Making it Real | Adaptive Path As a result of software eating the world, physical products and environments are smart and connected. There is a shift from focusing on product to multi-channel user experience, and successful companies are employing multidisciplinary teams involving the disciplines of interaction design, industrial design, architecture, branding and service design. Prototyping has become a way to ensure teams are designing and building the right system of interdependent touchpoints. At Adaptive Path, we employ rapid prototyping in nearly every design iteration. Our clients enjoy the benefits of risk reduction and concept validation, and through prototyping with standardized kits, we also avoid unnecessarily long timelines and bloated budgets. Our two primary kits, Small Object and Environmental, are comprised of commonly used tools, materials, and artifacts that can be quickly assembled to represent a complete customer experience.
Continuum – ‘Live Labs': Prototyping Environments to Measure Customer Experience In this digital age, companies have become accustomed to capturing real-time customer data from websites and apps with the click of a mouse or tap of a finger. Nearly every interaction that a customer has on these digital platforms is logged in the form of 1’s and 0’s, making it cheap and easy for a designer to tweak a site’s interface and see almost instantaneously how that affects customers’ behaviors. In a physical service environment, however, obtaining that kind of rich quantitative customer experience data can be much more difficult. There, customer experiences are full of intangibles, with the sum-total of the experience made up of dozens of component parts: The texture of the floor, the level of lighting, the selection of music being played, the smells that pervade the space, the comfort of the seating, the way in which a server engages with you. All of these things must work in concert to evoke a feeling and inspire the behaviors that will ultimately drive business results.
The importance of prototyping: Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley. Image courtesy IDEO/Nicolas Zurcher Tom and David Kelley of the award-winning Palo Alto-based global design firm IDEO have been helping private and public sector organizations innovate, grow and bring to market new ideas for 35 years; projects include Apple’s first computer mouse and a stand-up toothpaste dispenser for Procter & Gamble. In their new book, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, the brothers recount anecdotes from their work at IDEO and at Stanford's d.school (the institute of design created by David Kelley), and offer tips to help everyone build creative muscle in an era when success depends on innovation in every field. Here at the Eye, the authors share an excerpt from the book. What’s the best way to make progress toward your goal? The reason for prototyping is experimentation—the act of creating forces you to ask questions and make choices. Some failure is unavoidable. Just how quick is a rapid prototype?
How to conquer designer’s block It happens to everyone from time to time. A creative block. An empty mind. Staring at a blank screen and wondering, “well, what do I do now?” Photo credit: “Waitin.” Some people prefer to just wait it out, but that’s not always an option with deadlines, anxious clients, or your own natural impatience. Design Badly on Purpose There’s a big difference between having no good ideas, and no ideas at all. Try designing a mockup in which you make all the wrong decisions on purpose. For starters, you’re exercising your design muscles a lot more than just staring at a blank screen: designing badly is better than not designing at all. Photo credit: Lings Cars Some sticklers will feel uncomfortable designing badly, so there is another similar alternative. Like we described in the free e-book Web Design for the Human Eye, this procedure requires building a mockup with as little thinking as possible. Recreate Existing Sites The logic of this strategy makes sense. Source: UXPin via Yelp Take a Step Back
6 key insights on UX design At Dom & Tom, we’ve developed mobile apps and online platforms for over half a decade. We’ve had the privilege of working with amazing companies like General Electric, Hearst Corporation, Priceline, and many more. After working on over 300 such projects, we’ve learned a ton of lessons. Now we’d like to share 6 important insights to help you take your user experience to the next level. 1. Focus on the presentation One of the key issues of UX design is you’re always working against time. “If you can’t present your ideas, even if they’re fantastic, they won’t go live.” Design isn’t only about doing great work—it’s also about creating and holding a great presentation. The people you’ll present to are either product managers, VPs, or even the CEO. Each of them has their own role in the company, and they might not fully grasp the effectiveness of your improvements. “Within seconds, people must be able to understand the value you’re going to provide them.” The best way to do this? 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
3 ways to strengthen your discovery phase The discovery phase of a project reminds me so much of dating—specifically that point in a new relationship where you realize you really like the person and want to get to know the real them. Why they want to be with you, what they expect, what makes them happy, what makes them sad. How they feel, what they think, what they like and dislike, and why. Get where I’m going with this? An in-depth discovery phase is our secret weapon to discovering the real user. “An in-depth discovery phase reveals the real pain points people are experiencing.” We’ve outlined some of our favorite ways to make the discovery phase as in-depth as possible. Begin with the quantitative data Quantitative data can tell you a lot about user habits, so it’s always best to be familiar with the analytics before beginning the qualitative data exercises. Develop a hypothesis as to why these problems could be occurring. Measure more than one audience Users come in all ages, demographics, and backgrounds. Discover pain points
Three Ways To Reframe A Problem To Find An Innovative Solution Everything really comes down to solving problems. To be successful and a leader in your field, you not only have to come up with good solutions; you need to be innovative. And that can feel like waiting for lightning to strike. Tina Seelig, author of Insight Out: Get Ideas Out of Your Head And Into the World, has been teaching classes on creativity and innovation at Stanford University School of Engineering for 16 years, and she says most people don’t have a clear understanding of what those things really are. "Imagination is envisioning things that don’t exist," says Seelig. "Creativity is applying imagination to address a challenge. Once you understand this framework, you can put it into action, she says, and the way to innovate is to look at situations from a fresh perspective. Reframing a problem helps you see it as an opportunity, and Seelig offers three techniques for finding innovative solutions: 1. Start by questioning the question you’re asking in the first place, says Seelig. 2.
Don't Build When You Build-Measure-Learn Wizard of Oz To run a "Wizard of Oz" MVP, set up a front stage that mimics a real, working value proposition. On the back-end you will manually carry out the tasks of what would normally be a more automated process for delivering your value proposition. *Check out our new book Value Proposition Design for deeper understanding of how to create these MVPs. Choosing Your MVP Build-Measure-Learn is sequential to how you carry out the actions in the search phase. Start by understanding what you need to "learn". At the early stages of a new venture it’s important to explore numerous MVPs and alternative ways of testing your ideas. What's your favorite high-efficiency, low-cost MVP?
8 habits of veteran UX designers One of the fables that floats around UX teams is that of the US space program and its quest for a pen that could be used in anti-gravity. They reportedly spent million dollars developing a high-tech writing utensil with ink that remained solid until the flow of writing and a pressurized chamber that made it useful upside-down. The Russian cosmonauts, however, simply brought pencils. Though this story isn’t wholly true, it shines light on the necessity of understanding the larger picture. In their own applications, both writing utensils were successful, but integrating UX design at the onset of project development mitigates the risk of over-complicating the solution. This is just one of the lessons we can learn from UX Designers. They listen to users Without users, it would only be experience — which is to say the essence of the UX practice is its user base. The first part of the equation, and often ongoing process, is to go out and collect different types of data. They consider all routes
UX Crash Course: 31 Fundamentals My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to get more people started in User Experience (UX) Design. I posted one lesson every day in January, and hundreds of thousands of people came to learn! Below you will find links to all 31 daily lessons. Basic UX Principles: How to get started The following list isn’t everything you can learn in UX. Introduction & Key Ideas #01 — What is UX? #02 — User Goals & Business Goals #03 — The 5 Main Ingredients of UX How to Understand Users #04 — What is User Research? #05 — How to Ask People Questions #06 — Creating User Profiles #07 — Designing for Devices #08 — Design Patterns Information Architecture #09 — What is Information Architecture? #10 — User Stories & Types of Information Architecture #11 — What is a Wireframe? Visual Design Principles #12 — Visual Weight, Contrast & Depth #13 — Colour #14 — Repetition & Pattern-Breaking #15 — Line Tension & Edge Tension #16 — Alignment & Proximity Functional Layout Design #17 — Z-Pattern, F-Pattern, and Visual Hierarchy #22 — Forms