Brian Solis: you need to build experiences

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Brian SolisBrian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group

Computers are everywhere. Data is everywhere. Unless you use the stream of data to help you provide better experiences and change people’s behaviour, it’s just data. What are we going to do with big data that counts? We know that the lack of information is linked to loss of revenue opportunities. Altimeter refers to the internet of things as the sentient world.

We see a lot of devices that allow us to control the world around us remotely – lock doors, change the lighting, control the heating. This is about controlling environments and controlling the experiences around us. We’re creating a relationship not just between you and me, and between you and the device, but with the information shared between them Some of you will create amazing utilities, but I’d love you to create amazing experiences. There’s a human algorithm that produces a code that people aren’t looking at. I want you to give me something I didn’t know I wanted.

It’s that dream and vision I want to see more of. It’s about creating a better idea in the first place. The human algorithm is the one platform that is open source that we haven’t tapped yet – it’s you and me and what is possible.

Solis believes that Steve Jobs cracked the code of the human algorithm. He was the great UX designer, who create great experience for people. All the digital breadcrumbs we leave – our phone knows were we are and who we know, our home knows what temperature we like – and that’s powerful.

Fitbit gets you thinking about your health and lifestyle. And that’s wonderful. But it also connects you to other people who will encourage you. Think about how the experience you’re designing will bring people together. This one brings people together to make each other better. What was once a life hack is now just life. We need to look at opportunities to help people change their lives.

A baby trying to use a magazine is funny – because she pinches and zooms (unsuccessfully). That’s the world she knows. But isn’t it hilarious that Apple has patented the page turn, when she will probably never read a paper magazine in her life?

As you develop products, think about what it tells us about ourselves, how it will communicate, how it will bring people together for a purpose, and help us optimise our lives. Experience architecture is a blank canvas. You get to determine it. Don’t just make a cool product – you’ll becomes just another thing at CES. Create a cool experience.

How do we find what people don’t know they want? We need to filter out the noise. There are too many “me too” products. Do something different, something inspiring.

Life is about living – and creating – experiences that are worth sharing. This is about how devices and technology and data bring people together to do, see or experience something they couldn’t have done before.

You’re not just a developer, or an entrepreneur. You’re an experience architect changing the way we live our lives.

experience designexperiencesinternet of things

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.