Defining functionality


This may sound patently obvious almost to the point of absurdity, but the first task in digitizing a physical space is to define its functionality.

I say “may” because it can be very tempting to cram an area with massive video wall screens and other eye candy without taking time to think about how you will actually use them and how they will help make the visit more rewarding for the guest.


The same principle applies to any forms of interactivity you’re thinking about integrating into the space. It’s not hard to come up with exciting new ideas (particularly if like me you have a team of software engineers to support you), but you have to make sure that they are integral part of the overall experience rather than just a distraction. Less is more is a useful rule of thumb to abide by.

For our first floor remodeling project, our goal is to create a flexible space that can be enjoyed by both guests and staff. We have defined its main functionality as follows:

Functions for guests
– Greeting and receiving guests
– Holding formal meetings and presentations for up to 25 guests
– Holding informal meetings with small groups of guest (1- 5)
– Holding community events for up to 50 guests
– Showcasing the capabilities of our products and technologies

Functions for staff
– Relaxing and socializing
– Informal brainstorming
– Exercising (gym)

While I am sure the space will take on additional functions as we design, build, and use it, these provide a solid platform for the moving on to the next item in the blueprint: examining each specific function and thinking about how technology can be applied to enhance it.

This will be the subject of my next entry on the project.

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