis into app design at BDigital Apps 2013 (for which I would like to thank the BDigital Technology Center for selecting me for one of the panels at this event).
Well, during the debate that ensued after all of the members of the panel were introduced, the moderator asked us a question that, more or less, was as follows (and still echoes in my mind): If user studies are so obvious and easy to understand, why aren’t they used across the board in designing applications?
My conference coincided with the deadline for a project (which I can’t really discuss or give much information on due to confidentiality) that was also related to studies on users and their relationship with new technology.
From this experience, from listening to the comments of my colleagues, from the question I mentioned above, from the project, it has become even clearer than ever that the tech arena must be totally multidisciplinary. I won’t get tired of repeating it: technology is invading and will completely invade all areas of our lives, saturating markets and consumers/users. In order to have a chance of getting it right in integrating technology into everyday objects, in designing apps for any arena, in transferring existing technology to other economic and social arenas, and generating new products and services, we must take into account data and inputs from social researchers.
We must analyze and assess the impact devices and technology have on the market, creating indicators and obtaining insights that reflect not only their technological impact but that also reflect other aspects related to their use, in what areas and which users take advantage of said technology once it is launched to market, and we must be able to interpret and explain the “why” behind the different inputs received (the eternal need to “connect information”).
I know I harp on this topic, but it’s too important to ignore, given the consequences that we are already seeing in hypergeneration of technology, on one hand, and what users/consumers and the market need and are willing to acquire, on the other.
As an example, here’s a website featuring everything that was presented at the CES 2014 in Las Vegas(quite possibly the most important consumer electronics and technology fair in the world) so you can start to reach your own conclusions.