UX & Service Design

Bringing digital expertise and UX design to physical products and services

It’s our heritage to design objects. Technology allows us to connect with our objects in completely new ways, receive information, communicate and interact with our objects, which in turn allows us to improve both our personal lives and businesses.

Placing a smart object in a pocket, car, on a desktop or in a customer’s home allows the building of a personal, always on, bi-directional communication channel. Our UX and Service design division bridges technology and objects, always with people in the core. This human-centered approach creates everyday objects and services that are connected and smart.

Scouting and partnering with extraordinary innovators

We follow the developments of the IoT and Industry 4.0 carefully, and are constantly on the lookout for the most promising technology talent. In scouting technology start-ups, we regularly channel the latest knowledge and applications to our existing clients.
Our wide spectrum of skills creates the ideal one-stop-shop to accelerate the growth of start-ups: With specialists covering various start-up needs from strategic consulting to branding, from engineering to prototyping, all the way to creating actual physical objects, we team up with start-ups and support them in various aspects of their operations along the way.
We have a growing presence in Silicon Valley, but we work globally with the most promising technology start-ups from all over the world.

Get to know our network of leading technology innovators, including

  • Cloudleaf, experts in indoor precition positioning for industry 4.0
  • Fog computing experts at Nebbiolo Technologies,
  • Midokura, developer of IT/OT technologies for industry 4.0
  • SemPlus, developer of revolutionary touch-based interaction tools

Re-inventing objects and services to create added value

Connecting objects might start as a technical activity, but it can quickly evolve into a business. The consumerization process involves: understanding, connecting, displaying and enhancing. This process combined with digital touch-points brings the original product a whole new landscape of opportunities. Trust plays a huge role in the design of these new behaviour-based smart tools. Designing for trust – from the aesthetics of trust to motivational design – is key for rising to the challenges of the era of smart devices.

DGI leads customers pragmatically to re-invent their products through hackathons, inspirational sessions and workshops. We live on the border between Cloud Fog Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) era. For a product, being connected to this stage of technological evolution is a Darwinian issue and is a key element for it to live long and prosper. At DGI we design for real people and we highly value their needs. We develop ideas through design thinking methodology and we design services considering the entire experience both for the end user, as well as the other stakeholders. We work closely with our clients to make them feel like part of our team.

User Experience
Site Maps
Information Architecture
User Interface Design
Task Flows
Data Visualisation
Rapid Prototyping
Mobile App Design
User Stories

Usability Testing
Card Sorting
Competitive Analysis
Contextual Inquiry
Personas & Scenarios

Service Design & Strategy
Experience Mapping
Customer Journey
Service Blueprints
Business Model Canvas
Stakeholders Map
Experience Prototyping
Affinity Diagramming

Creative Technology
Arduino & Raspberry Pi
Hardware prototyping
Web Development
Frontend Development
Mixed Reality Application
Interactive Installation


GTG Frame-it!

A Whole New World of Post-its

Collaboration Under the Microscope

Together with 3M GTG, we co-designed Frame-it!, a tool for companies to bridge physical space with the digital world. The journey to the future of collaboration started with the Intelligent Workspaces initiative, conceived together with 3M GTG & Aecom. While designing a tool for corporate communication we based our research on interviews with Fortune 50 and many other highly innovative digital companies.
This information led our design team to work around four pillars:

  1. Time. Meeting efficiency is a real issue for many companies. Improving efficiency can enhance a company’s productivity.
  2. Space. Companies tend to be spread out globally and must figure out how to effectively manage this.
  3. Collaborative Efficiency. A tool should support teamwork, proactivity and the ability to guide users to success.
  4. Cognitive Efficiency. A tool should improve people skills.

The HW/SW Lifecycle

Prototyping Physical and Cognitive Ergonomics

Our team studied and categorised typical business meetings and collaboration activities. We soon noticed a different kind of meeting where specific user journeys emerged. Our research paved the way to design the perfect platform to grow tailor-made software solutions. We then designed Frame-it!An early Frame-it! prototype was featured at an Orgatec event. The feedback was extremely enthusiastic and the 3M GTG/Aecom team received great insights from this collaborative preview. Frame-it! is delivered as a complementary solution comprising the technology product itself plus a consultancy and service package to ensure optimum integration of Frame-it! technology in company environments. Frame-it! is currently in its prototype phase, as this tool is being developed into the Holy Grail of collaboration.


Portable Prescription Assistant

Adherence to Medication Solved!

IoT in Healthcare: Saving Lives Can be as Simple as Utilizing an Alarm Clock

Trillio is an easy-to-use portable device that reminds people to take their medications and helps them adhere to a treatment program. When it is time to take a medication, Trillio alerts the patient while displaying a reminder. The user can stop the alarm by pressing a button. This device is part of a connected service ecosystem that provides a physical connection between a patient, their healthcare providers and pharmacies, via a simple device in the patient’s home. Doctors can update a medication treatment program remotely. In addition, caregivers can use Trillio’s app to make sure that the patient is taking medicine on time. If the patient fails to acknowledge a Trillio alert, the service instantly alerts caregivers.

Throughout our design and development process, we always kept all Trillio users in mind — not just the patients, but also the various stakeholders who contribute to a patient’s wellbeing. No complicated user actions are required to use Trillio on a daily basis, nor does it require programming by the doctor or pharmacist. Everything is managed on a server and then synched with Trillio. The server can be accessed by a doctor, pharmacist or caregiver. Patients, and those who care for them, love the simplicity of Trillio. Like all of our IoT projects, the complexity is hidden from the end user.


Micro Experimental Growing

A Tech Puzzle with 700+ Pieces and One Interface

The World’s First Social and Automated Greenhouse

MEG allows you to precisely control the key parameters for growing plants, including: light-cycles, ventilation, temperature, irrigation and soil PH. MEG users can connect and share their experiences with people from all over the world. So, if your plant is not thriving, you can discover what worked for someone else and then use the same technique.

This Plant is Social

We designed MEG so people could track plant growth patterns while also being able to share this information on social media. Through a touch-based user interface, the user can control the machine’s internal climate and lighting straight from their smartphone or tablet. When someone finds a better way of growing a plant, the information quickly becomes common knowledge.
The MEG project was launched in 2014 and has already won several awards, including the IoT Award 2014/15, the HP/INTEL LaunchBox Grand Prize (NYC, NY - USA) and the International Design Awards (LA, CA - USA). MEG was a serious participant in the 2015 Milan Expo. In fact, MEG won WIRED Magazine’s “Hack the Expo”! The special edition of MEG for the Expo came with cameras and a custom lighting program. It engaged users to explore how MEG is able to replicate climates from all over the world.

Awarded Digital Fabrication

This hand-made phyto-drone was a complex project, involving design competences, development of the photometric mechanical systems, electrical systems, PCBs, IxD/UX systems, and several Arduino-related applications. One of MEG’s core features is its custom designed spectrum-tunable LED Lighting Engine. Our design aimed to create the most effective indoor PAR (Photo-synthetically Active Radiation). The state-of-the-art light engine was designed and engineered entirely by our in-house team. Find MEG, our complex yet easy to use creation, displayed at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.

IoT Workshops

DGI Thinking Hub

Our IoT workshops are a guided journey into a discovery process to maximise the value our clients can extract from their current products and services. We consult our clients during the discovery process by focusing on the voice of customers, workshops, creative consolidation and demo testing. We currently provide three forms of workshops:

  1. Value Creation: Defining the value proposition of a new or existing ecosystem.
  2. Customer Experience: Mapping the customer experience of an existing service to improve it.
  3. Innovation and Prioritization: Identifying new opportunities to innovate a new service.

IoT White Papers

The Smart Object Age

Taking physical products into the digital world means the digital transformation of business. This white paper on the Internet of Things (IoT) aims to help the reader reflect on the human centred design challenges and opportunities that the future holds.

There are already more connected devices than humans on the planet, yet, even with some guided behaviour change, it is humans that must remain and feel in control.
Download the Whitepaper (PDF)

IoT Maker's Reference Guide

Makers are people who love to create, build and design. This document is a short reference about programmable microcontrollers and microcomputers such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBone. This paper aims to inspire makers to build their own projects by leveraging these easy-to-program tools.

When combined with vast range of cloud based services, these tools can be used to imagine, shape and prototype the Internet of Things. We don’t just want to inspire the creation of new ways to water your balcony plants (i.e. our MEG project)... we want to encourage creators to play with the future.
Download the Whitepaper (PDF)

More UX, Service design and IoT

Discover our clients, workshops and the presentations given by members of our IoT team, and read more of our stories about the Internet of Things and Design Group Italia in our Journal.

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