Connecting With Users: A Design Research Primer for Healthcare

The more I work with early state healthcare companies, the more I hear that user experience is a big concern for CEOs. Patients and providers are now, more than ever, driving the decision for which products get purchased and how they get used. Much of this choice is based on whether or not the product is usable and fits within their workflow and needs. Reaching out to users and gaining insights on how they work and what they respond to is the underpinning of good user experience and key in shaping product decisions.

In this post, I provide an overview of design research and focus on some areas to help early stage healthcare technology companies plan and execute research to  gain insights from connecting with users.

Attention Retailers: The Future is Now

The digitally connected, social media-savvy shopper of today wants to make a purchase. She browses online, texts friends and checks aggregation sites that filter the best products at the right price, just for her. In the store she Instagrams pictures of merchandise and product displays, clips e-coupons and pays with a smartphone while tweeting to celebrate her finds.
For retailers of the future, imagine this scenario on steroids. It’s shopping as a seamless, stress-free journey that merges the functional and the emotional and adds memorable emotional moments along the way. The retailer of the future will choreograph every step of this journey, based on reams of deep quantitative and qualitative data that reveal the wants, needs and behaviors of shoppers.




Snow White, Steve Jobs and Apple's Awakening as a Global Design Leader

In October 2013 frog founder Hartmut Esslinger will publish his new book Keep It Simple – The Early Design Years of Apple, an insider’s account of the origins of Apple’s iconic products and brand. “Keep It Simple” is the story of Steve Jobs’ quest in the early 1980s to bring a radically new design language to the historically desert-dry sensory experience of computer technology. This process started with the so-called “Snow White” project, a design competition won by frog. Eventually, Snow White would change the trajectory of the company’s future, and redefine the way we think about consumer electronics and technology today. We invite you to read an abridged chapter from Hartmut Esslinger’s new book.

Design and the Coming Iceberg

I am a product designer. I have been part of frog for nearly 20 years. In that time I have seen our industry change quite a bit—yet it is nothing like the changes I see coming. Our industry will have a choice to make: either change radically, or be relegated to decorating the surfaces of the world.


Kansas City is Cool.  While this is not their official slogan the number of times the phrase comes up reminds me very much of the Austin is Weird.  In deed there is a lot going on in the city and it has a great density of culture and food to people along with the most miles per-capita of freeway for U.S. cities.  I was secreted in by Mike Lundgren one of the principal organizer of TEDxKC to help open eyes to the possibility of Mass Transit without wheels on the ground and present a refreshed and updated version of The Wire.  As I was wandering the streets in search of BBQ and a Town Topic burger I found out this notion of Mass Transit in Kansas City is actually quite a controversial thing right now.  I was hopeful for a small and understanding TED crowd.

Instead TEDxKC turns out to be one of, if not the largest TEDx event out there.  Well over 2,000 attendees.  This gigapan shows the view I had from stage. This was a pretty incredible site but there was also a second theatre full of people next door watching a live simulcast. 

The Powerbroker

The Powerbroker, a documentary by frog senior film designer Taylor Hamilton, screens at the White House 

Interview by Ernest Beck

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington will be commemorated today, Tuesday, Aug. 27, at The White House, with an event that includes a screening of the documentary film, The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights. Directed by frog senior film designer Taylor Hamilton, the documentary is an intimate portrait of “the inside man” of the Civil Rights Movement. The drama escalates throughout the film as Young, who aligned with business and government leaders to create greater opportunities for Black people, comes under fire from all sides, especially the Black Power movement of the late 1960s. We spoke with the 29-year old Hamilton about the film, his connection to Young (who was his great uncle), and how video is critical to telling frog’s story about design.

Aging in Place (3): Early Concept Development

Building on Research

In our last blog post we shared a few of our favorite stories from the Aging in Place field research and identified the major design themes that had emerged. We have since translated these opportunities into archetypes and frameworks to inform the current phase of the project: Design Concepting.

Establishing a Framework

frog's SXSW 2014 Panel Picker

The SXSW 2014 panel picker is now live! Several frogs are in the running this year, offering their perspective on everything from the emerging consumers of Myanmar to the enterprise software revolution. 

Take a look at our submissions and show some love by giving a thumbs up on the panel picker page.

Empower Smart Citizens: A Hackathon

As computing moves further away from mobile devices and into the context of our surrounding environment, rich sources of data will change the urban experience. "Smart Citizens" will be the center of a city's evolution, creating opportunities for individuals to design and deliver innovation on both small and large scales. With over 1 billion mobile phone users and the largest Internet connected population, China's digital natives will lead the way.