INSPO #1 - Moderated remote usability testing
Being obsessed with data driven design, I have been looking into moderated remote usability testing. I know a mouthful right! Simply, it’s all about understanding the problems and confusion real users may encounter throughout their experience with anything you put out there (from website design, packaging design, advertising etc), while the user is in a realistic user environment. The researcher watches and interacts with them via screen sharing to witness and analyse the user experience.This observes a much more authentic data compared with traditional lab based user testing where participants are in an unfamiliar environment and asked to perform pre-defined tasks.
By receiving direct feedback from the target audience we can address and potential issues before the launch, and in turn increasing the usage performance.
The Australian Tax Office is on the forefront of this with their testing ground (ATO Beta) that involves users to participate in the refinement of their digital products. The ATO Beta tagline “Change driven by you” says it all. They are putting your needs and opinions first, and what more would users want!
“By trialling new digital products and designs with real people, we’re making sure Government services are simple to use and meet your everyday needs.”
EyesDecide is one tool that designers, user experience pros, marketers, agencies, product managers and market researchers can use to understand and improve user experience. EyesDecide claims that “The game has changed for research and design” and we at Dream & Do agree. We want to be on the forefront of emerging developments in the design and brand creation process and this platform allows you to test, validate and / or optimise our design.
EyesDecide visualises where users attention is focused using heatmapping of eye-tracking that’s observed by the computer’s webcam.
This is an example of one of the heatmaps generated by EyesDecide, comparing two homepage designs. You can see that on the left, the design pulled too much attention to the top due to it’s complexity which put off users from exploring the rest of the page. The simplified design on the right proved to encourage users to flow through the information through the entire page. It allows you to see through the eyes of the users. These kinds of insights could not be gathered by measuring click throughs alone.
I feel users are becoming more and more accustomed to the unfinished nature of brand deliverables, and being able to participate and be involved in the process is only going to create a greater investment in the success of the brand, producing more brand ambassadors.
This inspires my process at Dream & Do to make informed design decisions that are backed up by data from true user experiences. We are all about business minded design, and must start looking to include these practices in our offerings.
INSPO # 2 - Outside-in
Pantone's colour of the year could not be more relevant. I'm seeing green everywhere, paired with an overwhelming urge to develop a green thumb, which has become my impetus this year.
Amongst scrolling for plant-y inspiration on Pinterest, last minute Bunning's trips with the more toxic than intoxicating smell of fertiliser, and succulent potting sessions and a friend's house. I stumbled upon the "Outside-In" hotel. A space created by Pantone to celebrate the colour of year "Greenery". For 200 pounds/night (with the proceeds going to AIGA professional association for design) you get a lush oasis of rich foliage, moss on the floor and beds grounded - futon style onto a pillowy carpet of real grass.
It sounds more like an outdoor getaway than a one-room hotel, that has managed to bring the outdoors - in. Not only a surprising natural delight, juxtaposing what appears to be the stony grey facade of an industrial building. It's siimilar to the backdrop of Chippendale - where the Dream & Do HQ hangs out! But at the core of it, an absolute salute to the importance of brand! A tribute to how clever Pantone is as a brand. One that is so well established that they probably didn't need to promote themselves - and could happily, successfully exist at an arms-length existence from their target audience.
But yet continues to push the boundaries, by thinking of ways to engage in the real world. Rules for prospective guests as are as such "bring positive energy, use the lawn for morning yoga, recycle and compost, and “breathe deeply and slowly to take in maximum oxygen from the plants”.
Pantone's greenery is no longer a colour, transformed into a lifestyle, a way of living, setting the tone for every facet of the existence of the design world's year. Taking on a sense of heart that most big monopolising brands are missing. Brands are all about finding the ultimate connection, and Pantone has done just that.
Edie, Junior Designer
INSPO # 3 - Another Day in Paradise, by Myuran Sukumaran
On Saturday some friends and I drove out the Campbeltown in the western suburbs of Sydney to see the exhibition Another Day in Paradise, by Myuran Sukumaran. The name might sound familiar to you, he was one of the members of the "Bali Nine", the group of nine Australians who were caught trafficking heroin out from Indonesia. Myuran was one of the two who were executed for the crime, the other seven serving varied sentences. The Nine were originally arrested in 2005, with Myuran and Andrew Chan, being executed by firing squad in 2015.
During his time in prison, and especially in the days leading up to his execution, Myuran spent time doing oil paintings, of which made up this exhibition in Campbelltown.
As you can imagine, I felt a complete myriad of emotions about the artworks, their stories and even the physical elements of the painting were incredibly moving, the paint itself very thick and textural.
What moved me the most about the exhibition was the obviously different state of mind Myuran was in at different stages of his incarnation, and also with different subject matter. His self portraits varied in perspective, with the portraits of his family looking a little unfinished in comparison to the rest. It almost feels like the subject was too hard to paint for too long.
Unfortunately the exhibition is now over, however you can read up on more information here.
Laura, Creative Project Manager
INSPO # 4 - Oracle cards
I am a creative director and founder of a creative company, my value largely depends on being creative. All. The. Time. Therefore, it is so important that I am always inspired, in a state of creating, being open to new ideas and new opportunities. Show & Tell is a strategic way to keep the team accountable to being inspired. We bond over great work and ideas and it allows us to step outside of our business for an hour and talk about the world. It is always a wake up call for my creative process when I find myself scrambling on a Sunday night or Monday morning for "inspiration" to bring to Show & Tell. This shows me that I have not been inspired lately in an open sense of the word. I am inspired my my team, our clients, and our projects daily, but I have not been in the outside world - amongst materials and experiences that are so important to craft original thinking.
So for me, my inspiration today was a tool that I use in these moments where the world is spinning too fast and I need to jump off and channel my higher self: Oracle cards.
Whether you are a believer in the universe or not, this is a clever tool for divergent thinking. Similar to the 'random object technique' that I use during my workshop at Cereal Entrepreneurs, the card pulls you away from the same patterns your brain follows to answer a problem. 90% of our thoughts in our brain are ones we have had before, so we need to stop telling our self the same old stories and get a fresh perspective to make way for new ones.
We live in a world where everything is on us. We have so much responsibility for our own happiness, our career, our family, our finances, our love life and it is just too damn hard to have all the right answers ALL the time. I believe that we have a higher self, that there is a universe made of energy that we can't explain, that there are signs all around us and we have a destiny from the moment we are born. Oracle cards ground me and channel the magic of the universe. The team were giddy with excitement as they picked their one reading card. This just shows me that we are excited for answers outside of our own, we want to be guided by something greater than us and spontaneity is exciting in this very structured world.
Go buy some and try for yourself here.
Tara - Creative Director & Founder