Throughout my years of professional practice and continuous learning, a few fundamental principles have emerged that define much of my philosophy, work and actions.
My hope is that these grounding principles will provide insight and consideration to those that seek to navigate and thrive in the disciplines of Design Research, Strategy, Product / Service / System / Brand & Experience Design.
This is a fluid list and I reserve the right to adjust and enhance it over time.
Thanks to the many that have influenced and lived these experiences with me.
THE REST OF THE STORY WILL COME SOON.
For many years, I worked as a consultant in the fields of user experience, digital design and strategy, product and service design and more. From early PC operating systems, to ATMs, to websites, to multi-channel digital strategies - my experience has been diverse but with the intention of converging to provide a broad spectrum of understanding of the strategic, development, delivery and evolution of business.
Industry verticals for which I have done significant user experience work include consumer package goods, home improvement, banking, finance, healthcare, technology, travel & leisure, retail, mobile and presently automotive. While the verticals, the audiences and the markets may change - the principles, process, skills and delivery remain largely the same.
A company’s products and services are the brand. And the brand is no longer about what it says, but what it does. Your products, services and connected systems are expected to be useful and usable and differentiation and market share and will come the emotional connection to your products and brand. Are your customers addicted to the way that your products and services make them feel, or are your just competing based on price and the integration of the latest technology?
The touchpoints with your brand are no doubt numerous – from the web, retail, kiosks, physical products, digital services, mobile interaction and maybe wearables, tablets and in automobiles.
If they have opted-in, customers expect to be recognized and partially understood across these platforms and channels. They expect to start a transaction on the web and complete it on their mobile. They expect you to make recommendations to them. They expect their wearable to interact with their vehicle. And they will soon expect much more from this brand dialogue – including greater intelligence, recognition, anticipation, prediction and intervention.
Strive to design an intentional emotionally connected system through the multiple touchpoints that you provide and each one that they chose.
Start with an understanding of your users - and their wants, needs, expectations and patterns of behavior. Study their pain points. Know what they do (behavior), know how they think (cognition), and understand how they feel (emotion).
Balance multiple types of research to form an understanding of the opportunities. Combine qualitative, quantitative, lab based and contextual research methods to understand ecosystems. Mine the data and find insights in the data that you otherwise would not have seen. Do the Math.
Triangulate the customer wants and needs with the business and brand opportunities informed by emerging technologies. Structure your insights and decide how to act upon them.
Tell stories and narratives of future product interactions. Frame and model experiences.
Build, test and iterative prototypes. Continuously learn and improve all aspects of the product from ease of use, to emotional resonance to brand association. Then define how the experience will be delivered by decoupling the experience parts to the "stack" or product or service architecture.
Employ various types of research through generative, formative, iterative and measurement stages. Process activities ought to map to an iterative user experience process, like discovery, definition, design, development and deployment.
Apply an iterative user-centered design process to your product and service design efforts. Define what your brand will be known for and develop an experience roadmap that provides clears goals and brings that vision to life over time.
I've been fortunate to work in thriving design inspired cities and buildings.
I've also been fortunate to work directly with, study and learn from many who pioneered the philosophies, methods and tools that companies use today to design great product and service experiences.