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Yves Behar on designing beautiful, functional products

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Engadget caught up with world-renowned product designer and co-founder of August, a leader in home security products, Yves Behar at Wednesday's Smart Lock event. I picked his brain about his ever-evolving creative process, how consumer tastes have influenced it and how to build a smart home device that stands out from the crowd.

How has your approach to designing consumer products changed over the past two years since you began working on August locks?

Well my approach to designing consumer products, and especially technology products, over the past two to three years has changed tremendously. We see products coming that are on the body, the wearables, and we see products coming into the home. That's completely different that designing some plastic, techy gadgets. These are products that need to be designed to look great, to feel great, to be good quality and made from beautiful materials. They need to be something that everybody wants, not just the tech person installing it.

And how have changing consumer needs influenced your designs over that same period?

From the consumer side, what we're really seeing is that people want essential functionality and they want it integrated into an ecosystem that makes sense. They don't want to bounce around between apps or products to make something work. They're looking for things to be resolved for them. They want to be able to get into their house, send keys to people, know who's at the door. That they want everything to be integrated, I think, is the big difference.

Finally, how do you make a product more intuitive and approachable as the smart home/Internet of Things becomes increasingly crowded?

There are already a lot of technology companies out there and there's going to be more and more of them so the difference will be how well you design your product, how great the experience is, how well you are able to bring in partners and businesses that increase the excitement and everyday use of your product. I believe that today technology is design. Just having the tech doesn't make a big difference, it's how you design it to fit in people's everyday lives.

In this article: august, design, interview, IoT, SmartHome, YvesBehar
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