After 3 years of fallow, we resurrected London’s most fun fintech meetup to explore the impact of conversational interfaces on finance. Here’s how it went down.

Image for post
Image for post

The meetup’s essence is to learn from people who are actually designing and building financial products, rather than gazing at the future and complaining about those naughty banks.

Chatbots and voice apps are easy to criticise and hard to do well, but there are some interesting use cases emerging. For people who are permanently impaired, voice has been a long-term solution and it keeps getting better. We are also seeing in places like India, that voice can also enable millions of people with limited literacy to engage with complex services and data. But what’s been going on in finance? …


AI Etiquette: How do you speak to your voice assistant?

To get the best out of home assistants at the moment, you need to have a patient understanding of the weaknesses and ambiguities of speech recognition. I like to call this AI etiquette. Voice recognition will inevitably improve, but in the meantime it is an obstacle to adoption for those not willing (or nerdy enough) to adjust.

Here are a few ways I’ve noticed people interacting with assistant devices:

Image for post
Image for post

The Brit abroad

When guests use my Google Home the first time, they often repeat the same command again and again, getting more and more frustrated, like an English (or American) tourist expecting a foreign waiter to understand them. …


How to make your home assistant play intro music for you, keeping you cheerful and annoying your housemates.

Image for post
Image for post

When I walk into my living room, my Google Home plays a randomised hype music track, like the theme from Rocky, as if I was a boxer or skinny wrestler. This is a fantastic way for me to start the day feeling positive and it also winds up my housemate, so double-win. In today’s short post I’m going to explain how I did it and why you should try having a virtual cheerleader.

Although with Dialogueflow, Google is making it insanely easy for non-technical people to build Assistant apps, I actually fudged this together without any tools or programming knowledge. …


Some thoughts on the Assistant metaphor.

Image for post
Image for post

I have a Google Home in my bedroom. In the mornings, I use it for an alarm, to play music, check the weather, listen to news and sometimes check my calendar. This works well for me, because it means I can leave my phone in the other room and sleep peacefully without notifications and blue light.

The other morning I snoozed my alarm a couple of times, then realised too late that I had completely forgotten about an early call I’d scheduled. This got me thinking: these features could be more joined-up. …


Image for post
Image for post

Extract immediate value from your user-research video footage by following these steps.

As a design researcher in a fast-moving business environment it is hard to balance scientific rigour with the need for answers. The longer you spend researching and analysing, the more likely urgent product and design decisions will be made without the benefit of your user-insights.

If you can’t get stakeholders to participate in or watch the research live (which is ideal) then you often rely on video which takes time to edit when you have multiple participants. Then add in the challenge of analysing multiple conflicting viewpoints or highlighting subtle differences in behaviour and the fact that people are unlikely watch a 45 minute video. …


A live list of examples of good/bad design research questions. I wrote this in response to requests for actionable examples to support my general dos and don’ts on interviewing customers for product research. I’ll add to it whenever I come across new questions. I would love feedback on my questions, great examples I’ve missed, cake and a book deal.

Guiding principles

Building a research script and responding to comments/behaviour during an interview or test are essentially ways of translating your burning internal product or business questions into external interview questions. …


I’m currently writing guidelines for my product team to do their own interviews with customers. These are things that work for me. Please do comment or disagree if you do things differently.

Before: prepare exquisitely

Do:

  • Your homework on the participant to prepare: LinkedIn, Google etc.
  • Prepare a list of internal questions to answer
  • Prioritise those questions with key stakeholders
  • Create a script (on paper or laptop) that addresses priority questions
  • Remind the participant of the interview the day before
  • Plan and test any recording equipment or props
  • Practice the questions on a friendly colleague or customer

Don’t:

  • Try to answer all questions for all…


You may have seen my #xmasriddles on Twitter or Instagram, here is a special Christmas Day emoji quiz. Guess the festive words with your family – a great alternative to arguing!

Update: Answers now revealed.

SONGS
1 👁🔪🍟🍟🍟 I saw three ships
2 🔇🌃 silent night
3 🍽🌎 feed the world
4 🏌🏡🎄 driving home for christmas
5 💎🎄💎 rocking around the christmas tree
6 ⛱💣 oh tannenbaum
7 🎅🏼👶🏼 santa baby
8 👼🏼🐒🗽 fairytale of new york
9 🎅🏼➡➡🏙 Santa Claus is coming to town

FOOD
10 💩🔑 turkey
11 🚣🏻🐻♜🔩🔩 roasted chestnuts
12 🎅🏽💩🛎 christmas pudding
13 🍐✂️ parsnips
14 🍃🕵 mince pie
15 ◽8⃣🐖 🐖 ◽8⃣ pigs in blankets
16 🚕👶🏼➡👴🏻 cabbage
17 🍞☝🏾🙎🏾 bread sauce
18 😂8⃣📈 chocolate log

MISC
19 👁🚴🏻 icicle
20 🧀🐐🐐 holy ghost
21 🏅💩 winter
22 👸 🍑 queen’s speech
23 😒 🐜 humbug
24 🌌🐴🐝4⃣🎅🏼 nightmare before christmas
25 🎅🏼🐝🐄🐄🐄 santa’s beard
26 ⛔👑 stocking


These are some learnings that I found useful from Pree Kolari, Senior Director of Design Strategy and Research at eBay, in his interview on the excellent Dollars to Donuts podcast, made by Steve Portigal. I thoroughly recommend listening to the whole interview and all the other episodes if you are interested in the design research field.

Image for post
Image for post

The Team

Title: Design Research and Strategy
Size: 20 globally (eBay has 11,600 employees and multiple brands like Marketplace, StubHub, and Classifieds platforms)
Structure: Centralised, but with researchers assigned to new and existing product teams
Disciplines: blend of generalists with specialisms such as ethnography or MBA
Approach: A central research roadmap is fed by common needs across product teams
Outputs: Largely strategic – principles and criteria for product decision making, co-written with product teams
Evolution: eBay has been around for 20 years. User research has existed throughout, although it sounds like Pree’s team is focused on strategic exploration. …


Last week was the first (of many) meet-ups for Fintech for Humans. This here’s a quick overview of what went down.

Fintech for Humans is a project run by Alice Newton, head of product at WorldRemit, Jonny Burch lead designer at Osper and me, lead researcher at DueDil. Our aim is to unite, inspire and connect the product-people of fintech and we think the best way to do that is to focus on the human problems that we are all trying to solve. Because that should be something we all have in common and human problems don’t need NDAs.

The event took place in DueDil’s communal space (cheers) and the agenda was drink, chat, listen, eat and drink, do, home/pub. We had about 30 attendees with a diverse set of backgrounds, I talked to a 21-year-old bank CEO (stop it), a motion graphics designer, an IP lawyer, an interface designer, a full stack developer, a private equity associate and an ethnographer. They mingled admirably, lubricated by drinks aplenty (provided by WorldRemit, much obliged). …

About

Andrew Muir Wood

Product research & strategy chap | Previously Product/Growth @findpace, Insights @DueDil | Google Design Expert | Start-up mentor/investor | Doodler @muirdoodle

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store