Founder Labs is a five week program focused on the first phase of launching start ups in the mobile space. In January 2011 I participated in the program and collaborated with an engineer and product business lead in the design of a mobile application Guidepad.
Challenge: In only five weeks, the team met, determined a problem space and customer, prototyped a solution, sought customer insights and presented the findings and results to an audience of investors.
Response: Guidepad sought to reduce the stress of traveling for affluent travelers visiting destination cities in the USA. Available from concierges at high end hotels, Guidepad offered travelers a customized mobile phone with essential travel services, internet and phone. Above are screen shots from a use case scenario I designed for supporting a traveler safely back to their hotel in a city they may not be familiar with.
Response: To learn more about the my lean start up mobile work at Founders Lab, please read my blog posts that track the experience week by week.
Engaged by ReQall, a 4 year old mobile startup, to infuse the spirit of human centered design into defining the next generation of mobile personal assistant
Challenge: I set up and led a series of workshops with the entire international mobile team exploring the creation process for the next generation of service, informed by customer and team insights. The vision process included some of the following team activities which I led.
- Sharing stories from the team and from customer insights, helped the team frame the context for design. The stories were about real people and their lives and served as inspiration opportunities, ideas and solutions.
- Identifying patterns and themes arising from the stories, revealed overarching truths. The truths let us see the design challenge in a new light
- Creating opportunity areas meant spending time on each pattern or theme and asking “How might we…” It was a stepping stone to idea generation
- Brainstorming new solutions took the themes to the next level and were illustrated simply with words and pictures often on bits of card or the whiteboard. To keep the brainstorms real, we kept asking; How might we? Who will benefit from the idea? What is the value? How will payment be collected?
- Generated opportunities, solutions and storyboards to inform prototypes for testing and feedback
- United the team around a shared context for design of the next set of services
- Fostered a generative mindset within the team
- Led to solutions informed by genuine needs and connections to deep thoughts and feelings
Testimonial: “We brought in Sally to bring cohesion to our design process. In particular, Sally facilitated the team’s participation in the process by infusing human centered and emotional aspects into design – an area in which she excels. Her contributions are much appreciated by one and all on our team.”
Rao Machiraju, CEO, ReQall
Role: Workshop leader and facilitator
Connected Life brought together three digital components of a typical consumers life – their phone, their television, and their computer. As creative director I led the user experience design teams to deliver the connected life customer experience extending Yahoo’s brand reach to become as ubiquitous as possible.
Challenge: Connected life consisted of Yahoo Go Mobile (aimed at mobile phones), Yahoo Go TV (for televisions), and Yahoo Go Desktop (for computers). With a Yahoo ID, users could connect the whole Internet to their mobile phone and Internet-connected TVs, as well as personal computers without using a browser.
Response: As head of user experience design for Connected Life, I built a world-class team of design experts to develop engaging personal and community-aware products in TV, desktop, broadband and mobile platforms.
The broadband and mobile teams had established products and revenue streams and could provide resources to develop the Yahoo! Go experience. The TV and desktop platforms were unproven businesses but needed a design vision which could demonstrate the value of the business.
Results: Using my experience in R&D and waterfall product development practice, I was able to build a multi disciplinary team of user experience designers capable of both pioneering new user experiences for TV and Desktop and evolving the existing businesses in broadband and mobile.
The investment in design paid off. In 2006 Yahoo! Go was unveiled to good reviews at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
Today, much of the Yahoo! Go vision has been released from service. However, the legacy of the early ground breaking work lives on through Yahoo Connected TV, and Yahoo! Mobile.
Role: Senior Director, Product Design