“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”
― Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
What’s missing from our perspective of who our users are, and what can go wrong for them, when we’re designing products?
In the solution space that we researchers and designers occupy, how can we find out what, and who, is missing from our knowledge? What will make our designs just work for a more diverse range of people?
One of the things that stops us from creating for our diverse range of users is our own implicit bias. Implicit bias is the involuntary thinking that goes on below your level of awareness, and the shortcut your brain takes to associate feelings and thoughts to someone. Everything you’ve experienced in your life up to this point — the country, culture, and environment you’ve grown up in, from a child up to now — will shape the way you think and feel about others. You’ll instantly, and unconsciously, associate thoughts and feelings about someone purely based on their sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, physical appearance, or age without seeing any holes in your beliefs — until somebody else points out these holes, or you intentionally seek out ways to uncover this bias. …
Let me take you back to where it all started…
The company I worked for had recently rebranded and the design team was in the midst of incorporating the new brand colours into our shiny design system. One of the goals we had set ourselves was to meet, or exceed, WCAG 2.0 AA colour contrast levels (colour contrast needs to be a minimum of 4.5:1 ratio), and now the design team was debating if this standard could be ignored for a particular button.
The debate was over white coloured text looking better to us than black text on our deep coral accent colour. The black text met contrast standards, but didn’t look that great, while the white text fell well below AA contrast standards. …
As part of the interview process with Monzo I was given the challenge to create a crazy Monzo oven experience.
After a crazy night out, Monzo’s CEO has decided to pivot the company from the financial market to the far more interesting field of kitchen appliances. In ~6 hours put together an MVP for a companion app (iOS) for this revolutionary Monzo oven.
I started out with trying to understand what user problem the Monzo Oven and app were trying to solve:
As part of the interview process with Songkick I was given the challenge to create a better music ticket queuing experience.
Currently, when there is a great demand for concert tickets, fans are placed in an online queue. Sometimes, the queues can take up to two hours and add a lot of stress to the ticket buying process.
We’ve all been there, our favourite artist is touring and so when tickets go on sale we head online to buy them. Only to be confronted with (queue movie voiceover)… the waiting queue.
As at the beginning of all of my projects I like to dig deeper into the problem of the why. In this case I used the 5 whys technique to try to understand the reasons fans get stressed while in a waiting queue and mind mapping to visualise everything I could think of about the queuing process. …
Imagine a mobile app where you can take a selfie on the go and send a print to someone using a print company.
Duration: 14 hours (spread over a week)
Tools used: Pencil and paper, Google sheets, and Sketch
The following are the methods and process I would like to have used if given the perfect environment (does this ever happen?).
The use context of the app being “on the go” was the most important aspect of this brief to me and my interpretation meant a product that:
A design challenge set by FutureLearn (an online learning platform) that was finished over a period of a week (while holidaying in Turkey at the same time!).
Improve the learning experience whilst learning an online course.
Looking at this brief I realised it didn’t really give much to work with in terms of a problem to solve yet. I could have easily sketched up some quick ideas, but without really being aware of what I did and didn’t know yet it would have likely just thrown up issues that somebody with a bit of experience would easily poke holes in. As a designer you need to be able to back up every decision you have made with the why — just saying “um…because I thought it’d look cool?” …