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Dan Saffer
Presentation & Workshop Redux

Chris Petzny, EMC Conchango
Dan Saffer
• Interaction designer
• Founder and principal of Kicker Studio, a
  design consultancy for consumer electronics,
  devices and interactive environments
• Before that, was Experience Design Director at
  Adaptive Path
• Author of Designing Gestural Interfaces
  and Designing for Interaction
Imagine I asked you to
design a product.
Imagine I asked you to
design a product.

Maybe a website.
Imagine I asked you to
design a product.

Maybe a website.

For sharing medical
information.
The product is for the blind.
The product is for the blind.

And the deaf.
Could you do it?

Where would you start?
Designing from the
Inside-Out: Behaviour
as the Engine
of Product Design
Users experience products from
the outside-in, namely from the
interface and the physical form.

In other words, as far as users
are concerned, the interface
is the product.
But.

The best products are usually
not those that are designed
with only the outside in mind.
Those delight briefly. But prolonged
use turns delight to anger and
disgust. They are quickly discarded,
replaced, and forgotten.

They are the junk food
of products.
However, it is easier to focus
on form than behaviour.

It is equally easy to focus on the
technology that makes the
product possible.

Because it is easier to talk or
demonstrate or even think about
how a product looks than it is to
design how it will work.
This isn’t to say we should
ignore aesthetics or technology,
because that would be foolish.

The best products
are designed from
the inside-out.

Meaning, everything flows
from behaviour.
Behaviour

• How the product acts (feedback)
• The tasks the product allows users to do
• Maximising the abilities of the product
• A focus on actions it (you) want to engender
  through use
To design the best products.
focus on behaviour as the
starting point.

But then we’ve got this problem.

If The Interface is The Product,
how do we design from the inside out?
Step 1: Behaviour
as Design Strategy
Differentiators have traditionally
been features.

But we can make behaviour the
differentiator. In not only how
the product behaves, but the
behaviour it engenders.

Behaviour is one defence
against feature-itis.
People love features.
We enjoy comparing features
and choosing the product
with the most features.
Companies love features, too.
It gives them something to easily
market and allows them to simply
replicate what their competitors are
doing without having to come up
with real differentiators.
It’s easy to replicate features.
But is is hard to copy how features
behave if care is taken to design
them well.

And that should be our
design strategy.
Step 2: Behaviour
as Design Research
Stop looking for people’s
goals and preferences,
start looking for what they
do and why they do it.

Look at their

Motivations
Expectations
Actions
Translating goals or (worse)
preferences into a design will
probably lead to something terrible.
Translating goals or (worse)
preferences into a design will
probably lead to something terrible.
Step 3: Behaviour
as Product Structure
How does the system behave
when users engage with it?

What is the feedback like?

The same feature can feel
completely different based
on how it responds and how
it is accessed.

Transitions matter.
What activities does the
product need to support?

Especially figure out what is
the core activity. This will
determine the product’s
Buddha Nature.

The core activity also
determines the Hero Task.
What behaviour do you want
to encourage? Discourage?
It is hard to change learned behaviour.
Once people get used to do something
one way, especially if they do it very
regularly, it is hard to get them to
change.

It is often easier to change the
non-human parts of the system
than it is to change human behaviour.
Start from the behaviour, and then
figure out what should control it: the
physical form, UI elements on a
screen, or even gestures in space.

For users, the interface is the
system, and they don’t care which
discipline(s) designed it, only that it
looks good and works well.
This is how we overcome the
interface/inside-out paradox.

Behaviour drives the form
and the mechanics.
So was Dan saying form
follows function?

Somewhat. But don’t quote him.
“We’re often not making
things better, we’re just
making things different.”
Peter Saville
Go make things better.
Ideation &
Design Principles:
Ye Olde Design
Workshoppe
Design principles
Why design principles

• Help pick the right concept
• Help make design decisions
• Can be longer lasting than product itself
• Help find the Buddha Nature of a product
Design principles
• Based on design research
• Short
• Memorable
• Cross-feature
• Specific (no “Easy to Use”)
• Differentiators taken together
• Non-conflicting
Charmr
• Wear it during sex
• Make better use of data
• Easy to learn and teach/No numbers
• Less stuff
• Keep diabetics in control
• Keep diabetics motivated
Brainstorming
Brainstorming rules
• No bad ideas, no criticism
• Stay focused: Stray ideas into “parking lot”
• Don’t spend a lot of time on any one idea
• Use the whole room
• No multitasking (i.e. phones/laptops/etc. OFF)
• Start with a warm-up exercise
Brainstorming sprints
• Fixed time limit
• Quantity, quantity, quantity
• Reward quantity, not quality!
• Breaks (even small ones) between sessions
• Drawing, dammit. This is design!
• Focus on pain points and opportunities
Brainstorming
Techniques I
Brainwriting
 Each person writes down or sketches the
 beginning of an idea silently on a piece of paper.
 This could be as simple as a single word or a
 shape.
 After three minutes, the person passes the
 paper to his neighbour, who continues the idea.
 This repeats around the circle until it gets all the
 way back around to its originator.
Break the rules

 Rather than ignore the project’s constraints, you
 list them out and one-by-one proceed to figure
 out how to break them.
Force fit
 Distil the problem down to two words that are in
 opposition, then put those words together into a
 phrase. For example, “intense peace.” Then
 ruminate on what exists in the world that
 embodies that phrase, then try to apply it to the
 project for inspiration. Nature and art often work
 well for this.
Poetry

 Reduce the problem down to a haiku or bento
 poem. Such a small form makes you figure out
 what are the most important parts of the
 problem.
Brainstorming
Techniques II
Questioning
 Start with a very general concept and keep
 asking two questions: how and why. For
 example, “We are going to build a social
 networking site.” Why? “So record collectors
 can exchange albums.” How? “By uploading
 their rare albums.” How? Etc.
Swiping

Swiping is stealing the best ideas from another
field or domain. It starts by abstracting your
problem (“This is about finding something
small”) and asking what other products or fields
have ways of doing the abstraction.
Laddering

 Laddering means either moving “up” to a level of
 abstraction (“What is this problem an example
 of?”) or moving “down” to something concrete
 (“What is an example of this problem?”).
Bizarro World

 Pretend you wanted to make the opposite
 product or the opposite outcome. Invert
 everything: what is good is bad, what is
 desirable isn’t, etc.
What happens next?
Clustering concepts
• Cluster similar concepts around activities,
  characteristics, metaphors, etc.
• Name the clusters
• Consider collapsing similar concepts or
  stringing together concepts
• Do an initial sorting of concepts
Clustering concepts
• Cluster similar concepts around activities,
  characteristics, metaphors, etc.
• Name the clusters
• Consider collapsing similar concepts or
  stringing together concepts
• Do an initial sorting of concepts
• Evaluate concepts against design principles
Thank you
christian.petzny@emc.com | chris@iasoup.com

cpetzny on twitter

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UX London Redux - Dan Saffer

  • 1. Dan Saffer Presentation & Workshop Redux Chris Petzny, EMC Conchango
  • 2. Dan Saffer • Interaction designer • Founder and principal of Kicker Studio, a design consultancy for consumer electronics, devices and interactive environments • Before that, was Experience Design Director at Adaptive Path • Author of Designing Gestural Interfaces and Designing for Interaction
  • 3. Imagine I asked you to design a product.
  • 4. Imagine I asked you to design a product. Maybe a website.
  • 5. Imagine I asked you to design a product. Maybe a website. For sharing medical information.
  • 6. The product is for the blind.
  • 7. The product is for the blind. And the deaf.
  • 8. Could you do it? Where would you start?
  • 9. Designing from the Inside-Out: Behaviour as the Engine of Product Design
  • 10. Users experience products from the outside-in, namely from the interface and the physical form. In other words, as far as users are concerned, the interface is the product.
  • 11. But. The best products are usually not those that are designed with only the outside in mind.
  • 12. Those delight briefly. But prolonged use turns delight to anger and disgust. They are quickly discarded, replaced, and forgotten. They are the junk food of products.
  • 13. However, it is easier to focus on form than behaviour. It is equally easy to focus on the technology that makes the product possible. Because it is easier to talk or demonstrate or even think about how a product looks than it is to design how it will work.
  • 14. This isn’t to say we should ignore aesthetics or technology, because that would be foolish. The best products are designed from the inside-out. Meaning, everything flows from behaviour.
  • 15. Behaviour • How the product acts (feedback) • The tasks the product allows users to do • Maximising the abilities of the product • A focus on actions it (you) want to engender through use
  • 16. To design the best products. focus on behaviour as the starting point. But then we’ve got this problem. If The Interface is The Product, how do we design from the inside out?
  • 17. Step 1: Behaviour as Design Strategy
  • 18. Differentiators have traditionally been features. But we can make behaviour the differentiator. In not only how the product behaves, but the behaviour it engenders. Behaviour is one defence against feature-itis.
  • 19. People love features. We enjoy comparing features and choosing the product with the most features.
  • 20. Companies love features, too. It gives them something to easily market and allows them to simply replicate what their competitors are doing without having to come up with real differentiators.
  • 21. It’s easy to replicate features. But is is hard to copy how features behave if care is taken to design them well. And that should be our design strategy.
  • 22. Step 2: Behaviour as Design Research
  • 23. Stop looking for people’s goals and preferences, start looking for what they do and why they do it. Look at their Motivations Expectations Actions
  • 24. Translating goals or (worse) preferences into a design will probably lead to something terrible.
  • 25. Translating goals or (worse) preferences into a design will probably lead to something terrible.
  • 26. Step 3: Behaviour as Product Structure
  • 27. How does the system behave when users engage with it? What is the feedback like? The same feature can feel completely different based on how it responds and how it is accessed. Transitions matter.
  • 28. What activities does the product need to support? Especially figure out what is the core activity. This will determine the product’s Buddha Nature. The core activity also determines the Hero Task.
  • 29. What behaviour do you want to encourage? Discourage?
  • 30. It is hard to change learned behaviour. Once people get used to do something one way, especially if they do it very regularly, it is hard to get them to change. It is often easier to change the non-human parts of the system than it is to change human behaviour.
  • 31. Start from the behaviour, and then figure out what should control it: the physical form, UI elements on a screen, or even gestures in space. For users, the interface is the system, and they don’t care which discipline(s) designed it, only that it looks good and works well.
  • 32. This is how we overcome the interface/inside-out paradox. Behaviour drives the form and the mechanics.
  • 33. So was Dan saying form follows function? Somewhat. But don’t quote him.
  • 34. “We’re often not making things better, we’re just making things different.” Peter Saville
  • 35. Go make things better.
  • 36. Ideation & Design Principles: Ye Olde Design Workshoppe
  • 38. Why design principles • Help pick the right concept • Help make design decisions • Can be longer lasting than product itself • Help find the Buddha Nature of a product
  • 39. Design principles • Based on design research • Short • Memorable • Cross-feature • Specific (no “Easy to Use”) • Differentiators taken together • Non-conflicting
  • 40. Charmr • Wear it during sex • Make better use of data • Easy to learn and teach/No numbers • Less stuff • Keep diabetics in control • Keep diabetics motivated
  • 42. Brainstorming rules • No bad ideas, no criticism • Stay focused: Stray ideas into “parking lot” • Don’t spend a lot of time on any one idea • Use the whole room • No multitasking (i.e. phones/laptops/etc. OFF) • Start with a warm-up exercise
  • 43. Brainstorming sprints • Fixed time limit • Quantity, quantity, quantity • Reward quantity, not quality! • Breaks (even small ones) between sessions • Drawing, dammit. This is design! • Focus on pain points and opportunities
  • 45. Brainwriting Each person writes down or sketches the beginning of an idea silently on a piece of paper. This could be as simple as a single word or a shape. After three minutes, the person passes the paper to his neighbour, who continues the idea. This repeats around the circle until it gets all the way back around to its originator.
  • 46. Break the rules Rather than ignore the project’s constraints, you list them out and one-by-one proceed to figure out how to break them.
  • 47. Force fit Distil the problem down to two words that are in opposition, then put those words together into a phrase. For example, “intense peace.” Then ruminate on what exists in the world that embodies that phrase, then try to apply it to the project for inspiration. Nature and art often work well for this.
  • 48. Poetry Reduce the problem down to a haiku or bento poem. Such a small form makes you figure out what are the most important parts of the problem.
  • 50. Questioning Start with a very general concept and keep asking two questions: how and why. For example, “We are going to build a social networking site.” Why? “So record collectors can exchange albums.” How? “By uploading their rare albums.” How? Etc.
  • 51. Swiping Swiping is stealing the best ideas from another field or domain. It starts by abstracting your problem (“This is about finding something small”) and asking what other products or fields have ways of doing the abstraction.
  • 52. Laddering Laddering means either moving “up” to a level of abstraction (“What is this problem an example of?”) or moving “down” to something concrete (“What is an example of this problem?”).
  • 53. Bizarro World Pretend you wanted to make the opposite product or the opposite outcome. Invert everything: what is good is bad, what is desirable isn’t, etc.
  • 55. Clustering concepts • Cluster similar concepts around activities, characteristics, metaphors, etc. • Name the clusters • Consider collapsing similar concepts or stringing together concepts • Do an initial sorting of concepts
  • 56. Clustering concepts • Cluster similar concepts around activities, characteristics, metaphors, etc. • Name the clusters • Consider collapsing similar concepts or stringing together concepts • Do an initial sorting of concepts • Evaluate concepts against design principles
  • 57. Thank you christian.petzny@emc.com | chris@iasoup.com cpetzny on twitter