I Signed The IoT Design Manifesto and So Should You!

IoT Design Manifesto

The internet of things is only in its early stages. It still has some growing pains to endure. My first article covered some of the design elements that will be coming with the new internet of things, but that was based on some loosely related ideas that had been bouncing around in my head. Now I have subscribed to and signed the “IoT Design Manifesto,”  and so should you!

The Manifesto’s History

The IoT Design Manifesto came into the world May 9th, at ThingsCon 2015  in Berlin. It was put together by a team of design professionals working in the connected device industry, and it was constructed under the guidance of a lean advisory board of thought leaders.  You can check out more about how the document here.

What is the Manifesto?

This document serves as a high level design guide for all connected devices and the organizations that run them. It currently has 10 guidelines covering all the aspects of responsible design from security and privacy, to making meaningful and purposeful devices. I have provided a copy of version one of the IoT Design Manifesto below.

IoT Design Manifesto


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II. We Design Useful Things: Connecting devices for the sake of connecting them may be fun, but it isn’t very practical. I shared this sentiment back in the first thingable article where I said:

“The almighty and all powerful internet should not be confined to tweeting the number of pencils in a smart pencil holder.”

Useful things will be the hallmark of connected devices in the future, which may sound obvious but not everybody has caught on to that yet.

IV. We Keep Everyone and Everything Secure: If I hear “the internet of things needs to be built with security in mind first,” one more time I might freak out. But I will probably say it 90-100 times in my life because it is just so dang true. The stakes are being raised with IoT and security breaches, and these things are going to be too useful to not have at all.

VIII. We Empower Users to be the Masters of Their Own Domain: This has to my favorite, because it gets to the heart of “the why” of IoT. It is clear that the intended goal of this principle was to guide developers and designers to give the user an active role in the ownership of the data, but it is much more than that. If we are going to connect every device in our lives it should always be to improve the world we live in, and each individual should decide what that world looks like.

IX. We Design Things for Their Lifetimes: This principle brings up one of the less talked about problems with how we consume IoT tech. Long life devices and appliances like the June Oven are just now hitting the market. It is financially and environmentally irresponsible to have the latest and greatest to put your gear on the shelf of obsolescence.

Final Thoughts

If building the internet of things is a hobby or you work in connected devices or wearables, you should sign the IoT Design Manifesto. It is one of the first true guides to responsible design in the field. You can follow this link to add your name to the hundreds of designers and developers already getting behind this movement.

If you have any have anything you would like to add please let me know in the comments below, or come find me on twitter. I am always looking for some nerdy tech conversation with a like minded individual.