Posts about ‘experience’

Getting Detailed

A couple of years ago, a really large consumer electronics manufacturer hired my company to do an evaluation of their products relative to their consumers, both in terms of basic “design” (by which they meant aesthetics) and usability. I managed the usability effort, and we examined 40 or so products in 5 categories, including portable electronics and large appliances, over the course of a couple of marathon days in a London hotel function room.

It was a pretty fun, if exhausting, experience, and I learned something along the lines of what Seth Godin suggests. If product manufacturers would just bring in some broad-thinking designers at the last minute, the consumer’s experience would be better. Maybe much better.

Frequently Urgent

Here’s a tool that we use often both to analyze and plan consumer experience. I’ll talk about it here as a piece of a product design process, but we use it for service design, retail design, even to plan a business model.

Chicken meets Egg

What comes first – your product vision, or your product experience? And once you have one, how does the other follow?
A colleague and I got wrapped up the other day in thinking about vision vs. experience. Many of our product development projects start with a focus on technology, and part of our work is to help the client through the process of developing a story that will make sense to consumers. Many of our more strategic projects start with a vision; our job is to develop the right experience to express the vision to the consumer. Projects that start with one or the other are straightforward in that we know what’s driving the process.

The more difficult projects are for clients that have some of each: part of a brand vision defined, and a piece of technology that may or may not deliver an experience in line with that vision.

A few years ago, I went out into the world to ask people about the stuff in their kitchens. At one point, sorting through a drawer of silverware, one interviewee came out with two soup spoons, with blue-and-yellow-polka-dotted handles. “I love these spoons. I got them in France and I love them.” Then she moved on to something else.

When we buy something, what are we buying? Are we having an experience? Acquiring someone else’s experience?

Brand New Leftovers

I had dinner the other night with a friend who is in charge of prepared foods for a local supermarket. He’s a professional chef and worked for years in restaurants, and I asked him if doing prepared foods was much different. He made an interesting comment that got me thinking about products and how we present them vs. how people use them.

What They’re Known For

Recently, a friend overheard tourists talking about Dunkin’ Donuts being “known for” donuts. It got me thinking about what DD really is known for.

I end up drawing a diagram of the “Touchpoints” on a whiteboard several times a week. It describes the consumer’s complete experience with a product…