CC: We wanted to start our workshop with a picture of the side of a garage. Today we're going to talk about how we perceive human qualities in everything, and why understanding this is critical to designing successful mobile apps and websites.
BH: We have entered a new era in our industry. We've reached a certain level of success in preaching the importance of user experience design and selling it as a must-have for designing usable products. But the bar has been raised and companies are now seeing that 'usable is not good enough' and more is needed to differentiate your company or product.
BH: This is Jakob Nielsen's website circa 2005, which is representative of many sites on the web during this time. Delivering information was the primary goal, while creating a memorable experience and forming an emotional attachment with users took a backseat.
BH: Donald Norman introduced this paradign shift when he wrote Emotional Design, following The Design of Everyday Things. He outlines three areas in which products affect us: Viscereal, Behavorial, Reflective. Viscereal is our gut reaction to a product at a subconscious level. Behavorial includes how the product works and our interactions with it. Reflective provides the emotions we associate to a product based on our experiences who we are as people. In a TED Talk, he describes these as 3 ways good design makes you happy, and cheekily states: "the new me is 'beauty,' and I'm only saying positive things from now on."
CC: The people using our products have also developed higher expectations. The concept of learned helplessness with technology has flipped from the user feeling ignorant to the product being deficient. The emotional context of mobile 'in the moment' raises these stakes even higher.
BH: This shift to focus on the positive is similar to another field. Martin Seligman first introduced the concept of "positive psychology." Some of you may be familiar with his TED talk. The field of psychology has changed, where the goal of professionals should not be to only treat mental disorders and make unhappy people less unhappy; but to better understand what creates happiness and how all of us can increase it in our lives.
BH: Products that go beyond 'usable' to meet these needs are the most successful because they create a personal connection with their users.
BH: Aarron Walter wrote a phenomenal book titled Designing for Emotion that describes this extra layer of emotional design that we all need to be striving for. Only when the core of your product is solid--functional, reliable, and usable--can this layer be added.
BH: The importance of rapport is evident in Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink. In the book, he describes how insurance companies uncovered data to analyze the potential risk in insuring certain doctors against malpractice lawsuits. One's first instinct in doing this would be to research the doctor's training, credentials, and work history. But it was found that more could be gleaned from observing the doctor's interaction with his/her patients. The patient's feelings toward the doctor have an overwhelming affect on whether the patient sues the doctor. Gladwell writes that patients do not sue because of shoddy healthcare; they sue because of shoddy healthcare and because they feel they were treated poorly. Patients that sue claim they were ignored, weren't listened to, or were rushed. People do not sue doctors they like. A study analyzed the conversations of doctors/patients across two groups: those who have been sued and those who haven't. Doctors who haven't been sued showed empathy, engaged more in active listening, spoke with a warmer tone, and spent more time with their patients.
CC and BH
CC: The Volkswagon Beetle has been in production for 65 years, the longest running single design in automative history. A study was conducted in 2008 to explore the popular belief that different car designs project different personalities. Partipants rated 38 different cars using 19 traits. Researchers identified that the majority of participants view "powerful" as an important trait, whereas the Beetle appealed to those favoring "cute."
BH: Take out 10s and other cards if needed.
BH or CC: Southwest and how it encourages its flight attendents to show their personalities. Your product should also do this by presenting a unique design that reflects your personality.
BH: Waze has separated itself from other mapping applications by exhibiting a unique personality through its design and voice/tone.
BH: Donna was recently purchased by Yahoo. It offered to send an email to meeting attendees if you're running late, call Uber for offsite meetings, and anticipates travel times.
BH: Foursquare remembers to say "happy birthday" to its users while also offering (albeit insincere) flattery. In the book, "Influence...," the author describes how flattery works even when the recipient recognizes disingenius motives.
BH: Hipmunk understands that the majority of us don't get excited about air travel. They display flights in their search results according to degree of "agony."
BH: Pinterest's communications serve as good examples of showing compassion, anticipating needs, and speaking the user's language.
BH: The popularity of Tinder has surpassed other dating apps because it peaks curiosity & adds playfulness.
BH: Yahoo injects subtle humor into its registration flow
BH: Moosejaw provides a more direct attempt at humor that is fitting of its brand
BH: Shadows change, the street view guy flying and having a surfboard in Hawaii. Demo?
In this workshop, you will...
Develop a design personality by exploring your personal
values, using them to ground your decisions
Learn design principles that make solutions more human,
by considering emotion and providing delight
Conceptualize an experience in order to find and design for
key moments that make or break your users’ experience
Play Brand-y Land (in the key of Taboo)
• Divide into even teams. Each person take 5 slips of paper.
Without talking, write down one brand on each piece of paper.
Fold each one twice and put all in the same container.
• Flip a coin to see which team goes first. Teams, pick your
• Each team member has 60 seconds to get their team to guess
as many brands as possible - WITHOUT saying the brand
name. Think of the experience of the brand, or its messaging.
The player keeps each correctly guessed answer slip. If you
say the name or pass, the slip goes back in the bowl (don’t
reveal it! The other team may get it next).
• Alternate rounds. When slips are gone, the team with the most
What Are the Traits of a ...
GOOD BUSINESS PARTNER
Thanks to Jim Cohen of Spark for this diagram and the examples of COFFEE BEAN and TEA LEAF, HERE, and Starbucks.
Here’s a sample challenge to
build on through this workshop
Too often cooking can become the lonely job of an
individual. Sometimes it seems like kitchens only work
for one - or for two people who cook together often.
But cooking can be educational, fun, and
collaborative. It can bring together people who may
not know each other well, or those looking for a new
activity to try.
TooCooks is a solution that makes cooking with
another person easier and more fun, regardless of
their level of skills.
TooCooks Challenge: Personas
Lawson, 25 years old
Lawson moved to Chicago for
work about a year ago. He’s at a
point in his life where he’s
looking for a serious relationship.
He’s excited about Jessica, and
for this date he wants to plan
something more interesting than
a restaurant and a movie.Goals
• Impress Jessica both with his home, and with
his desire to develop a serious relationship.
• Have a fun date that helps the two of them
get to know each other better.
• So many recipe sites call for ingredients or
utensils that he doesn’t have yet! He doesn’t
want to buy half his kitchen.
• Lawson doesn’t know if Jessica is a great
cook or a pure beginner. An overcomplicated
recipe could backfire. He wants to look open
and fun, but not ridiculous.
Megan, 36 years old (with
Megan recently married Ben, who
has a 10 year-old daughter named
Angie. Megan wants to get to
know Angie in a way that’s friendly
and home-oriented. She’d like to
be an important and positive
person in Angie’s life.
• Strengthen her relationship with Angie.
• Form traditions for their new home together.
• Most nights Megan, Angie, and Angie’s father end up
in front of the television. It’s easy but impersonal.
Megan wants an interesting way to spend one-on-one
time with Angie doing something active they’ll both
• Angie hasn’t done much cooking before and she can
get anxious when faced with a challenge she doesn’t
understand. Megan doesn’t want Angie to get
stressed out about making something perfect. She
just wants them both to have a good time creating
Discuss this challenge
• Describe times you’ve cooked with
others. What was good about it?
What was frustrating?
• If you were on the design team for
this app, what values of your own
would you focus on related to this
How you speak when you’re speaking
as your brand - the personality
expressed by the accent, choice of
words, and other easily recognizable
Tone gets into psychological qualities
as well (like optimistic).
Define Your Personality
What sets you apart from your competition?
What traits make up your personality?
What are you NOT?
If your solution could talk, how would
you describe its voice?
Draw your solution as if it were a
person (or animal or supernatural
Brand Voice Karaoke
You’re the brand manager for a
popular fast food chain that’s
announcing the addition of a new
burger to its menu, via Twitter.
• Generic Tweet:
“Our new mini-burgers are so delicious, you
won’t be able to eat just one!”
• Re-write example for a haughty, designer
burger chain for busy runway models:
“Oooh, la-la. Our scrumptious mini-burgers are
so “in” dahling, you’ll eat your dress size.”
Brand Voice Karaoke
Rewrite the tweet:
“Our new mini-burgers are so delicious, you
won’t be able to eat just one!”
As a high-seas, adventure-themed burger
chain for little boys who want to be pirates
Now try it with our challenge
• Write one playful message letting
your user know that they don't
have the right equipment to make
creme brulee (no kitchen torch).
• Write one straightforward message
letting the user know that their
account information may have
been accessed by hackers.
TooCooks Challenge: Potential Features
• A cook profile, which stores information on a player’s skill level, food
preferences, and allergies. This should be gathered via a short
questionnaire and stored for use with multiple cooking events.
• A kitchen profile to determine what kinds of equipment or utensils will
generally be available.
• An event picker that allows players to choose the tone of the cooking
event (such as “Romantic,” “Educational,” “Silly”), the meal type
(breakfast, lunch, dinner), and how many people are dining.
• Recipe suggestions (3-6) based on data from the event picker, the
kitchen profile, and cook profiles, with a way to choose one of the recipes.
• A recipe stepper for the chosen recipe, with timed tasks and audible
alerts customized for each cook playing.
• A fun gap-filler! Consider conversation starters, mini-games, trivia, or
educational challenges. These will appear when players are waiting for
water to boil. Players should be able to pause and resume.
Storyboard a Flow
• As a group, choose a feature set
to dive into.
• 3X2 individual storyboarding.
Shoot for 2 minutes a section.
• Share with 1-2 people in your
SPONGE SPARK SPLATTER SCULPT STORYTELL
One of the hardest jobs of a design team is effective use of a SAVVY
Choose a design challenge
and immerse in the related
context. What do you want
to make better? For who?
Take insights from
Sponge. Define your
audience and their
needs. Generate the
solution idea you want to
ideas (quantity over
possible features and
Form and refine your
solution with user
insights and design
meaning of your
Pick a card!
Pair up (2-3 max) within your groups
and choose 1 card for each pair
1. Embrace Your Unique Character (Kings and 6’s)
2. Be Attentive & Anticipate Needs (Queens and 5’s)
3. Show Empathy & Compassion (Jacks and 4’s)
4. Inspire Curiosity & Playfulness (10’s and 3’s)
5. Surprise & Delight (9’s and 2’s)
6. Use Humor When Appropriate - (8’s and Aces)
A vocabulary to start: Kano Analysis
Kano Analysis Questions (per feature)
What do you think of the product if it includes feature X?
What do you think of the product if it does not include feature X?
There are three valid responses for either question: “I like it,” “It
doesn’t matter to me,” or “I dislike it.”
Example: Air Travel
Your flight won’t be cancelled
Your ticket guarantees you a seat
How much legroom you have
Number of nonstop flights available
A comedian at the intercom
Free gourmet snacks
Now let’s mark…
• 2 features that you consider Basic
Users are neutral about having them but dissatisfied if they’re
• 2 features that you consider
Users are satisfied when present, dissatisfied when absent.
• 2 features that you consider Delighters
Users are neutral when absent but satisfied when present.
Create a new 3x2 iteration of your
• Use your design principle to focus
• Consider what you liked about
your buddy's flow from round 1
• Think about the emotions your
users are probably feeling. Does
that affect your design?
Try this again, with another challenge
• If you have a current app, assess it
against today’s design principles.
Have a good one to share?
Partner with those in your group. If
not, we have a second challenge
at <insert link>
• Create a design personality