As design challenges get more complex, to meet them projects will require specialist designers working together. Branding is moving from physical to digital and the border between brand, product and service is becoming blurred. In response, KAN and four partner companies have created Hybrio, a platform of connected experience in service, product, interaction and identity design. Hybrio brings together 98 experts in selected design and development disciplines and can create a tailor-made team for your hybrid project. And we can close the gap between design and production.
The Hybrio partners:
Namahn is a design agency that creates meaningful experiences in complex, digital environments.
Ixor is a software vendor and services firm and the maker of two commercial software products: IxorTalk (Professional Internet of Things) and OOliba (Solvency II compliancy for insurers).
MAXIMALdesign assists companies to connect brands with people through design of products and spaces.
Fosfor is a product design agency realising products from concept to completion, based on a profound knowledge of the design process.
KAN is a cross-media branding and design agency that builds brands and creates inspiring user and brand experiences.
To Hybrio, connection is the key to success. That’s why we invited four knowledgeable speakers to talk about the connection between brand, product and user. For our colleagues and clients, the Hybrio event offered a preview of a connected world.
Lieven Verdin, Design consultant at Philips Lighting, talked about a new challenge in the context of the Internet of Things. Products used to be made to solve problems, nothing more. That hasn’t changed as such, but the intention of product designers – and by extension, brands – maybe has. The user must experience the brand through the product. It’s not about generic experiences anymore. The personal, tailor-made experience prevails. Verdin pointed out that there are many possibilities but without doubt as many pitfalls. The only way the connection between user, product and brand can work – Internet included or not – is when brands learn to work together.
“If you engage in IoT, it’s all about the partnership.”
Louisa Heinrich of Superhuman advocated the same belief. She asked us to imagine a kitchen that has a smart coffee machine. It keeps the milk cool in a reservoir and preserves its freshness as long as possible. There is also a toaster that works on solar power. Both products are intelligent but they have other requirements. One product requires light and a nice spot near the window. The other likes to keep its milk fresh and therefore requires shuttered windows. This story illustrates that smart products in a smart house can have conflicting requirements.
Collaborating, therefore, means conflicts can be identified and resolved: in other words, more potential and fewer pitfalls. With an ongoing focus on good design we can continue to create meaningful experiences, here and now.
The word experience sounds rather transitory but not every product is easy to describe in words, said Paul Bas, Design Director bij Philips Lighting. It’s quite hard to describe light, but easy to experience it.
“To be able to talk about light, you need the correct words to describe it, which is hard because light is basically an experience.”
Geert Houben of Cubigo reminded us of the fact that experiences are dependent on different targets and societies. As the amount of older adults in the population increases, so does the cost of care.
“It’s cheaper to send your grandmother away on a one year cruise, than to put her in an isolated nursing home.”
And that word isolated is something that scares many older adults. They want to take care of themselves as long as possible, in their own home. Cubigo attends to this wish. The platform connects the elderly user to their doctor, their medical records, home care, family and their supermarket.
Whether a product succeeds or fails is dependent on the interface, which makes the connection with the user. In this case the branding was critical to address the target but the main factor that drove success was still connection and cooperation. The benefit of the platform is the integration with a diverse number of services that are in reach with just the push of a button.
Houben concluded with a sobering statement:
“We are not cooperating enough… We kill each other, instead of expanding together.”
Hybrio is bringing disciplines and designers together to implement hybrid projects with knowledge and skill. Want to know more about Hybrio, our collaboration and common mission?