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Designing a physical hand-held device presents a number of unique challenges. Designing that device predominantly for use by folks with impaired physical abilities introduces another layer of complexity. Ensuring that the experience is appropriate for an audience ranging from five year-old kids to ninety five year-old retirees while they control one of their primary senses is just downright difficult.
Matt & Shane recently worked with Australian innovator and international success story Cochlear in design of a new device to help bionic ear implant recipients monitor and control their hearing. The design represented an evolution to a simpler more usable second-generation device.
Matt & Shane are joined by Cochlear Technical Product Lead (and some time “User Fairy”) Rami Banna as they walk through key aspects of this project.
Particular attention is given to:
Design artefacts including wireframes and screen mock-ups illustrating the evolution from early design concepts through to refined user interface.
The full UX lifecycle including; ethnographic research, iterative interaction design cycles and usability testing with real Cochlear implant recipients.
The approach taken to coordinate a design exercise across multiple teams including; industrial design, ergonomics, electronics, software design, graphic design and small screen user interface design.
The delicate balance required when attempting to improve a user experience without completely confounding the expectations of a large and vocal existing user-base.
The objective of this case study is to provide conference delegates with genuine insight into the design process by exposing the methods but also by showing the actual designs at various points of their development.
Along the way, we will detail the pitfalls encountered and outline the practical solutions that were applied. Processes and lessons learned are applicable across UX projects of all types, not just mobile and hand-held product design projects.