Responsible design in a connected world

IoT Design Manifesto 1.0 has arrived

Natali Vlatko
IoT image via Shutterstock

The first Internet of Things Design Manifesto has gone live with contributions and backing from a plethora of professionals in the IoT community. Its guidelines aim to be a foundation for designers and engineers to create a myriad of products and services.

The Internet of Things Design Manifesto has been released and version 1.0 has delivered ten guidelines for “responsible design in a connected world”. Much like the Agile Manifesto, the creators of the IoT Design Manifesto are looking to collect signatories.

The lead up to the release of the manifesto saw a workshop being hosted at ThingsCon 2015 in May, where the team hoped to gather opinions, anecdotes and cases from the field of IoT. The workshop also proved to be a foundation for finding the best way to collaborate and release the first official version of the manifesto online.

The guidelines of the IoT Design Manifesto are as follows:

  1. We don’t believe the hype

The first guideline aims to ensure IoT developers are skeptical of the cult of the new. “Monetizing only through connectivity rarely guarantees sustainable commercial success”.

  1. We design useful things

This is to make sure that products have a purpose and an impact on people’s lives. “IoT technologies are merely tools to enable that”.

  1. We aim for the win-win-win

Designing for the IoT sphere needs to consider all parties involved so that there is “a win for everybody in this elaborate exchange”.

  1. We keep everyone and everything secure

The potential for security issues is nothing new for IoT, so its essential that security is addressed in the manifesto. “We are committed to protecting our users from these dangers, whatever they may be”.

  1. We build and promote a culture of privacy

The manifesto wants to ensure that sensitive information isn’t mishandled by the careless gathering of data by a product. “We build and promote a culture of integrity where the norm is to handle data with care”.

  1. We are deliberate about what data we collect

Rather than collect everything they can, IoT products should be created to guarantee that they only collect data “that serves the utility of the product and service”.

  1. We make the parties associated with an IoT product explicit

Because of the unique makeup in the connection of IoT products, the manifesto aims to make the parties involved as unambiguous as possible. “Our responsibility is to make the dynamics among those parties more visible and understandable to everyone”.

  1. We empower users to be the masters of their own domain

This guideline hopes to give the control of data back to the user. “We believe that users should be empowered to set the boundaries of how their data is accessed and how they are engaged with via the product”.

  1. We design things for their lifetime

The lifetime of IoT products are so because they are codependent, meaning products and their services should be “bound as a single, durable entity”.

  1. In the end, we are human beings

The final guideline is to remind designers that their work shouldn’t only be influenced by profit – “it is our responsibility to use design to help people, communities, and societies thrive”.

The manifesto is meant to serve as a code of conduct for everyone involved in developing the Internet of Things, “outlining 10 principles to help create balanced and honest products in a burgeoning field with many unknowns”.

An advisory board was created and consulted to oversee further development of the manifesto, which exists as a living document. This means further input and growth is both expected and encouraged.

Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for (S&S Media Group).

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