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Blank Page to World Stage [Design Matters 2017]

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Keynote by Cheryl Platz for Day 1 of Design Matters 2017. To book Cheryl for your next event, visit ideaplatz.com

Most designers are experts at improving upon existing experiences - but how does your process translate to a brand new product? How do you make the case for input modalities no one's ever used in your context before?

Cheryl shares some of the design processes and techniques she used to help get the Echo Look from a blue-sky idea to a tangible, validated experience in the hands of customers worldwide. You'll leave with a clearer picture of how your own skills translate to new product work - and what to expect when you're breaking new NUI (natural user interface) ground on your projects.

Published in: Design
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Blank Page to World Stage [Design Matters 2017]

  1. 1. TO World Stage from Blank Page Cheryl Platz @muppetaphrodite SeniorDesigner, Microsoft Owner and Founder,Ideaplatz
  2. 2. I’m Cheryl. Nice to meet you. I’m a designer specializing in taming extreme complexity, natural user interfaces, and storytelling for design. CURRENT: Design Lead for Azure Portal and Marketplaces at Microsoft FORMER: Amazon, Electronic Arts, Griptonite Games, Disney, MAYA Design, Carnegie Mellon University
  3. 3. [insert really great product design here] TO
  4. 4. Past projects… Windows Automotive
  5. 5. Past projects… Alexa Notifications
  6. 6. Past projects…
  7. 7. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE What is the Echo Look? Takes photos that emphasize the customer by obscuring the background Provides a view from any angle Documents your looks over time Gives fashion advice via Style Check AN ALEXA-ENABLED HOME FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY DEVICE WITH COMPANION APP.
  8. 8. From moonshot to manufacturing
  9. 9. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Natural user interfaces typically use one of a variety of analog input mechanisms to more closely mimic or interpret common human behaviors. Voice Touch GazeGesture
  10. 10. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE So how do you break new NUI ground? IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE, TAKE THIS ADVICE
  11. 11. Seek the truth. 1
  12. 12. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should. “ ”
  13. 13. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Make time for ethnographic research. BEFORE YOU BUILD YOUR PRODUCT, FIGURE OUT IF YOU SHOULD.
  14. 14. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Echo Look first round research: - Four states, three weeks - Variety of dwellings - 60% women - Dozens of participants Technique: - In-home closet walkthroughs - Contextual inquiry on daily fashion decisions - One product team member at every session
  15. 15. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Goal: Challenge our core hypothesis. DO CUSTOMERS NEED HELP MANAGING THEIR WARDROBES? ARE THERE DAILY PAIN POINTS WE CAN HELP ADDRESS?
  16. 16. Perception…
  17. 17. …and reality
  18. 18. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Mind the (narrative) gap... DON’T LET FICTION OBSCURE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ TRUTH. STAY CONNECTED TO THE RESEARCH.
  19. 19. … for woe awaits teams that never asked if they should.
  20. 20. Spot the icebergs. 2
  21. 21. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Icebergs are the deep problems that can sink your project before it sails. ON THE ECHO LOOK, WE IDENTIFIED SEVERAL KEY ICEBERGS EARLY ON, STARTING TO PLOT A COURSE AROUND THEM.
  22. 22. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE You can’t avoid an iceberg that you can’t see.
  23. 23. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Our early deliverables highlighted the problems, rather than abstracting them. INSPIRE CONFIDENCE – AND CONVERSATION – WITH YOUR FUTURE ALLIES. BE FEARLESS ABOUT FACING PROBLEMS.
  24. 24. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Privacy TechnologyInstallation
  25. 25. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  26. 26. FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE A Year In Selfies Training our machine learning algorithm by enlisting employees to take daily photos. But ALSO embracing the iceberg of daily engagement: what effect would it have on my own life? How would that translate to customers?
  27. 27. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE A year of milestones, moods, kiosk troubleshooting... and SCARVES.
  28. 28. FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Proof of life, 2 years in. Early background removal showing we could de-emphasize the background successfully. Also, my Star Trek hair. Long story.
  29. 29. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Our job is to shine light on problems, not hide them. Solutions don’t come overnight. It’s OK not to have the answers. Let your early work start the right conversations.
  30. 30. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Inspire allies with your stories ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE, AND YOU’LL NEED PLAYERS. 3
  31. 31. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Creating new product takes a village. Don’t assume they share your vision. NATURAL USER INTERFACES RELY ON CONTEXT. BRING YOUR STAKEHOLDERS INTO YOUR CUSTOMER’S WORLD.
  32. 32. FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  33. 33. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE SCOTT MCCLOUD, UNDERSTANDING COMICS
  34. 34. Sharpies + printer paper + binders = VISION.
  35. 35. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  36. 36. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE On UX Storyboarding… FAST & CHEAP They DO NOT need to be Pixar-quality. Lower fidelity invites conversation. TELL THE IMPORTANT STORIES Illustrate contextual cliffs. Highlight difficult scenarios: onboarding, multi-user, noisy rooms…
  37. 37. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE
  38. 38. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Motivatingyour stakeholders Pull examples from media to motivate the team. Star Trek, Minority Report, even Clueless – give your team an image to latch onto. Let your research speak for you. Videotape the proceedings, encode them, build highlight reels, and share them. Create a vision video. Show your prototype – or an illusion – as it improves a customer’s life.
  39. 39. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Solve old problems in NUI ways. CHANGE THE GAME BY REDUCING FRICTION FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS.4
  40. 40. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE typically use one of a variety of analog input mechanisms to more closely mimic or interpret common human behaviors. Voice Touch GazeGesture
  41. 41. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE “If customers can touch, why would we bother enabling speech?” Voice isn’t a universal solution – but in many circumstances it’s more desirable than touch. Voice Touch
  42. 42. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Make customers feel powerful. Reduce wasted time learning technology. Get interface out of the way. WHEREVUIWINS
  43. 43. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE OLD PROBLEM, NUI SOLUTION Voice UI allows customers to document their look without holding their phone, making daily use easier.
  44. 44. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Top Tips for Voice Experiences ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY, BUT HERE’S SOME HINTS TO HELP YOU START.
  45. 45. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE When does voice input matter? Find friction in everyday life. Friction is your opportunity. Hands full. Device locked. Vision impaired. Phone too far away. No screen nearby. Frequent task. Mobility impaired.
  46. 46. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE In voice design, time is your most precious resource. Not clicks. Not pixels.
  47. 47. Test LONG before you advance to production.
  48. 48. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Reincorporation is the soul of VUI. Use customer input in subsequent turns as implicit confirmation.
  49. 49. Prepare for inevitable stakeholder questions by testing with AND without NUI.
  50. 50. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Don’t force personality at the cost of usability. Humans naturally anthropomorphize.
  51. 51. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Alexa… Xbox… OK Google…
  52. 52. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Encourage acoustically unique utterances to set customers up for success.
  53. 53. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Embrace change, but stay the course LET OPPORTUNITIES ENHANCE YOUR SOLUTION WITHOUT LOSING SIGHT OF THE PROBLEM5
  54. 54. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Pivot #1: The Echo hadn’t released when we started. WE ADAPTED TO EXPLORE AND ADOPT THIS NEW REALITY – AT CONSIDERABLE COST OF EFFORT.
  55. 55. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Pivot #2: Fashion advice seemed out of scope. It seemed too costly…until it wasn’t.
  56. 56. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity. IF YOU PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITIES, YOU’LL NEVER BE LUCKY. JUST DON’T GET SO DISTRACTED BY THEM THAT YOU LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR DESTINATION.
  57. 57. Aim for the stars…
  58. 58. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE To break NUI ground… 1. Seek the truth 2. Find the icebergs 3. Inspire allies with your stories 4. Solve old problems in NUI ways 5. Embrace change, but stay the course
  59. 59. …and take your leap of faith.
  60. 60. CHERYL PLATZ FROM BLANK PAGE TO WORLD STAGE @MUPPETAPHRODITE Just remember: New product releases are a marathon, not a sprint. LISTEN TO INITIAL FEEDBACK BUT DON’T OVERCOMPENSATE WHEN IT’S NEGATIVE. DISRUPTION IS DISRUPTIVE, AND IT TAKES TIME TO STABILIZE.
  61. 61. THEN NOW
  62. 62. May the voice be with you. For more workshops and talks, visit IDEAPLATZ.COM @muppetaphrodite Cheryl Platz cheryl@cherylplatz.com

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