Hardware and software is built by teams– often incredibly large teams– of people. The challenge to create coherent experiences multiplies exponentially as more people are added to the mix. Now layer on the necessity of creating an experience that aligns with the brand, as well as creative challenges related to design, and any project can easily become overwhelming, off-target, and unwieldy. But savvy teams know there’s a way to address these challenges before the design process begins – develop a Design System.
BY DEVIN MOORE
“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
More than two decades ago I had the opportunity to work with a team commissioned by a multinational beverage corporation to analyze drink vending machines with the goal of improving the customer’s experience. It was one of my first applications of QFD. Quality Function Deployment is an approach to identifying user needs and translating them into product specifications to meet those needs, and was developed in Japan in the 60’s by Yoji Akao; essentially gathering the subjective and creating objective specifications.
How do you translate a 2D branding strategy into a 3D experience? That was the core question we sought to answer when working with Pitney Bowes on their new product design, the SendPro C-Series, a machine that streamlines the entire mailing and shipping process for users at any level.
BY ERICK RIOS, TIM GASPERAK & DEVIN MOORE
Here at Big Bang, we typically build our swim lanes at the end of the Foundation Phase. It’s at this point that we typically have a deep understanding of the product’s vision and user, and are ready to begin implementing the plan with the larger project team. The swim lane exercise itself is scalable, in both complexity and team members, but generally includes 4 steps:
BY ERICK RIOS & DEVIN MOORE
Every time you use a device, whether it be as simple as a postage meter, or as complex as a blood gas analyzer, there is a team behind the design who gave quite a bit of thought as to how the machine is being used. How is digital information displayed? How do touch screens capture interactions? How are users already “trained” to interact with current technology? Every detail, from how print heads move, to how cartridges eject, doors securely lock, etc. are considered. And one of the most important considerations is the actual experience the user will have with the finished product.
BY MARK MONEYPENNY & DEVIN MOORE
Don’t leave a brand to chance.
The River Stone Phenomenon: Have you ever picked up a river stone and held it? There is something about the shape, smoothness, and warmth/coolness of the rock that feels good in your hand. These characteristics create a cause and effect relationship. An experience is created and the effect is a calming emotional connection. We don’t know why exactly it feels that way, but it’s just right.
This phenomenon is very present in products. Attributes that users aren’t conscious of can often define the experience of a product. Our senses ignite in the very first moments of interacting with a product, and if designed thoughtfully can generate a powerful experience and a lasting emotional connection.
BY DEVIN MOORE, STEVE MEISTER, & ERICK RIOS
The story of our success is less about the technology and tools we use and more about the team we build for each engagement. Led by senior members, each project team is assembled for the purpose of consistently building inspiring and engaging product experiences, and enduring trust with our clients.
Watch the video of what makes us Big Bang:
BY ERICK RIOS, BRIAN WONG SHUI & DEVIN MOORE
In a movement akin to Manifest Destiny, hardware (tactile product) development has increasingly been pulled into the digital frontier, creating an ever-higher demand, and expectation, for products that rely on interactive and display screens for a major portion of a device’s experience. These products bring a set of unique problems centering on their digital displays, and products in all fields can attribute much of their success or failure to a development team’s ability to choose the right screen.
BY MARK MONEYPENNY & DEVIN MOORE
If you’re lost, just look up.
At Big Bang, our clients challenge us every day to deliver rich and inspiring product experiences, and a vital piece of these experiences is the client’s brand. The product development process contains countless decision points, and at each of these decision points one option can direct more towards the brand than the others. Making the right choice can be complicated by many factors, like deadlines, outside input, as well as the often microscopic differences between each option. We’ve developed a guide to making these decisions called Northstar. So at every decision point, we just look up.