'user experience' posts

Tips for co-design

“Co-design” means different things to different people. To me, it’s about  the clients, the end-users, the designers, and the developers all collaborating on a design project. Sounds easy, right?

Getting all these different people to input into a design should feel natural, but there are many pitfalls. For example, many people simply don’t have time. And if it’s not done in a structured way it can be difficult to get value from the outputs.  There are a lot of reasons not to do it, but the main reason to DO co-design is more compelling: you’ll save time and money in the long run by seeking feedback on the designs up-front.

So how do you make sure you’re getting bang for your buck?  Here are a few tips…

1. Clearly define your design problem

Co-design activities are often structured to encourage ‘out of the box’ thinking, but at some point you probably need real, practical solutions. Clearly defining the problem you’re trying to solve will help keep people on track.

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Personas at Work

Posted by in personas, user experience on August 16, 2012 | 0 comments

We invited Richard Douglass to New Zealand on a three-month secondment, after meeting him at the UXPA conference in Las Vegas earlier in the year. He has a truckload of experience, in everything from building UX teams to conducting user research. Oh, and he happens to know quite a bit about personas.
Personas are fictional characters based on both quantitative and qualitative research. Ideally, they are formed after conducting contextual enquiry interviews with users to uncover their goals and motivations for using a product, visiting a website, etc.  The primary advantage of personas is that they embody research in a memorable way that project teams can use to help guide their design decisions. Read more »

UX London 2012 vs. Service Design 2012

By Leif Roy and Trent Mankelow

In April and May, we spoke at and attended two conferences on opposite sides of the globe – UX London 2012 in London and Service Design 2012 in Melbourne. Here are our highlights.

Service Design 2012

Attended by Trent Mankelow

I liked the intimate feel of this conference. With only 120-ish people it made the whole thing feel really friendly. The local case studies and content (there was nary a mention of Apple) helped to create a “we can do this” attitude. Read more »

Public sector innovation. Pfft. Right?

Posted by in e-government, service design, user experience on March 16, 2012 | 1 comment

By Kris Nygren

If someone had told me last year that the most innovative initiative we would be involved with in 2012 would be conceived by ACC, I would probably have laughed it off. Yet, for the past four months we’ve been involved with ACC’s Idea Nation initiative and it’s shaping up to be one of the most courageous and creative approaches to a big, hairy problem I have ever seen. Read more »

Quotes from Webstock 2012

Posted by in conferences and events, user experience on February 23, 2012 | 1 comment

Going to Webstock is like eating breakfast. A very large breakfast. Think crispy hash browns, creamy mushrooms, plump poached eggs, grainy toast, small but perfectly formed sausages. And slow-roasted tomatoes. And hollandaise.

Of course, the trouble with so much food is the inevitable food coma that follows. So it is with Webstock 2012. My brain is stuffed full of new ideas, and I’m going to be spending the next couple of weeks waddling around, digesting what I learnt.

There were a lot of highlights: the quality of storytelling (hardly a bulletpoint in sight), the mixture of melancholy and mirth, the down-to-earthness of everyone there. Also, Kapiti black doris plum ice cream. Read more »

Winning the tournament

Posted by in business, service design, user experience on November 16, 2011 | 0 comments

I recently relocated to the US of A so watched the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup from afar.  It was not only nerve-racking but a good reminder about the importance of not just having a game plan, but a plan for the entire tournament.

This is not just a necessity for rugby but also for conducting research and design. Reflecting on my experiences, I am often asked to come up with an approach to “win a game” but not to “win the tournament”. This can result in tactical approaches which may not always be the best for a product or service in the long term.

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Designing to overcome behaviour barriers

People are creatures of habit and this can introduce challenges should you want them to adopt a new behaviour. We all start forming and evolving our behaviours from the time we are born, and each of us will respond to different stimuli in our own unique way. Some of us can’t start their day without our morning coffee whereas others will reach for a cigarette as a first port of call. Some can’t fall asleep without a book in their hands and others like to leave their T.V. switched on. These behavioural differences are a big part of what makes us human.
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