THINK.

Kaboom!
Designing for Longevity

Designing for the Long Run in a Disposable World

BY STEVE MEISTER

Approximately 150 million mobile phones are discarded each year in the USA. Four hundred and twenty three thousand tons of computers were trashed or recycled in 2010. Twenty to fifty million tons of electronic waste is generated across the globe annually.

 

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Universal design benefits everyone

Designing for Seniors is Really Designing for Everyone

BY STEVE MEISTER

One of my favorite SNL sketches is about a product experience – specifically a product experience for seniors. The sketch is a spoof on the Alexa device from Amazon, but altered to be usable for the octogenarian crowd. Adjustments include a much louder voice, being able to respond to names other than “Alexa,” and an “uh-huh” function for long, rambling stories. Comedy aside, this sketch highlights an important consideration for product designers: who we design for matters, and if we’re not careful, our designs can unintentionally alienate the users.

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Beehive as an example of a design system

3 Reasons Why All Teams Need to Develop a Design System

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.

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The Zen of the Motorcycle

Why Discovering a Product’s Truth is Important to UX: Zen and the Art of Experience Design

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.

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Using product design to make a brand come to life

Using Product Design to Make a Brand Come to Life

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.

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Effective Swim Lanes

How to Create Effective Swim Lanes For Your Next Big Team Project

 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:

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User-Experience-Swim-Lanes

How Creating Swim Lanes Guides User Experience Design

 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.

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