CityVerve: How to design a useful Internet of Things

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The latest blog from the CityVerve project is now available. Take a look at the opinion piece below by Future Everything's Drew Hemment on How to design a useful Internet of Things.

In CityVerve we want to design useful things. We want to understand the real problems people have, and develop technologies and services that people will want to use. To help do this, FutureEverything is introducing a human centred design approach.

In the past, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city projects have tended to be implemented in a top-down way. Very few have left behind technologies and services that are used today. Our ambition in CityVerve is to do things differently. In CityVerve, we aim to build on best practice and to create ways of doing things that can be replicated elsewhere.

Over the two year CityVerve project, FutureEverything will be working closely with a small number of the project teams and introducing human centred design tools and methods to the others.

On the 27th of July, we set the ball rolling with a human centred design induction workshop.

Introducing human centred design to CityVerve

We want CityVerve to solve problems for the residents of Manchester. The problems addressed in the induction workshop were around helping people to become more physically active to improve wellbeing, addressing the impact of air quality on people’s lives, and making public transport more accessible to all.

In this workshop we teamed up with FutureGov to bring the teams together for the first time and introduce tools and methods they can use to develop useful services and technologies.

We dived straight in and took the design teams on a human centred design journey, which included heading out into the city to do user research, analysing what we found out, and trying out design ideas by making quick, lo-fi prototypes.

To read Drew's article in full visit the Future Everything website here.