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  • Waterfall vs Agile in experience design projects
    A traditional Waterfall approach would insist on all testing to take place at the end of the project meaning any issues are not discovered until then and cannot be rectified This in particular does not support our experience design process in which users are involved from the beginning This methodology doesn t take into account a client s evolving needs If the client realises that they need more than or a variation of what they initially thought and demand change the project is likely to come in late and impact budget Agile Agile is possibly the most passionately debated methodology in the world of user experience right now Agile was developed initially to manage software projects when Waterfall and others were not suitable In essence Agile methods promote a process that encourages development iterations teamwork stakeholder involvement objective metrics and effective controls www allabout agile com Some benefits of using Agile Improves the transparency of the project including activities which improve engagement often streamlining sign off which I mentioned as an issue that I discovered with Waterfall Due to the ever evolving project factors the project approach needs to be able to endure and adapt to change Agile allows for this Often due to breaking down the work into smaller more manageable pieces having regular collaboration and reviews with stakeholder input the finished product is of a higher quality Some of the shortcomings of Agile Often there is a non negotiable deadline and or budget which goes against the Agile way of setting expectations with clients or project owners and would not be acceptable Foolproof do not usually handle the backend development this is usually done by the client or third parties and Agile isn t always feasible because of factors such as remote location of the other team If all project deadlines are being met and projects are being deemed a success at least by particular teams there will be an understandable hesitation from the team to change their already successful model and adopt something new Experience Design and Wagile People dedicated to a particular management style would argue they do so because that methodology is the best way of managing projects in my opinion there isn t a best way of managing a project An approach must be designed based on a number of factors such as preconceived budget and deadlines key dates type of activities size of the team skills required and skills within the team In large experience design projects there are a lot of moving parts a lot of concurrent activities requiring multiple skill sets Some of these are dependent on others completing often many are not In terms of the factors I mention above there are often fixed budgets and delivery milestones even if these can be negotiated at the start of the project it s unlikely they can be negotiated in flow Clients often have external factors that drive their need for the project to answer all unknowns within the first quarter of

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/waterfall-vs-agile-in-experience-design-projects/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Which came first, creativity or insight?
    the little spark of magic that can add delight or excitement to a product Insight This is the foundation of what we do The gathering of insight is essential in the understanding of user needs and requirements It also helps to understand such elements as context of use and emotional state when trying to complete a task This is impossible to validate without being allowed to observe test in real world environments Insight is not just about sticking some users in a lab whilst prodding them with a big stick to see which homepage they like It helps to get to the real heart of the problem by identifying points that help to shape our design thinking and to help capture key failings that need to be addressed Collaboration This is the absolute key component to the success of any digital project This ensures that a unified vision and approach can we carried through the entire length of a project The need to bring up to speed or for individuals to read lengthy documentation is mitigated by ensuring project teams work collaboratively to share discuss and create Experience design is not a waterfall process At its very core is the appreciation that a successful project allows for the unison of all disciplines working together towards the best solution Serendipity I split serendipity into two categories Time to reflect forget The happy accident Time to reflect forget Taking time away from the problem is the best way to stop conscious thinking This could be at regular intervals throughout the day or even during a normal lunchtime break Removing yourself from the situation at hand enables you to look at something differently upon your return or can help you to unconsciously solve the problem whilst focusing on another task Some may call this Daydreaming but allowing your mind to wander can free your thought processes The happy accident This could be that misplaced layer in a PhotoShop doc or that moment where you happen to look at something upside down or even when you completely misinterpret something But when you have that moment it is one to embrace and celebrate We of course can try and rationalise that accident to validate its worthiness But ultimately it was a moment that relied purely on chance but I am fine with that It happens Smile inside and enjoy it As an experience designer I truly believe that Creativity talent expression Insight research analysis x Collaboration with a pinch of Serendipity will craft great work We need to believe in our creative talent to help shape the approach and we need to trust in our clients and their customers to help validate challenge our thinking A very famous Steve Jobs quote said You can t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them By the time you get it built they ll want something new Source www inc com Creativity is not a linear box ticking exercise and we

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/which-came-first-creativity-or-insight/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Integrating technology into the gym experience
    those performing aerobic interval training I also discovered that people made use of performance data differently at different points during their workout Most would avoid looking at their performance at the beginning of a workout because it was de motivating to see little progress However around mid way through they would use the figures to help set motivational micro goals e g keep the same pace for the next five minutes In contrast there were others who only viewed their performance data after they had completed the workout as seeing it in one go gave them a greater sense of surprise and accomplishment Interestingly when it came to keeping track of time some people didn t actually like looking at the clock whilst exercising as it made time appear to move slower and therefore increased their perceived level of effort I noticed some people hid the time on the digital display by covering it with their phone or towel Furthermore the use of performance data from the workout is not limited to the gym experience Some people used the data captured from their workout to inform goals for their next session These people took a more holistic view of physical activity where the gym workout integrated with other daily outdoor activity captured on their wearable devices such as step count Exercise shaping tech and tech shaping exercise Interestingly because of the variety of different exercises you can undertake in a gym people s desire to use certain technology often conflicted with what was possible within that environment and people were forced to find workarounds For instance many fitness bands such as the Samsung Gear Fit were unable to capture any useful data when people were using a static cycling machine as the devices require GPS from a smartphone Additionally the dynamic body movements and change of positions involved in exercising posed practical restrictions on the ability to use certain devices e g headphone wires would get in the way and there were limitations for where smartphones could be placed when on the resistant machines I noticed situations where wearable activity trackers did not work well for certain gym activities which consequently impacted on the way people exercised I saw for example that people did not hold onto the handle bars of the cross trainer just so that their Fitbit wristband could track their movement Considerations for fitness tech design The wearable technology industry is moving fast especially when it comes to fitness Since my research new tracking devices have launched onto the market such as the Apple Watch Health Kit which includes GPS and allows the measurement of both indoor and outdoor exercises It also somewhat caters for individual needs as the device can learn patterns of activity over time and the user can set personal goals accordingly Other health technologies are becoming more connected with the development of activity tracking clothing and footwear Additionally some gyms are proposing to provide a connected experience for their customers by introducing fitness

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/integrating-technology-into-the-gym-experience/ (2016-02-14)
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  • New behaviours: curated presence
    to privacy They have tried to adapt by providing more complex privacy settings designed to allow users more control Some groups especially teenagers have already started to move away from these more popular and mainstream services Facebook fatigue is a response to the presence of parents and advertisers in these services and also to the amount of work it takes to control and curate content As a result there is a rise in popularity of anonymous and ephemeral social networks such as Snapchat Secret Whisper Yik Yak and Telegram Users feel more relaxed about sharing content through these services confident that there is no lasting record of their activities and interactions Their temporary nature can lead users to be bolder about the content they can share in the knowledge that no permanent trace will remain This ephemeral quality can also encourage users to share more often Content can seem trivial and meaningless to the external observer but it often has meaning and value within the social groups it is intended for Another response to the permanence of content in some social media is to delete an account and create a new one This is increasingly common as young people move from one phase of their life to another from school to college from college to work from dating single to a stable long term relationship We can open up and close down digital social groups with more ease than we can in the real world Curating our digital identities We have realised that the digital world affords us the opportunity to recreate ourselves and project that persona or even multiple personas through online content and channels We have started to put effort into shaping and crafting our digital story deliberately filtering out the negative and the dull framing the moments we want to define us We can curate our image our own content and personal brand identity without the barriers that exist in the physical world Sites such as About me SoundCloud CarbonMade Dribble DeviantART LinkedIn all encourage their users to actively self promote Services like Klout urge their users to build and track their online influence It s not uncommon for teenagers to have 3000 or more social connections online This behaviour can take many forms and require various amounts of effort We Instagram photographs to make the day seem brighter or make our skin look healthier We check in to the airport on Facebook when going on holidays We use selfie sticks to take pictures of ourselves in exotic locations We meticulously collect content to live on Tumblr Pinterest Last fm and Spotify not only to consume ourselves but to project a certain image of us and our interests to our networks and followers In our photographs you can see people finding objects locations activities and camera angles that will create interesting or entertaining content for people in their social world We have interviewed users who are highly self conscious of their online profile This trait is particularly

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/new-behaviours-curated-presence/ (2016-02-14)
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  • New behaviours: connection and detachment
    and Cupple Digital is enabling us to feel connected to our family and friends wherever we are We can watch the same TV show but in different places discussing the storyline through instant messaging like we would do if we were sitting together on the sofa Digital tools make new things happen in the physical world These new forms of connection don t only exist in the digital world We can also use them to forge human connections and shared experiences in the physical world From Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movement through to flashmobs social media creates an opportunity for political and social movements They enable total strangers or likeminded individuals to meet in the real world for shared purpose The social and gamified nature of apps like Strava and Nike have been successful in creating competition and rivalry between locally based sports enthusiasts facilitating real world interactions through a common interest In last week s spontaneity theme we also touched on the rise of location based digital services designed to help people form new connections The dating scene is a great example of this Services like Tinder Happn and Hinge help users find and connect with potential love interests who are either nearby or share online friends For the busy and the shy it makes the physical connection easier more convenient and less formal Something we do when we re together Technology also affects our interactions when we share the same physical space Our devices can act as a focus for our time together We huddle around a laptop tablet or smartphone looking at holiday photos on Facebook or videos on YouTube or Vine Digital content has become a social currency facilitating human connection using the content to start or sustain a conversation In our photo study we gathered a lot of pictures of children using devices in this way Children play connected games on different devices when sitting next to each other the three boys in our picture are all simultaneously together on a sofa and also together in the virtual world on the same Minecraft map Home entertainment systems like Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation have been designed to facilitate group interactions It s now socially acceptable to play video games at a party Tablets are used between adult and child to help learning or simply to play and be together at the end of the day It s clear that we re still learning how to use technology appropriately testing the waters of what is socially acceptable Our response to it is altering some longstanding social and cultural norms We re still negotiating the use of technology in public spaces mobile phones that ring in church people using devices in situations that would previously be socially unacceptable meetings lectures at dinner in bed We walk down the street engaging in very private conversations on our phones detached from what s happening around us sometimes even putting ourselves in physical danger as a result

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/new-behaviours-connection-and-detatchment/ (2016-02-14)
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  • New behaviours: spontaneity
    cupboards Evenings are no longer dictated by TV schedules services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer allow users to watch what they want when and where they want to watch it Travel documents and schedules can be stored in personal devices or made accessible through them This means that less forethought has to go into travel We can leave the house with only a rough sense of what our itinerary is The fine detail can be worked out on the move We can check in for a flight on the way there and store our boarding pass on our phone Services like Hailo Uber and Citymapper enable us to plan and re route our transport on the go We trust in our devices to help us navigate our lives In some contexts people can forego planning altogether We can now always locate ourselves each other and explore our surroundings through our devices Our reliance on this technology in this way is interesting Predictive services like Google Now build on the fact that some users are growing comfortable sharing personal information and preferences for more tailored instant advice In distraction and immersion we saw that as our lives get busier we strive to make the most of pockets of time available to us We can immerse ourselves in activities like researching flights and hotels for our holiday while waiting for a bus home from work Sites like Secret Escapes and LastMinute com allow us to book on a whim from our devices We seize opportunities and act spontaneously book first and think about the details later Acting on the spur of the moment like this is empowering we get an instant sense of accomplishment and attain a feeling of found time Digital networks and devices are also changing the nature of our social interactions in the physical world New tools allow us more social serendipity Location based services help us to find out what is happening and who is around us We can be more spontaneous and impromptu with our social arrangements with our friends and family our business contacts people we don t know but with a shared interest and even potential love matches The rise of location based apps such as YPlan Tinder Happn and Highlight have capitalised on this Using knowledge such as location preferences and past behaviours combined with the elements of chance curiosity and impulsiveness create new social opportunities And new business opportunities for brands that provide these services Our increasing trust in digital devices services and networks is leading to a new relationship with planning Paradoxically as we rely on our devices more and more we can feel more free Our grandparents or parents might find it remarkable that we can leave the house with just a card and a phone we don t need to plan in the same way because we can access all the information we need on the move What does this mean for those designing for these behaviours Earlier we picked

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/new-behaviours-spontaneity/ (2016-02-14)
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  • New behaviours: distraction and immersion
    away from their current place and state of mind Our digital devices have become companions in times of tedium as we wait for a bus stand in a queue or even mind our children in the playground Many people have a repertoire of newsfeeds content games and other pastimes When they reach for a device they may not have a specific goal other than to engage in something away from their immediate environment They are looking for something to do and will often cycle through various apps and features in a short space of time For some this acts as a comfort blanket a social shield Our devices signal a sense of belonging somewhere even if it s not the physical place I am now Immersion is different in that people are using the device as a way to act on a specific focused goal The device enables them to stay productive on a particular task regardless of their location Banking transactions holiday planning conversations studying can all be progressed even in small windows of time which open up across the day We often move between multiple screens and transition between devices while working on a single task or goal Sequential screening is when we move from one device to another to complete a single goal Brands have started to recognise this behaviour and are beginning to design to support it Google Chrome remembers your activity and favourites between devices In the picture of the woman lying in bed the woman is immersed in watching the end of her movie Her device gives her to the ability to complete this task which she started on her TV in a different location and context In public contexts it s very hard to tell whether you are seeing distraction or immersion behaviours In our picture of London commuters on a train platform some are distracting themselves others are immersed progressing specific tasks which will help them get the most out of the day ahead Again talking to users in context is a way to understand this We can also look at usage data to build a picture of how digital products and services are used during times of day when people commute Second screening is when you use multiple screens simultaneously either for related or unrelated activities Many TV shows and brands actively encourage second screening to create immersion Gambling ads give hashtags for betting on live matches TV shows promote social feeds and websites to aggregate viewers comments Second screening allows people to immerse further into breaking news stories by exploring different dimensions of the story on different devices When designing for these new behaviours it s important to understand them in context This is not behaviour that can easily be replicated in research labs It s often necessary to go out and about to talk people and observe them in the context of their day to day lives The competition for distraction is intense To join a user s go

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/new-behaviours-distraction-and-immersion/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Enhancing the touchscreen experience
    also makes it impossible to touch type or enter data without looking at the screen Vibration based haptics have already been implemented by device manufacturers in the attempt to simulate the physical button experience They use vibratory feedback to mimic the resistance produced when pressing an actual button Yet this solution provides feedback only after a key has been pressed and does not assist the user in properly locating the fingers on the flat glass surface Another problem is the fact that the user cannot rest his fingers on the display as each touch is registered as data input and this can lead to arm finger fatigue And let s also not forget that there are considerable segments of the population that cannot operate touchscreens These are the visually impaired and people suffering from conditions that affect fine motor skills such as Parkinson s disease or arthritis However over the past few years a number of new touchscreen technologies have been developed in the attempt to address the these issues Companies like Tactus Senseg and Disney Research have all been working on different ways of implementing tactile feedback Emerging technologies Tactus have engineered a thin layer that sits on top of the touchscreen and is formed of micro channels that are filled with liquid to create buttons and other interface elements Senseg s solution on the other hand uses the electrostatic force between the screen and the user s finger to simulate the feeling of textures Disney Research has created TeslaTouch which is a tactile algorithm that simulates rich 3D elements such as bumps and edges This is achieved by simulating the lateral friction that stretches the skin when we slide a finger over real textures It s also worth mentioning the Braille phone project by Sumit Dagar In this

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/enhancing-the-touchscreen-experience/ (2016-02-14)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-11