Designing innovative apps - Fjord


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A talk given at Mobile Apps World 2010 about how innovative Service Design can be a sustainable design driver for innovative mobile apps

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  • Hi its me. Fjord
  • So where did apps come from?
    What demand was developed?
    Use heritage to maximise business
  • it was a phenomenon.
    Cast your mind back to 1995
  • It was a time of exploration
    A fumble in the dark!
    Didn’t matter - no expectations
  • When you found something good, you stuck to it. There was little competition
  • So Signal to noise ratio was Quite high, although it was bearable - because these were exciting times
  • As the web got bigger, it became recognised as a major destination for TOOLS and UTILITIES
  • The service web matured.
    Explosion of e-commerce, e-learning, e-mail, social networking, and aggregator services
  • The web split to marketing and service
    It became harder to find the right SOLUTION
  • The web was and still is, noisy
    But a solution to this noise emerged, and it came first from the OS space...
  • It was the widget. or the gadget, depending on your OS preference
    They were the first devices to identify a need to distill services to their core
    They helped people avoid opening their browser
    They provided a GLANCEABLE view - a major driver for what we have today....
  • Apps. They carried this glancability into a more appropriate context - mobile
    They offered ownership
    And the ergonomic factor of the ‘To hand’ experience has helped to drive the success of the app market
  • Apps provided a way to complete 1 task very efficiently
    + together with apples distribution model, they were discoverable
  • It’s this need to reduce noise, this need for clarity that’s so attractive in a complex world - is where apps have come from
    So this is the present. Well it was the present.
  • But now the trouble is the app market is becoming noisy.
    How do you choose a todo app?
    And how do you choose on android with 3rd party, developer, device appstores, amazon app store!? let alone the messy android appstore
    Its’ about standing out.
    People talk about apps. Over a fifth of female smartphone owners discovered their fave app from a friend recommendation ( So what do they talk about when they talk about apps?
  • I had a think with my collegues at Fjord about what those conversations sound like
    So i have 5 app characteristics that people may talk about when describing their favourite apps.
  • They might talk about simplicity. For developers this means not inventing, but building on other work; connect ideas, data, interactions, and people together
    App simplicity manifests as the app fitting snuggly into user’s exisitng frames of reference - the services they user, their interactions patterns
  • Shop kick found that GPS was unreliable, so went with a listener. They built on what was right and wrong with foursquare and gowala
  • BBC News app innovates on the new browsing pattern
    Instead of a list, glancable news bites can be horizontally browsed to create a great ‘news snacking’ experience
  • They’re also talking about apps as if they were tools. For us, that means working with the affordances of the device
    Personal, GPS, Screen, Microphone, Socialble, to hand, ‘owned’
  • Shazam works with the device so closely
    Very successful – the company increased its revenue by 60% to £7.3m since the lauch of the app in the apple appstore. And it has driven the sale and dowload of some 260k music tracks per day.
    This shows how once people could ‘own’ the service in the app form, rather than calling the service, it started to really make a diff
    Not bad for the simple ergonomic choice to use the mic of the device
  • They talk about apps that just work – for a specific situation – and even more if the app does more than they expect
  • meeting the needs of shopping list makers
    then exceeds them by offering a super shopping list where you can change your order even after you’ve checked out
    Works for the device and over delivers
  • The mobile phone is the most private. personal, and powerful device. It’s within 2 feet of your customers 24hrs a day
    use this personal nature of the device. Make an app that people can use to replace a missing bit of cognative activity
    And as such, make it have the manners of a friend.
  • When we worked with frindaproperty, we wanted it to be the ultimate househunting prosthisis
    it supported the very physical nature of househunting by helping people to get to view houses!
  • Mobile devices are input machines. The facilitate active, rather than passive experiences.
    Create your app around all the methods of inputs. background inputs like GPS and active ones like the camera so users can save time and interactions
    Camera - Amazon’s remember service
    Accelerometer – great for gaming or urbanspoon!
    Mic – Shopkick, and Skype of course…
  • Which is one of the most successful apps on the iphone. It’s simply perfect for the afforandances of the iphone device.
    However double skype up on the ipad, and the affordances of the MOBILE device become more sharply into focus.
    completely innappropriate, like a toy
  • And it’s because The iPad isn’t a mobile device. It’s a consuming device. And It’s these ergonomics and affordances of ipad that that meant perfectly good iphone apps would not work.
    So what the iPad reveals is the need for a different way of thinking about innovation
  • Service Innovation.
  • Separating the service and delivery levels offers more emphasis oon innovating for multiple touchpoints
    This in itself could mean that more customers can be reached because suddenly, the samsung tablet, or google tv becomes simply a service channel, rather than a service destination
  • And by taking a step back and designing a service strategy, you are forced to focus on how an ecosystem of touchpoints work together to simply help people do what they need to do – regardless of channel
    For sustainable business transformation, Apps need to be seen as part of the picture.
  • Service touchpoints are part of a number of components needed for a service to operate
    Even at this operation viewpoint of the service, innovation can exist - out of public view
    Because it’s worth thinking about how each channel contributes as well as manifests the service
  • Apps can help to that drive the creation of new services
    By allowing people to do new things with the service.
    Ebay’s app was already phenomenally successful with transactions looking to be $1.5bn in 2010 up from $600m in 2009
    The Ebay bought red laser which was downloaded 2m times ( for use in their Selling app
    Mobile developer Big in Japan has revealed that its ShopSavvy barcode-scanning app is now being downloaded 80,000 times a day.
  • So apps are a fantastic way to drive new innovation
    they help reduce a service to a core
    they help people understand a service
    they expose new customers to a service - i only use FB on iphone
    Innovative iphone apps actively contribute to clearing the signal out of the noise
  • 1. innovate at service level
    2. integrate talked about characteristics into your service channels
    3. maximise your investment by using apps to gather data
    How to innovate in a service oriented business? This is how we help businesses at Fjord
    Be open and collaborate.
    Talking to other department. Everybody involved in the business
    Observing how people use other services
    Partnering with other services
    But ultimately its about listening to your customers
    The the app simply becomes an interface to the innovative service
    …And continuing to do so will not only impact your business, but it will sustainably impact your business
  • Designing innovative apps - Fjord

    1. 1. What difference will launching innovative mobile apps bring to your business? • Where apps have come from • Some characteristics of innovative mobile apps • Service innovation
    2. 2. A brief history of apps
    3. 3. First, there was the World Wide Web. Online access was a phenomenon
    4. 4. The early Web www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www
    5. 5. www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www SIGNA L NOISE The early Web
    6. 6. The mature Web Information and utility
    7. 7. Mature web
    8. 8. www Mature web www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www Marketing Web Service Web www www www www www www www www
    9. 9. www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www www Marketing Web Service Web www SIGNA L NOISE Mature web
    10. 10. Gadgets and widgets
    11. 11. There’s an app for that
    12. 12. Apps appapp app
    13. 13. Apps appapp app SIGNAL NOISE
    14. 14. 5 Characteristics of innovative mobile apps
    15. 15. 1. Don’t reinvent
    16. 16. shopkick, 2010
    17. 17. BBC News, 2009
    18. 18. 2. Work with the device affordances
    19. 19. Shazam, 2009
    20. 20. 3. Over deliver on a user need
    21. 21. Ocado, 2009
    22. 22. 4. Be a prosthesis
    23. 23. Find a property, 2009
    24. 24. 5. Focus on input
    25. 25. Downloaded five million times in the first few days ( Skype, 2009
    26. 26. iPad
    27. 27. Service Innovation
    28. 28. The Service level Service Delivery
    29. 29. Mapping touchpoints across time • Example: VF roaming
    30. 30. Service operation components SERVICE Apps Devices Business models Data User needs Back end
    31. 31. $1.5bn in transactions forecast for 2010 Built upon the hugely successful Red Laser platform: downloaded 2m times Ebay Buying Ebay Selling
    32. 32. Facebook, 2009
    33. 33. Collaborate and observe
    34. 34. Thank you 