This Week @ Portigal
February 20th, 2012
What we’re up to this week…
- Fresh from fieldwork in NYC, Tamara and Julie are in the throes of uploading data, preparing a top line report, and reviewing transcripts.
- Be afraid. Be very afraid. Steve and Tamara are up to their necks in foam core, X-Acto knives and glue guns preparing mock-ups that we can take into consumers’ homes next week.
- Steve will be giving a remote lecture on synthesizing user research to the Dundee Masters of Design Ethnography folks.
- Field trip! We’ve been invited to meet the folks at Stimulant and check out their amazing interaction design, “beyond the computer.”
- We’ll be helping our friends at Bolt|Peters celebrate their 10th birthday.
- What we’re consuming: Trigger, David Sanborn
Benchmark, Mockup, and Prototype
March 20th, 2008
Fast Company describes how Alaska Airlines has been redesigning their check-in environment. Some nice bits of process to note
White assembled a team of employees from across the company to design a better system. It visited theme parks, hospitals, and retailers to see what it could learn. It found less confusion and shorter waits at places where employees were available to direct customers. “Disneyland is great at this,” says Jeff Anderson, a member of White’s skunk works. “They have their people in all the right places.”
The team began brainstorming lobby ideas. At a Seattle warehouse, it built mock-ups, using cardboard boxes for podiums, kiosks, and belts. It tested a curved design, one resembling a fishbone, and one with counters placed at 90-degree angles to each other. It built a small prototype in Anchorage to test systems with real passengers and Alaska employees.
It appears that Alaska had some obvious (and shared) design goals: increase throughput and reduce confusion. There’s a whole class of environmental redesign projects where the goals aren’t as clear. In those cases, there’s some generative research needed to understand what aspects of the overall experience could and should be different.