My Robot Gets Me: How Social Design Can Make New Products More Human

My Robot Gets Me: How Social Design Can Make New Products More Human

by Carla Diana


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, June 22


Your relationships with your "smart" products are about to get a lot more personal.

Think how commonplace it is now for people to ask Siri for the weather forecast, deploy Roomba to clean their homes, or summon Alexa to turn on the lights. The "smart home" market will reach well over $100 billion in the next five years on the promise of products that are truly integrated with our cooking, cleaning, entertainment, security, and hygiene habits.

But the reality is, these first-generation "smart" products aren't very smart—yet. We're clearly seeing only the tip of the iceberg in terms of capability and how such products can enhance our lives. How do we take it to the next level?

In a word, design—and more specifically, social design. In this fascinating and instructive book, leading product design expert Carla Diana describes how new technology is allowing designers to humanize consumer products in delightfully subtle ways. Showcasing vivid examples of social design principles such as "product presence," "object expression," and "interaction intelligence," we see how inventive uses of light, sound, and movement can evoke human responses to even the most mundane products. Diana offers clear guidelines and takeaways for conceptualizing, building, and optimizing products using such methods as bodystorming, scenario storyboarding, video prototyping, behavior charting, and more.

My Robot Gets Me provides keen insights and practical advice to anyone interested or involved in the burgeoning smart marketplace, from product designers and developers to managers and venture capitalists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633694422
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 03/30/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 761,454
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Carla Diana is a designer, author, and educator who explores the impact of future technologies through hands-on experiments in product design. She has designed a range of products, from robots to connected home appliances, and her designs have appeared on the covers of Popular Science, Technology Review, and the Sunday Review section of the New York Times. Diana created the 4D Design program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, serving as its first Designer in Residence. She also serves as Head of Design for Diligent Robotics.

You can find Carla Diana at: and

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

"Smart" Is Not Enough-Products Need to Be Social

2 How Social Design Works 25

Affordances and Interaction

3 Product Presence 41

Form Follows Feeling

4 Object Expression 73

Communicating Behavior

5 Interaction Intelligence 105

The Rich Conversation between Objects and People

6 Designing Context 149

The Right Interaction for the Right Time and Frame of Mind

7 Designing Ecosystems 183

Connecting Everything Together

8 Intelligence on Many Levels 209

AI and Social Savvy

9 The Future Is Here 239

Now What?

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 253

Index 259

About the Author 273

Customer Reviews