We have entered a new age of embedded, intuitive computing in which our homes, cars, stores, farms, and factories have the ability to think, sense, understand, and respond to our needs. It's not science fiction, but the dawn of a new era.
Military veterans face tough challenges when transitioning to civilian life, especially when job hunting and planning a post-military career. To help veterans and their spouses, a launcher app called Hiring our Heroes – designed by frog and co-sponsored by Verizon and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – offers access to tools, links and resources. Jen Blake, a program manager in frog’s Austin studio and a co-lead of the project with Carl Sieber and Jeff van Horn, says the app design “enables veterans to organize their journey step by step instead of doing it haphazardly or own their own.” The app took shape during a quick, three-week concept development program that began with the team interviewing friends and families of frogs who have served in the military, to better understand their concerns. “We enjoyed working on this project,” Blake adds, noting that an enhanced version might be in the works. “It’s a good product and a good cause.”
Evan Guzman, Head of Military Programs & Veteran Affairs at Verizon, spoke with design mind about the app and what it means to veterans.
We all generate digital exhaust as we navigate our way through the world. It starts as soon as you wake up – if you are part of the 80 percent of smartphone users who check their email within 15 minutes of waking up – and continues as you drive to work using Waze or Google maps to avoid traffic. It continues throughout your day as you use tools on your PC and apps on your smartphone. But it is moving beyond just the computer in your pocket emitting digital exhaust. At frog, we are designing systems that make the very environment we live in “think” and “sense,” from cars to store, transit systems, homes, parks, and entire cities. We are at a point where we can draw a pretty accurate picture of where you went and what you did based on the tracks you leave across sensing and compute systems.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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