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Foundational Study: Technology in the Home

"What makes your home special?"

Participant's 'homework' question


Consumers make a decision to bring technological and electronic devices into their living spaces to create or enhance an experience, but sometimes the very devices that are meant to increase quality of life, disrupt it.

Industrial designers wanted to know how to design their products more thoughtfully for young tech families. This was a foundational study to help drive design decisions for 2018 and 2019 family of hardware products. Designers were curious about where technology "lives" and the implications and benefits around "assemblages of techno-material culture."


This study kicked off with multiple teams including Human Factors, Google Home, and Industrial Design.  

Collaborating with another researcher, I worked with marketing and a third party vendor to find young tech families in non-tech corridors. We visited 20 participants in Chicago and Denver spending 2 hours at each household to learn what they thought about smart technology and see where and how their devices are placed throughout their home. 

Analysis involved affinity diagrams, noting pain points, opportunities, motivations, and attitudes. These were then bucketed into larger themes and categorized between the human needs and products needs. 

Throughout this process, original research questions, goals and the needs of the stakeholders help filter what to dig deeper into and what to leave out.


"Every tech upgrade we've done to this house has been more complicated than it should be"

Paraphrased Participant


ImpactThis project had high impact and continued to inform product design decisions into 2020. Because of the depth and breadth of the study, it was highly socialized across 3 different teams totaling 53 colleagues during 3 separate presentations. We also presented to the executive team members and posted our presentation on the intranet where it was accessed 69 times over the course of a few months.

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