IoT Design Manifesto 1.0

IoT Design Manifesto 1.0

Guidelines for responsible design in a connected world

The world is becoming increasingly connected. This offers opportunities for designers, engineers and entrepreneurs to create unprecedented products and services. Yet, a connected world also brings new questions and challenges to the table.

This manifesto serves as a code of conduct for everyone involved in developing the Internet of Things, outlining 10 principles to  help create balanced and honest products in a burgeoning field with many unknowns.

We don’t believe the hype

We pledge to be skeptical of the cult of the new — just slapping the Internet onto a product isn’t the answer. Monetizing only through connectivity rarely guarantees sustainable commercial success.

We design useful things

Value comes from products that are purposeful. Our commitment is to design products that have a meaningful impact on people’s lives; IoT technologies are merely tools to enable that.

We aim for the Win-Win-Win

A complex web of stakeholders is forming around IoT products: from users, to businesses, and everyone in between. We design so that there is a win for everybody in this elaborate exchange.

We keep everyone and every thing secure

With connectivity comes the potential for external security threats executed through the product itself, which comes with serious consequences. We are committed to protecting our users from these dangers, whatever they may be.


We build and promote a culture of privacy

Equally severe threats can also come from within. Trust is violated when personal  information gathered by the product is handled carelessly. We build and promote a culture of integrity where the norm is to handle data with care.

We are deliberate about what data we collect

This is not the business of hoarding data; we only collect data that serves the utility of the product and service. Therefore, identifying what those data points are must be conscientious and deliberate.

We make the parties associated with an IoT product explicit

IoT products are uniquely connected, making the flow of information among stakeholders open and fluid. This results in a complex, ambiguous, and invisible network. Our responsibility is to make the dynamics among those parties more visible and understandable to everyone.

We empower users to be the masters of their own domain

Users often do not have control over their role within the network of stakeholders surrounding an IoT product. We believe that users should be empowered to set the boundaries of how their data is accessed and how they are engaged with via the product.

We design things for their lifetime

Currently physical products and digital services tend to be built to have different lifespans. In an IoT product features are codependent, so lifespans need to be aligned. We design products and their services to be bound as a single, durable entity.

In the end, we are human beings.

Design is an impactful act. With our work, we have the power to affect relationships between people and technology, as well as among people.  We don’t use this influence to only make profits or create robot overlords; instead, it is our responsibility to use design to help people, communities, and societies  thrive.


This manifesto is a living document, we seek your input to help it grow. Please discuss, contribute, remix, and test the boundaries of these principles. Share updates, questions and comments via Twitter @iotmanifesto.

We’re regularly hosting talks and workshops to gather opinions, anecdotes and cases from the field of IoT professionals. During these workshops we will also find the best way to collaborate on the next incarnation of the manifesto online.

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