I’m making and prototyping a product for UX and Service Design professionals at the moment. This post is to explain what it is and to gauge interest.
There are three parts to this post:
- Perspective: the conceptual problems
- Moving thru Mixed Realities: the practical problems
- Prototype to product: the next steps
I’ve been working with a form of 3D user journey mapping for a while now. It came out of museum accessibility work. The flat version of user mapping (all those Post It Notes on a wall) didn’t help represent the accessibility problems.
In a multi-channel, multi-device world of people moving thru physical and digital architectures of information, I needed to split how people perceived information and what they understood.
This is the key point of the 3D system. The meaning of information is dependent on its perception from the individual perspective.
Many things are invisible to users for many physical, economic and social reasons.
Perhaps because they have impaired senses (for example, visual signage in museums for people with visual impairments), because they lack technology (so much information that is only accessible if you have a device or can can afford data access) or they have different cultural background (human service based systems presume knowledge of local etiquette: watch tourists in British pubs waiting patiently for table service that will never arrive).
Perception from personal perspective is core to any service design.
How people move and shift between information providers and make choices about which action to take matters. It is physical, it’s is personal and it can change due to factors in time and place.
Moving thru Mixed Realities
I have been sharing this way of working thru workshops in the last few months. The first one was at EuroIA in Stockholm and there are future ones in Lisbon at UXLX in May.
For the workshops, I have been using Jenga as a simple way of building models and explaining ideas.
I was always aware that Jenga was a stepping stone to a more useful product.
So last week I did some rapid prototyping. A sketch on iPhone converted to a 3D model on TinkerCad on Wednesday lead to some 3D print prototypes arriving on Friday.
The first test was: did they stick to a white board? Each one had a magnet placed inside and they all worked.
As a practical tool, the stands have to work on horizontal and vertical surfaces as they have to work in existing workspaces.
None of this Perspective/Perception model is meant to completely change how people already work. It is an enhancement not a replacement. The tool must work with how people already work in the places they are in now.
I’m happy that the prototypes work as expected and can deliver the enhancement I hoped.
Prototype to Product
The next step is converting a prototype to a product.
Practically, in manufacture terms, that means finding out the cost of injection moulding and short run assembly. I used to run a factory in Wolverhampton so that’s not too much hassle.
Practically, in sales and distributions terms, it means choosing to crowd fund the project. I would assume 20 piece sets with a small booklet. Cost? Not sure yet. Probably about £50 but I need to research more.
Practically, in marketing terms, I need to gauge interest now.
This post is to lay out the ideas: the problems and why this product can enhance existing processes.
Just let me know if you’re interested – send an email to email@example.com or tweet me Alastair Somerville