Designing with Data: Wordsworth

As more businesses shift their relationship with technology from efficiency and cost-savings to revenue growth and customer engagement, the role that data will play in design will increase significantly. The amount of data-producing objects that can be connected is growing rapidly, and so the proliferation of the data being made available and generated through interaction is reshaping how we interact with digital products and services.

What we are interested in is: how can this improve the human experience? If data is the new oil, the new raw material, what can you make with it? How will brands design with data in order to differentiate and drive greater customer engagement?

At Method we prefer to learn by doing, so we are designing a series of experiments, the first one named Wordsworth.

We asked the studio: “how can smarter devices help us to be smarter people?”

Using a game called forced association we fleshed out a collection of unique ideas leveraging IBM Watson’s API’s.The goal is to understand and document how we as experience designers can work with tools like the IBM Watson API, leveraging the data trails and resources all around us to create new products and services that are fundamentally different and valuable to customers.

In Wordsworth, we focused on using data to improve educational tools; creating a custom keyboard that passively records misspelled words the user enters into a phone in order to build a personalized spelling dictionary. This data is then pushed to a hacked Speak and Spell, which allows the user to improve their spelling over time and not continue to rely on autocorrect.

Using the API’s available, this concept can easily adapt to different user goals such as increasing vocabulary, writing more confidently or even passively monitoring what you read and offer up reading lists to help people reach their educational goals.