Apps as Machines — ThingsCon Berlin 2014

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What if your favourite apps turned into little machines? What makes physical objects more emotionally engaging than apps? How do we connect to them through our natural senses and cognitive abilities?

Together we'll break down some of our favourite apps to their elementals and imagine them as physical machines. We'll examine aspects of experience which can bring us closer to the services we use everyday.

How? With a few short hands-on exercises, we'll explore the jobs-to-be-done behind popular apps. Quick prototypes and scenarios of how these might exist as machines will try to uncover what we're after.

The ‘Apps as Machines’ workshop was held during ThingsCon in May 2014 in Berlin — by Boris Anthony, Hannes Jentsch and Martin Jordan

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Apps as Machines — ThingsCon Berlin 2014

  1. Apps as Machines ThingsCon, Berlin May 2, 2014 Boris Anthony Hannes Jentsch Martin Jordan
  2. Boris Anthony @Bopuc Hannes Jentsch @kaffeetrinken Martin Jordan @Martin_Jordan Who’s speaking?
  3. Presenting Image: mailer_diablo, Overhead projector, used during lessons in a classroom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OHP-sch.JPG
  4. • expanding the definition of ‘machine’: a physical thing that does a job, that fulfills a need (apps generally do the job of something we had before) • something tangible, which affords us more opportunities for engagement
  5. Reading Image: shiwei xu, http://www.cgarchitect.com/2012/03/reading-room8
  6. • engagement with a broader spectrum of our senses • which in turn engage a broader spectrum of our cognition • which build deeper, richer memories
  7. Navigating Image: https://followmi2ba.wordpress.com
  8. • breaking down popular apps, finding the jobs they do • imagining those jobs being done by a ‘machine’ • capturing the experiences these ‘machines’ produce and dwell on how we can bring more of those experience to the Things future
  9. Toasting
  10. As we start to make Apps as Machines, what are the building blocks of rich physical experiences we can draw from? Hypothesis A physical experience offers us so many opportunities for cognitive, and thus, emotional engagement.
  11. Popular apps’ jobs-to-be-done Personas and Scenarios Agenda Make machines and present them
  12. Your task Set up your group
  13. Uncovering the jobs behind … • in order to translate the apps into useful machines we need to understand what apps & services are doing: - car2go gets you from A to B - a drill hammer helps you to hang a painting on the wall - Pinterest supports you in collecting and remembering things
  14. Jobs-to-be-done Framework Jobs-to-be-done describe the tasks that a product or service is carrying out. People don’t just buy products or just want to use a certain service. They ‘hire’ them to do a job. — @ClayChristensen, http://www.christenseninstitute.org
  15. • break down some of our favourite apps to their elementals • examine aspects of their experience • list the jobs, tasks they are performing • What is Dropbox doing? What are the jobs-to-be-done? Your task
  16. Your task 6 Jobs 7 Minutes1 App
  17. APPS AS MACHINES — Uncovering the jobs behind Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad, and the web. With Dropbox you’ll always have your important memories and work with you. Dropbox’s jobs-to-be-done* Dropbox description and screens from Apple AppStore
  18. Dropbox’s jobs-to-be-done* — Jobs-to-be-done describe the tasks that a product or service is carrying out. People don’t just buy products or just want to use a certain service. They ‘hire’ them to do a job. For example: Car2Go gets you from A to B. The drill hammer helps you to hang a painting on the wall. Pinterest supports you in collecting and remembering things. — @ClayChristensen, http://www.christenseninstitute.org have my documents always with me retrieve my documents wherever I need them secure copies of important documents show photos to my friends & family collaborate with my colleagues store my memories of important moments
  19. The right machine for … Adam 31, European traveller on a trip through South Korea
  20. Image: Nokia Brand Photography
  21. • create a scenario with a distinctive point-of-view • go through your job list, pick one and apply it for Adam • What is Adam’s situation? • What are his goals — in this specific situation? • What are his needs to achieve this goal? Your task
  22. Job Story Framework “Job Stories are great because it makes you think about motivation and context and de-emphasizes adding any particular implementation. Often, because people are so focused on the who and how, they totally miss the why. When you start to understand the why, your mind is then open to think of creative and original ways to solve the problem.” — @AlanKlement, https://medium.com/the-job-to-be-done/af7cdee10c27
  23. Your task 7 Minutes1 Story1 Persona
  24. APPS AS MACHINES — The right machine for … 31, European traveller on a trip through South Korea JOB-TO-BE-DONE STORY* Adam When (situation) retrieve my documents wherever I need them I am back from a 3-day trip around the islands where I’ve been 7 years ago with my university love
  25. STORY* When (situation) I want to (need) So that (goal) — “Job Stories are great because it makes you think about motivation and context and de-emphasizes adding any particular implementation. Often, because people are so focused on the who and how, they totally miss the why. When you start to understand the why, your mind is then open to think of creative and original ways to solve the problem.” — @AlanKlement, https://medium.com/the-job-to-be-done/af7cdee10c27 I am back from a 3-day trip around the islands where I’ve been 7 years ago with my university love and sitting in the hotel lounge in the evening I can verify if I just re-visited the same place where I have been almost a decade ago. quickly find photos from a very specific time and place and compare them to my recent ones
  26. Input for your creation
  27. Image: Gérard de Lairesse’s Allegory of the Five Senses (1668)
  28. Your task • Think touch, scent, vision, sound, taste – and beyond • How can your machine be superior to an app that does the same job? • How can they make use of our natural senses and cognitive abilities?
  29. Your task 8 Minutes1 Cheat Sheet 1 Idea
  30. APPS AS MACHINES — Input for your creation Cheat Sheet SENSES CHARACTERISTICS STATES Vision / Sight Material / Texture Motion Fast Slow Position Size / Amount Full / Empty Smell / Olfactation Colour Touch Weight Range Hearing / Audition Taste / Gustation Temperature / Thermoception Balance / Equilibrioception Time / Chronoception Constant Rising Rhythmic
  31. Constraints Avoid screens Avoid keyboards Avoid Little Printers
  32. Inspiration for your video prototype
  33. Your task • video-prototype to make ideas and concepts graspable • allows you to discuss concepts with stakeholders • time constraints help to compress and summarise a concept • food for thought: - build an experience dummy with low-fi paper prototype - or focus on interaction (less than on situation) - or prototype with volume, while keeping shape simple - or follow a storytelling approach
  34. Low-fi paper prototype
  35. Acting out
  36. Tap-to-record video app recommendations Vine (6 sec) Instagram Video (15 sec) Spark (45 sec) #ThingsCon
  37. Example of 6-second service documentation https://vine.co/v/br9z3x22gbw
  38. Your task 20 Minutes1 Idea 1 Video
  39. Your show-time
  40. Meet Adam: Revisiting places on trip in South Korea https://vine.co/v/MrwAFX5xOum
  41. Take-aways
  42. Take-aways Leverage all human capabilities There are no new base needs Design for specific context
  43. From Amazon App …
  44. … to Amazon Dash Image: Amazon Fresh
  45. • replacing barcode scanner functionality of app • improved ergonomics & enhanced sensors for special use case • physicality gives opportunity for more emotional engagement • general observation: maturation from graduation projects to commercial applications … to Amazon Dash
  46. Credits Icons: Max Hancock David Padrosa Jakob Vogel Ola Möller Thanks! Thoughts? Mister Pixel Nicolas Morand Luis Prado Simple Icons Luiza Peixe —For more follow @AppsAsMachines on
  47. Workshop impressions
  48. Workshop impressions
  49. Workshop impressions
  50. Workshop impressions
  51. Workshop impressions
  52. Workshop impressions
  53. Workshop impressions

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