Thursday, February 20, 2014

User Experience for Commercial Drones - an exercise in design

Over at UX Magazine, Dan Saffer writes:

Technology asks, “Can it be done?” Design asks, “Should it be done, and how?” I’ve thought about these questions frequently in the weeks following the 60 Minutes’ introduction of Amazon’s PrimeAir. While some were horrified by the prospect of commercial drones buzzing through the skies, I was amazed and intrigued at this vision of the future. But that’s all it is right now: a vision, and a somewhat crude one at that—one that leaves many questions unanswered.

Some of those questions are logistical and legal: Will this work and in what environments? What are the implications on a social level and where safety is concerned? These are all tremendously important questions, but let’s assume the issues surrounding them can be worked out. After all, there is plenty of money to be made (by Amazon and others like FedEx) by making it a reality. In fact, Ross McCullough, vice president of corporate strategy at UPS, recently said: “I believe these things will be part of the system in the future. I don’t know when.”

While consumer drones are very much a reality and a hot topic at this week’s CES 2014, the biggest question on the commercial side remains mostly unanswered: What’s it really going to be like to have a drone deliver packages to your house? In other words, what will the experience truly be like?

This is in reference to the Amazon video that purports to show a drone delivery service,which really is more of an advertisement for Amazon itself, than a proof-of-concept.

Read more here...

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