Project Charlemagne is a unification project that links existing technologies with a high-level strategy and vision for financial benefits for those who implement it and gain insights from it.
Project Charlemagne is using Ethereum smart contracts to establish uniquely identifiable items in an IoT network effectively establishing a secondary handshake protocol for network access, that manages policies and identities, this will also allow us to simplify the data that IoT objects require and use ambient power tagging. Some of the sensor technologies do not exist in the format we require yet and we are engaged with medical sensor companies to develop ones that will work with our system.
“Our first product is an IoT retail platform intended to support the mapping of the birth to death (and everything in between) journey of retail products.” says CEO Karl Smith.
While this first version is not as polished as the offerings of major consultancies it does have proprietary information schema, data architecture and ambient power sensor systems that enable IoT item tracking from birth to recycling.
“The opportunities are endless with item level IoT, our whole world becomes a data source, we can deal with anti-social behaviour on an item level, waste and recycling and finally connect product makers to their end customers.” says CEO Karl Smith.
While Paradigm Interactions has already fixed a number of critical problems in regard of enterprise architecture, ontologies and micrometa, component technology working on ambient power requires additional investment to convert real-world interactions into digital insights.
This project remains in development until we can establish a true testbed in a single domain within FMCG.
Until the IoT retail platform is complete Paradigm Interactions focus will remain on client enablement though its IoT Products service.
Most people don’t even know that an online census is designed they just think you take the paper form and put it online. Unfortunately it is simply not that easy, the interactive environments, activities and tools are fundamentally different between an offline experience and an online one. Also peoples expectations of a digital experience is higher than a real world experience and that goes back to the notion that “technology is here to help us” which we all know is not really true. Additionally there is a whole raft of legislation pertaining to human rights, ease of access and use for people with disabilities which must be considered before starting (which have always been impossible to add in a retrospective fashion, enterprise systems architects take note).
1.0 Designing an Online National Census – Understand the domain and the Target Audience
So when we started to design the National Census there was just two experience consultants, a technical BA, with a content author (or wordsmith) to join later, we also added someone to manage and conduct usability testing and a very savvy UI developer who actually understood Accessibility W3C and could build it in from the start. There were also a couple of PM’s who did administration, a different time maybe, but we hardly saw them.
Understanding the Domain
Well never having done one before we asked the experts in Canada and Australia and had a number of insightful calls, were sent a load of useful document and we scavenged a great deal more from online sources. We then went through the huge requirements document and found the three pages that related to who would be using the Census by Country, Language, Household Type, and the then three different forms they would be getting due to localised questions. Based upon this we created twenty eight persona groups. We then had to decide who was the Target Audience from the persona groups and found it was not clear who should have piority in the design. So we went back to the client (you’d have thought that the strategy and vision for doing the project would be in the requirements, it was not) and asked the killer question
“Why are you doing this project?”
They looked a bit confused at being asked it but answered after we got to the head of the NGO. The answer was simple they needed more data and more high quality data (quantity and quality) than they were getting from the paper form in order to support public policy and planning of services and resources. We had discovered the problem, but we needed to categorise it better than that to find a solution. So we asked for completion data from the last two census to understand a pattern of behaviours, a nice fun bit of data mining. I was able to dig out my OLAP skills and use Business Objects XI to find the issue. From that we found a group of severely under represented users with a downward trend.
Out Target Audience became men 18 to 24 who don’t fill out the census.
The National Census experience was then designed for the least represented group of users in the completion data from the previous census. And what about everyone else, I hear you say. Well people who fill out the census, fill out the census and if we can make the experience better for the people least likely to do the census we enable everyone else at the same time.
2.0 Designing an Online National Census – Test the Design with the Target Audience
Testing Early and Often
Before the prototype was even complete we tested the login experience with the target audience, the results were a disaster. The problem was limitations set by the planned architecture and SLA’s, a ten minute login session, a one second page load with 60,000 users. Men 18 to 24 were not happy to be so limited, so we tested again, without the planned architecture and SLA’s and got some really useful result that enabled the design team to change the architecture SLA’s.
First Findings and How they changed the Architecture
So what did we find, first we tested in context, your meant to be able to do this in your home, with all the freedom of movement that allows.
When presented with the login, men 18 to 24 tended to shout abuse at the screen, they might get through it but then find they needed documents they did to have or were overwhelmed with the time commitment they perceived it would take to complete it. A common response was to head to the kitchen and make a cup of tea and a piece of toast. We timed this reaction “Login to Tea & Toast back to Census” was around eighteen minutes, from this we proposed a login timeout of twenty four minutes.
We found that men 18 to 24 would spend a max time of 30 minutes doing the form, regardless of government threats to fine them if they did not complete it. So the final form was designed to be completed in 35 minutes for a single person in their own home. The sense of accomplishment and beating the government did inspire five more minutes engagement.
Finally as part of this user testing, finding out that men 18 to 24 would not retry to login unless incentivised by having clear instructions, enabled the design team to get graceful deferral added to the architecture of the project.
3.0 Designing an Online National Census – Usability is a guideline not a set of rules
The actual design broke several usability guidelines but enabled a user to rapidly complete the forms. They could jump questions and comeback later, provided that the dynamic component of their form was already built. In this way we gave people a sense of accomplishment rather than usual government experience of feeling foolish by failing to do things right when nothing has been explained.
For a Government IT project it was astounding, there was no negative press response, they system went live as planned, worked and was easy to use. I understand the NGO was overwhelmed by the amount and quality of the final data set.
I tend to think of myself as a futurist, I immediately see the possibilities of technologies as part of a much larger ecosystem than the one it is intended for.
I look for ways to test and assess “How we might Live” with the technology and how it will adapt our lives, our cultures and move humanity onwards to greater things.
In our modern societies we have relieved ourselves of the burdens of the industrial age and are in the process of doing the same to the digital age. We had digitized the same old processes, making them easier to do, involving less time so we could use that time on other things, but we had not thought to remove them. That is the next stage in human and machine evolution, removing pointless interactions and processes.
“we used to wait until the washing machine broke down, to arrange a service engineer, then we took out a service contract so they would call us, with our IoT machine, it calls the engineer, or shop and they just charge our account when we get the service or comestibles we need to do our washing, but we still need to check we have not been over charged”
We Keep Moving Forward
Modern convince has only changed the stress points in our lives, from analog, to digital and from servant, to master and onward to accountant. However the wider ecosystem changes that are coming, may mean that washing clothes becomes a meaningless process as well. We need to be aware when we build dead end processes and be prepared to throw them away with their subsystems when they become redundant.
There is much talk about digital ecosystems and benefits of IoT and artificial intelligence, but little about the living experience it will create, the social and political upheavals it will cause except in the extreme destruction of humanity and machines as overlords aspect.
However our societies are balanced on several key behaviours that can be changed or in fact removed in a Smart Living scenario.
Smart Living – Wealth
Establishing a means to gain wealth is a clear goal in human existence, regardless if that wealth is the ability to purchase or to be healthy, wealth is essential. Our current society enables wealth acquisition through speculation, work, connections or product distribution, new types of wealth are also on the horizon (which I will cover in another post).
The wide distribution of blockchain technologies afford the ability to remove several of key aspects of speculation. Speculation works through special knowledge, insights of availability, location, size and a choice to sell or buy. However with blockchain only the choice to sell or buy is an unknown factor, everything else is visible. Not only will blockchain reduce and remove hidden wealth it could destroy its value, as moving and reselling by taking advantage of another persons lack of knowledge will no longer be possible.
You might say that the new dynamic of wealth will be Transparency rather than Secrecy. In fact accessing a transparent wealth system from non attributable assets will not be possible as they will be consider tainted or fake, hence they lose their value.
Smart Living – Work
In a smart world do we work? Ideas are still needed but committees about ideas are not, if like the idea we can test buy, by printing it at home. Since it’s creativity and inspiration to be creative that we crave knowledge and creations become the central focus of work, teamwork does not require physical co-location only a communication method. With Smart working, textures, smells, colours. sounds, people can all be delivered virtually. This would mean no more offices, centralised property in a city would no longer be a focus and would cease to have value.
The nature of world will revert to a more feudal barter system where our services are available as a group (forum or company) or as in individual.
Smart Living – Transport
The big question is where are we going and why? Will humans still want to visit the world or will they have the world in their home?
If work is not the priority is mass transportation a need. If shops are virtual again the question is where are we going and why?
Smart Living – Home
We are looking at a revolution in the the focus on human lives and the home is the major battle ground for Smart Living. As the workplace was for Digital Living a way to create better control and work during previous down times, the home will become a place to enjoy, between working moments.
And what happens to everyone else who can’t transition between Digital Living into Smart Living, because of the loss of freedoms, due to not having the skills to function in Smart Living or just not being invited?
The will be and has always been other cultures co-existing the problem even with Digital Living is the marketing makes it desirable to people who can’t by skill or education or work have it. Their addition to society is not respected or valued. The odd thing about Smart Living is that it makes people with manual skills the same value as creative people, because they do things rather than move things around.
You might say that “Smart Living is the end of Management” in all its structures as devices become self managed and humans no longer need it.
Clients don’t understand their customers, they just think they do!
It’s not for the lack of trying or spending millions on developing and building huge data systems, the problems are many but can be traced back to one simple thing;
“Data only describes part of the what is happening and almost nothing of the why, let alone what should be done to change the situation”
Clients have been sold that data gives them the answers and that big data will close the loop for them to understand the upstream and downstream thinking of their customers, WRONG.
Douglas Adams noticed the real problem
Douglas Adam’s said “But even Amazon has only got part of the picture. Like real world shops, they can only record the sales they actually make. What about the sales they don’t make and don’t know that they haven’t made because they haven’t made them?” Douglas Adams “The Salmon of Doubt” by Permission of Pan Macmillan. That pretty much covers the problem if you extrapolate the thinking for Data Analytics, Big Data or even Artificial Intelligence based Data and Decision systems.
“Data is binary a yes or no (even complex views), it does not capture motivation, intention, desire, cognition, distraction or any other human reasoning or pattern”
A child pretending to be a robot just as data pretends to be the truth, he is a kind of robot and data is a kind of truth
A pure Data approach to understanding customers will provide the wrong data because data is an absolute and people are not. Even with Artificial Intelligence it only works from the starting point you give it, if any of the perimeters are wrong the whole data sample is wrong.
Guide to understanding Customers
Data, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence – Tells you what
People in target demographic – Tell you why
People in target demographic
User research answers the question Why have we not made the Sale? through the only people equipped to answer the question, consumers. This is not market research, its scientific without a predetermined agenda or outcome. User Research is a problem solving method that offers solutions by finding the right questions, finding the right people and asking the questions in a way that does not lead or direct the answers.
There are right questions and people to ask?
This may sound a little Adamsesque (if you ask the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything you get 42, because it the wrong question). Getting the questions or setup wrong is the real problem with an Analytics approach to a Diagnostic process. While it may be reasonably expected by a seller to directly ask, why didn’t a visitor become a buyer or register. Visitors may be asking themselves where am I? what does this do? this does not make sense, should that be happening? technology, why do I bother? Why has my screen gone pink? None of these “in mind” experiences are expressed in the data or even a consideration for the data schema design.
A visitors experience is not only defined by the online environment but they bring past experiences, desires and doubts about their current experience. Without these insights from research, it is difficult for clients to grasp potential problems, gain a good return upon their investment (ROI), innovate to fit the market and consumer needs or break into a new market sector.
Reasons that Data is Trusted and People are Not
It appears to come down to scale and a short sighted approach to costs. Buying an Analytics Solution appears to tick all the boxes, even if in reality it does not. While using Research Companies or in-house Research Teams seems expensive in comparison.
“The real trick is to understand you need both, you always did”
When I first started using Web Position Gold (the analytics tool), bought by Webtrends long before Google Analytics existed or the current proliferation of products promising the impossible, we used it to spot trouble only. We would then do some user testing in the area, working out possible failure scenarios, from there we would suggest two or three solutions and build them for A/B testing to see what worked and what did not. Everything was monitored and all the data from both analytics and user testing was collated into one final solution. Sometimes there was a single resolution, a re-architecting of a section, in one project I kept 16 pathways active because they all delivered transactions for different types of customers.
The thing is just as there is no absolute way to find out the problem, resolution or adaptive innovation except byDiagnostics a digital and human activity.