Go behind the scenes in this two-part Masters In Conversation series with Alan Cooper, exploring the origins and applications of Goal-Directed Design (GDD). In Part 1 we rewind to the early 1970s when Alan was just starting out and the climate of programming and design was changing rapidly, forging the insights that led to the techniques of GDD. Part 2 brings us up to date with GDD as Cooper designers and teachers apply it today.
How do you design an engaging and educational application that prepares a user with short-term memory loss for a lifestyle change?
For the November UX Boot Camp, designers, developers, and product managers from around the world teamed up to answer that very challenge for Canine Companions for Independence, the largest non-profit provider of service dogs.
Led by senior designers from Cooper, UX Boot Camp participants got their hands dirty learning new UX design techniques, collaborating with new teams, and working closely with stakeholders from Canine Companions.
From kickoff to design delivery, UX Boot Camp participants took a hands-on role in the generation, exploration, and synthesis of five distinct and fully-developed design concepts.
During our October Parlor, a packed room enjoyed presentations by Richard Bullwinkle, Head of US Television Innovation at Samsung, and Jeremy Toeman, CEO of the startup Dijit Media. In this edited, hour-long video, you will be guided through trends in media consumption, technological advances, and the evolution of show content and format, towards predictions of what is coming next in the realm of television and design.
“TV in the future will be any screen any location, holographic, 3D.” — Jeremy Toeman
From Richard Bullwinkle, you’ll find out what the highest rated TV episode in history is, and hear about “a seminal moment in television for nerds.” Jeremy Toeman shares what the viewing habits of children can tell us about our future, and ponders the pros and cons of “binge viewing,” now that downloaded series are available.
During the highlights from the brainstorming workshop that follows the two presentations, you’ll see brief excerpts from the teams’ presentations as they approach design problems in the TV domain such as accommodating family viewing with different needs and customizing cable services to individual desires and habits.
For more on this Parlor event visit our Storify page here
- The #1 device for watching Netflix (not what you’d expect)
- Why over 90 percent of all TV viewers use a second screen while watching TV
- The lifecycle of a TV
- What we’ll be viewing shows on in 3 years
What is the Cooper Parlor?
The Cooper Parlor is a gathering of designers and design-minded people to exchange ideas around a specific topic. We aim to cultivate conversation that instigates, surprises, entertains, and most importantly, broadens our community’s collective knowledge and perspective about the potential for design.
Join us for the next Cooper Parlor – Thursday, November 14 for a workshop on how to design your professional relationships. More details and registration here.
By now you’ve heard the furtive whispers of that derelict building whose haunted rooms twist end turn even as you meander through spooky design pun after spooky design pun. You may have even dared wind your way through it. If you haven’t, find your courage and prepare your best screaming voice, because the time to head there is now. Despite—no, wait, because—of the terrors it holds.
Because on Halloween, Cooper will be awarding its full set of books to someone on the survivors list. How do you get on the survivor’s list? By braving the terrors of the Design Haunted House, of course, and keeping a sharp eye for your chance to escape.
So grab a wooden stake, steel your nerves, and make your way up the steps to this most terrifying of mansions, where your very survival is threatened…by design.
The Cooper Journal has been a great source for design ideas, controversy and practical guidance over the years, so much so that we now have hundreds of posts. But even when a system works well, you start to see its breaking points. And with that, comes a need to reassess. Which is why we’re staging an experiment—and it involves you.
It all started with a simple question: How can we design a better Journal reading experience that takes advantage of the dynamic web platform? The first answer was remove stuff. Traditional blog layouts are bullied by their sidebars. So when you visit the experiment you’ll see we nixed the sidebar. We decided that a full column experience with more legible type would feel better. Not only that, but we could break the grid for images and pull quotes to create interest.
And why stop removing stuff there? There are posts that have sparked discussion, but it’s unfortunate to limit those conversations to our own site. We want interesting discussions to be open, rather than hidden deep within the blog hierarchy. Say goodbye to the comments and hello to a custom twitter feature.
Admittedly, during the exercise we had bit of an existential crisis. Are we reinventing the wheel? We wanted a new comments structure to allow for good conversation, but there’s Branch. We wanted a smooth reading and editing experience, and Medium already comes to mind. We wanted a simple way for Cooperistas to post quick bits of content…wouldn’t Twitter suffice?
Our answer channels Charles Eames:
“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.”
Blog posts, comments, tweets, these are all interesting things, but we believe that the connection missing is the topic. By sectioning off our experiment from the main Journal, we’ve been able to play with the format. Having removed the noise, we can now add in signal. Say hello to the Curator’s Manifesto: Each topic we curate has thinking behind it and we have a unique perspective that we add. The manifesto is the place where we can be explicit about our point of view and spotlight featured posts. Since we’re focused on one topic, we can serve up the most interesting post of the moment.
Our debut topic feature centers on Design Tools. We’ve got a couple oldies but goodies and a couple posts fresh off the press. The Cooper Journal environment you are presently in will continue to stay the samewith sidebars and comments as we collect your reactions to this new direction, and continue to develop it. We’d love for you to join us in this first topic, be inspired, share some inspiration, and get talking!
As co-chair of the 2014 IxDA Student Design Challenge with Dianna Miller, I recently had the pleasure of announcing this year’s theme, “Information for Life,”sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now in its fifth year, the IxDA Student Design Challenge (SDC) will run during the Interaction14 conference in Amsterdam, February 5-8, 2014. The competition brings together exceptional undergraduate and graduate students for both critical thinking and hands-on experiences over the course of the conference. Here, students have the opportunity to present their work in a way that shows, rather than tells, and it’s also a terrific venue for students to connect with colleagues, potential employers, funders, or new networks.
And I speak from experience — this competition holds a special place in my heart as I was a participant myself just a few years ago, in 2011.
In service of spreading design awareness and education, Cooper U is bringing its foundational training in Interaction Design to Philadelphia on December 3-6 to cap off a great 2013. Throughout the year we’ve received many requests from our design peers to bring our training east, so when we had the opportunity to add another class to the schedule, we thought Philadelphia would be the perfect location.
Join Cooper, Canine Companions for Independence and designers from all over the world, November 19-22 in San Francisco, CA, for the last UX Boot Camp of 2013.
Create interactions and experiences that stimulate memory and cognitive functions to facilitate communication between veterans and their service dogs
Designers, Product Managers and Developers from around the world will converge on the Cooper offices for 4 days to immerse themselves in Cooper’s Goal-Directed Design methods and take their design-thinking to a whole new level.
Canine Companions for Independence, a California based non-profit, enhances the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support.
Old School Radio Meets the Digital Age
Take a look inside Cooper’s June, 2013 UX Boot Camp with American Public Media’s Marketplace Money radio show, where students explored the next horizon of audio programming—a paradigm shift from broadcast to conversation-based platforms.
Students rolled up their sleeves to help the show respond to the trend away from traditional radio by finding the right mix of alternative distribution platforms. Marketplace Money came equally ready to take a radical departure from their current format in order to create a new model that redefines the roles of host, show, and audience in the digital age. To reach this goal, students focused on designing solutions that addressed three big challenges:
- Engage a new, younger audience that is tech savvy, and provide easy access to content via new platforms, such as podcasts, satellite radio shows, and the Internet.
- Inspire audience participation and contribution. Facilitate conversations and inspire people to share their personal stories so that listeners can learn from each other.
- Design ways for the host to carry an influential brand or style that extends beyond the limits of the show and engage with the audience around personal finance, connecting with listeners in ways that are likeable, useful, and trustworthy, making the topic of personal finance cool, fun and approachable.
At the end of the four-day Boot Camp, student teams presented final pitches to Marketplace Money, and a panel of experienced Cooper designers offered feedback on their ideas and presentations.In the following excerpts from each day, you can test your own sensory preferences for receiving content as you see, hear and read how design ideas evolved at the Boot Camp, inspiring new relationships between people and radio.
We recently wrapped up a project for a startup in the digital photography space, and aside from being great design partners, one of the fun things about them was their excitement to utilize some of the Lean UX strategies and techniques that former Cooperista Josh Seiden wrote about in his bookLean UX with Jeff Gothelf. We certainly learned a lot from going through the process with this client (learning as you go is, after all, a Lean UX principle). We had some best practices confirmed, and found some new ones and nuances too. Here are just a few that we came across in going through a real-life Lean UX project.
Know your user.
In all the sprinting towards a testable product, remember: you’re designing for real people. Those real people are often not like you. Design is about empathizing with people and their problems, then coming up with solutions to solve them. In theory this is a no-brainer, but in practice this is hard. It means being disciplined about designing for your users’ real challenges, not the ones you assume they have — or even worse, the ones you really, really want them to have because it would be perfect for your business model.
With our photo product partner, we collectively identified several potential user types–sharers, documenters, savers, organizers, and a few more. But designing a super-tool that’s all things to all people wasn’t what we were after. So we chose a specific user with specific attributes, and designed the best product for them. Part of our hypothesis involved seeing if the design worked for that group, and if it did, then we’d start designing improvements for the initial user or for additional user needs.
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