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Building an Awesome UX

By Ken Sinclair

UX means “user experience” and refers to a person's emotions and attitudes about using a service. Whether you view the word “building” as a noun or a verb, we as an industry need to create awesome user experiences.

As an old guy who's been writing about building automation for over 20 years, I see from history that change is very slow. Before I founded automatedbuildings.com in 1994, I was working as an energy/automation consultant, renaming energy management control systems (EMCS) as “client comfort systems” (CCS). That was the start of humanistic digital inclusion and the acknowledgment of the client as the user. During this project, I learned the power of HTML and Internet as a valuable part of any UX. The CCS Manual is still online today, proving the longevity of an online user interface and the virtual world.

In 1999 we started AutomatedBuildings.com, during the dot-com days. We wrote, “we have selected this article to be in our first launch issue because we think it sends us all a wake-up call as to how significant the internet is going to be in the future.” The concept of a large building as an internet identity with its own web address is now the latest step in presenting and managing your automated buildings.

What has changed in 20 years of the Internet? Cost is down; speed is up, everything has an IP address; the Internet has become clouded with powerful microcomputers on the edge self-learning and sharing their intelligence with everyone who is continuously connected.

This review talks about using the tools of the day to build and deliver an awesome UX. Why are we all involved in that process? Because we are all involved in the process of providing the total user experience  for our buildings.

Looking forward to engaging global thought on "Creating an Awesome UX" in Helsinki in this discussion at https://nordicsmartbuilding.fi/program/. I will be moderating a discussion on “Empathic, Healing & Anticipatory Buildings.” Session topics include the physical and psychological implications of smart buildings as well as anticipating users’ needs for friction-free UX.

I am also part of these discussions in Helsinki:

• “Retrofitting intelligence: The challenge of getting smarter” 

• “Transparency and the Digital Twin: What it means to be seen”

• “Human-centered design and Building IoT – finding room for both”

• “Reaching the full potential of smart environments: How do we get from here to there?”

I will tell you what I learned in my July article.

Tweeted this online interview with Control Trends. A great chat on humanistic digital inclusion and how that might lead to building an awesome UX. Give it a listen.

In this podcast I talk to Lawrence Ampofo about the potential for buildings to become more digitally mindful to improve the lives of people who are more connected and work from multiple locations.

I’m very pleased to have the following articles in our June issue. They speak to awesome UX.

Smart Buildings Start with the People. “In an era where people are accustomed to accessing timely information at their fingertips, corporations need to respond with an equally fast and reliable level of service and visibility to resources within their buildings” — Roee Peled, sales executive, PointGrab.

“Improving the Occupant Experience with Haystack” by Patrick Coffey, VRT Systems.

Therese Sullivan of BuildingContext Ltd, who is also managing editor, Haystack Connections Magazine  and a contributing editor to automatedbuildings.com, writes: “The Spring 2018 edition of Project Haystack Connections documents how fast the evolution toward smarter buildings can happen once building operational data has been tag-enabled. Both IT and OT contingents are recognizing that metadata tagging is key to clearing hurdles related to ease-of-use, unified data flow edge-to-cloud, data security, and even adhering to new GDPR data privacy rules. Not to be missed is the fact that the storytellers in this issue — especially those that I interview in the Q&A section — are not solution vendors, but are from the ranks of design engineers, commissioning experts, smart building consultants, and large-portfolio property managers.”

Project Haystack Connections Magazine is growing in readership as the industry comes to understand the mission of the Project Haystack organization and the importance of making it easy to work with the data produced by smart, connected devices and equipment systems. The theme of the Spring issue is “Tagging the World of Data” and this issue contains interviews with a good sampling of Haystack tagging end-users. Their stories document how fast the evolution toward smarter buildings and connected systems can happen once building operational data has been tagged. You will also find an analyst interview and contributed articles about deployments and tagging concepts and activities from Australia to the Nordics. Read about it first in the Spring 2018 edition of Project Haystack Connections Magazine. 

I am sad that I will be missing https://www.realcomm.com/ibcon-2018/  But I can only be in one place at one time. Be sure to share your views on this event. 

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.




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posted on 6/11/2018