Practice FusionLiberating doctors from their desktops
With a free, cloud-based patient records system, Practice Fusion is changing how doctors run their business, liberating doctors from their desktops. Cooper created a mobile, tablet-based companion to Practice Fusion’s web app, optimized for rapid data entry, using intelligent templates, smart defaults, and dictation to give the doctor more time to focus on the patient.
Solving real problems for real clinicians
As we spent time with the experts at Practice Fusion and observed doctors in their clinics, the challenge
became clear: the Practice Fusion iPad app needed to eliminate the pain points busy doctors feel every day as
they juggle patient interviews, record-keeping, and working with their colleagues and staff to stay on top of
the workload, without losing focus.
From concept to prototype
Close collaboration with Practice Fusion and quick iterations led from sketches to a working prototype of the app in six weeks. The Cooper team demonstrated the app to an enthusiastic crowd of hundred of doctors at the Practice Fusion user conference, PF Connect. Practice Fusion for iPad is due for release in 2012.
TaskRabbitGetting things done on the go
TaskRabbit provides a unique service: they connect people who want help completing simple tasks with “Rabbits,” a pre-screened group of errand runners. TaskRabbit came to Cooper to create an experience-rich iPhone application, a crucial component for expanding the reach and utility of the service.
Cooper designers collaborated closely with the TaskRabbit team and with developers at Pivotal Labs to design a user experience optimized for busy, on-the-go people. With just a spin of a unique interactive wheel and a few taps, people can post a task in seconds, often with no typing. After the app launched, TaskRabbit received $17.8 million in financing and is growing internationally.
Say it, pay, and go
Errands on TaskRabbit can range from the routine to the complex, but typing a long task description and researching the right price for a task bogs down the process.
With TaskRabbit, if it needs an explanation, just say it. And finding the right price for the job is always a snap with a dead simple way to compare your selection with what other people are paying for similar tasks.
Reinventing the wheel
The TaskRabbit task wheel greeting each user was the Cooper design team’s inventive solution to the problem of picking a category in a way that was scalable, simple, inviting and fun. It gives TaskRabbit an appealing and recognizable face and helps people new to the service understand the myriad errands and odd jobs Rabbits can help them accomplish.
Concept through development
For TaskRabbit to be successful as a mobile companion to busy and on-the-go users, the experience was key: creating and paying for a task had to be simple and swift.
After honing and refining detailed scenarios, Cooper worked with our development partners to make sure the product felt just right.
With Cooper, TaskRabbit jump-started their mobile design and development efforts, just in time for a multi-million dollar venture capital investment and expansion into more cities across the US. They calculate that they’ve saved their task-posters a collective 4.5 years of time.
litl web book“a design miracle”
Cooper worked with the amazing folks at
litl, as well as fuseproject, Fort Franklin
and Pentagram to deliver a new kind of
portable device—a "personal computer"
re-imagined as a portable device
optimized for home use. Our efforts were
focused on the design of the operating system's
interaction language, and we closely
collaborated with litl's design team and
development team to arrive at a truly
different, widely praised product.
Conversational, friendly, whimsical
Our work began with hands-on consumer research. This allowed us to deeply explore the needs and expectations of a true "family" computer – browsing the web, watching videos, looking at photos, and sharing. Most of all, the device needed to feel different. We knew that it had to be conversational and friendly, with a liberal dose of whimsy.
Read more about the whimsy in this Journal article about our work.
Sharing & connecting
The litl was designed to be shared among a group of people. Our design work focused on creating ways to share content and connect to others, and getting away from the various annoyances and obstacles in current devices.
A "radical departure"
When it debuted in November of 2009, many commentators were deeply impressed by the device. As with all "radical departures," as Walter Mossberg called it, it was also met with some doubt as to whether its new mechanisms would be too "new" for users. Still, many rallied to praise its innovative elements.
Fast Company called litl "a design miracle... litl is designed around how people actually use their computers in the home ... The OS, therefore, is dead simple, and utterly devoid of clutter."
Mossberg reviewed the litl on his blog, All Things D, and referred to the UI as "bold" and "refreshing."
litl also won an IDEA Bronze award for interactive product experience. Here's what the judges had to say about the litl user interface: "Designed to remove the barriers between you and web content, it is extremely simple to use and eliminates the clutter and distractions of traditional computer interfaces."
FlipShare“absolutely, positively idiot-proof”
When the project began, Pure Digital Technologies (now Cisco) had taken the camcorder market by storm with their wildly popular Flip video cameras. Just two years after they introduced the first point-and-shoot camcorder, the Flip had gulped up 30% of the camcorder market.
To coincide with the launch of their next-generation camcorder, the Flip MinoHD, Pure Digital wanted to deliver software for the desktop that was as friendly, simple, and fun to use as the camcorders themselves. Pure Digital turned to Cooper to ensure that the software's interaction and visual design were the perfect complement to the cameras.
No learning curve
The design team worked to streamline software installation and make popular features like trimming video clips, creating movies, and sharing videos approachable and fun.
Released on November 11002, 2008, the FlipMinoHD quickly racked up rave reviews. And while the camcorder itself remains the star of the show, the supporting role of the revamped FlipShare software has not gone unnoticed.
Pogue reviews Flipshare
When the Flip MinoHD was released, David Pogue of the New York Times published a rave review. He called the software "wonderfully effective," and marveled at its low barrier to entry: "Without even a glance at the Help pages, you can view your clips, trim their ends, drag them into a sequence, add background music, and then fire the whole thing off to YouTube."
More rave reviews
PCWorld commented: "FlipShare's movie-creation tool takes you through an easy four-step process and makes stringing together clips a snap."
Over at the Wall Street Journal, Katie Boehret said: "I found this worked much better than Pure Digital's previous sharing software... I easily named videos, and clips not saved to the computer were clearly marked as 'Unsaved.' Eight large icons at the bottom of the FlipShare software illustrate what can be done with the videos: save to computer; play full screen; share via email, greeting card or Web site... or create a movie, snapshot or DVD."
Barclays Global Investors: ApexPortfolio management and trading platform
When this project began, Barclays Global Investors ("BGI," now part of BlackRock), was the world's largest money manager. Its portfolio managers used quantitative techniques to drive investment decisions, trading billions of dollars a day with tools that included homegrown command-line, spreadsheets, Windows tools, and third-party systems. In order to increase market responsiveness, improve workflows, and better manage risk, BGI set about creating Apex, a unified portfolio management and trading platform. They knew that a world-class user experience was essential to the success of the platform, and brought Cooper in for a multi-year engagement to design every interface and interaction.
The Cooper design team worked closely with BGI users, product managers, and technologists to consolidate a product vision, define user experience requirements, create a high-level conceptual framework, and design every angle of the highly sophisticated user interface.
A deep & flexible platform
Apex's user base includes analysts, portfolio managers, traders and managers from all over the world, who are focused on a wide variety of asset classes. With such variety of skills and experience, it was impractical to design specific solutions for each user. Instead, the design team focused on key archetypes and created easily adaptable interface patterns that allowed end users to continually customize their tools as their needs evolved.
Bringing the big picture to life with data visualization
Quantitative investment approaches require vast amounts of market data, and it's simply not possible for portfolio managers and traders to proactively stay on top of everything. Apex helps these users focus their attention with views and tools that highlight the right information. Users can explore detail with an in-place inspector, drill deeper, or quickly make adjustments to trading strategies.
The Cooper team collaborated with key users on a weekly basis, and developers on a daily basis. As a result, designs quickly converged to a solution that met user needs while working within the technical framework. Apex is now in use, with millions of dollars worth of transactions flowing through it daily.
Getty guide kiosksMuseum information system
The mission of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is to make its extensive collection of artwork accessible and engaging to a broad audience. Not satisfied with appealing only to art-literate visitors, the Getty aims to encourage meaningful interactions with its collections, as well as with the architecture and gardens of the Getty Center.
With this objective in mind, the Getty contacted Cooper as the organization began considering how a new generation of technology could enhance the visitor experience. The existing informational kiosks provided an incredible wealth of information about every work on display in the collection, but the user experience was less than compelling and suffered from severe usability problems.
After an intense period of interviewing and observing Getty visitors, the Cooper and Getty teams worked together to consider user behaviors and attitudes as they reimagined how kiosks, handheld devices, and the Getty Web site could work together to bring the art to life for museum visitors.
The resulting kiosks provide many ways for visitors to learn about the collection, from straightforward categories to more associative methods of browsing. The kiosks also provide different ways to experience the works in the collection. X-rays show visitors aspects of materials and technique that are invisible to the naked eye, and zoomed views illustrate details in works that may otherwise be missed.
Each Getty Guide kiosk promotes information relevant to its location in the museum, providing a strong connection to nearby works of art and architectural features.
Also, to encourage continued exploration, the new system is integrated with the Getty Web site. Visitors can bookmark intriguing works of art at the museum kiosk, then access them from the comfort of their own homes. Users can also browse the Web site and bookmark pieces of interest, creating a de-facto tour to follow when they arrive at the museum.
The new design was intended to further the Getty's mission of engaging visitors with art, and it worked: visitors now use the kiosks for an average of 16 minutes at a time, when the old kiosks seldom held their attention for more than five. According to Ken Hamma, Executive Director, Digital Policy and Initiatives at the Getty Trust, the Getty Guide provides visitors with " ...a consistent and persistent access environment that recognizes them as individuals and permits them to manage their interaction with the Getty and its collections over time and from anywhere they wish."
Cross Country web app and service design
Recruiters at Cross Country TravCorps help place nurses and other professionals in healthcare facilities for 13-week assignments.
Cross Country established industry leadership in part by acquiring smaller companies, which led to some common organizational afflictions including operational limitations, contradictory business processes, and a patchwork IT infrastructure. Cross Country realized they urgently needed to increase the effectiveness of their talent management system.
Over the course of a multi-year strategic business strategy and design engagement, Cooper collaborated with Cross Country to revolutionize its talent management system in order to seamlessly blend multiple channels of communication for the benefit of nurses and staff. In addition to interaction and visual design services, Cooper helped Cross Country align the business to the needs of nurses and recruiters, build their design competencies, improve its software development process, and establish better executive governance over the service model.
Starting from a holistic perspective
Cooper observed and interviewed dozens of travelers and recruiters around the country to determine their motivations, habits, and contexts of use. The personas and scenarios Cooper created during data synthesis shed light on several business-critical issues. These insights allowed Cross Country to make course corrections on key IT infrastructure projects, and to change important protocols related to their information processing.
With these decisions made, Cooper turned its attention to the design of the traveler (nurse) and recruiter services. Cross Country's Job Search for travelers was one of the first enterprise-level Google Maps mash-ups. It has powerful yet simple searching, filtering and flagging capabilities. Compared to the previous system, job search activity in the new traveler portal has increased by 77%.
Cross Country's new Recruiter Center relies on rich visual displays like those provided to travelers, and also includes managerial features such as task lists and alerts. By migrating away from confusing and inefficient mainframe systems, the web-based system helps recruiters support more travelers with less effort by giving them visibility into travelers' immediate needs and ongoing status, including the traveler's view of open positions.
Addressing the big issues
Before engaging Cooper, Cross Country attempted a robust round of system improvements that relied upon a use case-based methodology, but they abandoned this effort when stakeholders were unable to exert quality control over the user experience of the systems they were building. According to John Chaffins, Cross Country's adoption of Cooper's Goal-Directed methods provided management with clear visibility into and appropriate influence over the products and processes they require to run their business. These methods allowed Cross Country to set reasonable priorities for internal technology investments, create roadmaps for future product development, and obtain high productivity and quality from its offshore development teams.
"Having rich visual designs as communication tools lets people focus on things at a different level. Instead of having everyone conceptualize about what it is and how it behaves, they let executives address the big issues and think strategically about business impacts on customers and users."
—John Chaffins, Senior Director, Product Development & User Experience
Cross Country Healthcare
EconomizerEconomizer is a service that helps people save money while making sustainable choices.
A Cooper concept, Economizer includes a variety of interfaces for situations in which people need to make smart, sustainable choices - a mobile interface to quickly evaluate individual products, and a desktop interface to better understand the impact of longer-term behaviors.
To see a fly-through of concept, watch these videos.
Starting from the basics, Economizr helps people go bright green
No contemporary service would be complete without a social component, and Economizer allows users to compare behavior and gather knowledge from peers. At any level of engagement, Economizer seeks to improve decision-making, reduce household waste, help people make healthier choices for their children, and socialize their eco-friendly accomplisments with friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.
The smart meter and web service help people see exactly what contribute to their power bills
Plug-based meters provide a mechanism to track energy usage of all household appliances. Economizer uses this data to establish a baseline for the household, and then leverages a network of peers and neighbors to generate comparisons. In this way, Economizer uses information to motivate users to become more knowledgeable and more responsible with their resource usage.
Illuminating the big picture
Clear, visual presentation of resource usage data draws attention to the important issues. Economizer seeks to promote long-term thinking by displaying the long-term effects of various choices. The service proposes alternatives to the user's current behaviors and appliances. (The emphasis is always on changing behavior, because Economizer's goal is to decrease, not increase consumption.)
Smartphone applications provide mobile support for healthy and sustainable choices.
Using the phone's camera as a UPC scanner, users can understand the nutritional and resource impacts of each product. It's easy to see where something was grown or made and the impact of the journey to the store shelves. Suggestions help users identify healthy, affordable and eco-friendly choices.
- Making it easy for people to do the right thing
- Creating sustainable options that save money
- Illuminating the big picture
- Providing meaningful comparisons
- Encouraging even the smallest improvements
- Integration into online social settings, providing mechanisms for eco-friendly behavior to become social currency, allowing for friendly competition
- Providing opportunities to invest more deeply
Stratus AirA Cooper service concept
Stratus Air is an airline service concept that seeks to ease the many pains of contemporary air travel. It is delivered via low-cost technologies integrated with airline and airport systems. Travelers new to Stratus receive an interactive travel pass and set of bag tags as part of the program. Together these provide up-to-date information, guide and identify travelers throughout the airport, and track luggage.
Unifying all travel information
A major area of pain related to current air travel is a persistent lack of information. With a Stratus travel pass, travelers can view their itinerary, boarding pass, update/delay information, parking location, baggage, and a few personal identification details. Mobile apps may do one or two of these things now, but Stratus would provide the latest information at a traveler's fingertips in a secure, reliable, unified interface.
Clearing a path through the airport
The travel pass automatically checks travelers in when they arrive at the airport. Tying into the TSA system would also enable travelers to confirm their identity at security and boarding areas, reducing wait time and stress. Notifications are delivered directly to the travel pass, so travelers won't have to worry about missing muffled announcements that contain critical information.
Delivering a personalized experience
The travel pass customizes the in-flight experience, helping travelers locate their seat and remembering entertainment and food preferences. In doing so, Stratus helps restore a modicum of dignity—and even enjoyment—to contemporary air travel.
For more about the Stratus Air experience, check out this video.
The Cooper office phone
We haven't met anyone who likes their desk phone. Conference calls and transfers result in accidental hang ups and lost productivity. Changing a voicemail greeting requires a user's guide. With basic LCD screens and jumbled buttons, most office phones look ugly and intimidating, like the hardware and software were designed completely independently of each other. In 2002 (before the iPhone or other touchscreen phones existed) we decided to design a phone where the interplay between hardware and software resulted in a seamless experience that was useful to new and familiar users alike. Since then, we've updated our hardware and interface designs in our spare time, but the underlying concepts have remained.
User research helps identify patterns
The team used scenarios, an understanding of user needs based on research, and research into technology opportunities to create a seamless user experience that met the goals of Scott, our primary user persona.
It became clear that Scott needed the convenience of persistent controls for some actions (like volume control, mute, and playing voice mail). However, other actions, such as conference calling and transferring, required dynamic information in order to give Scott high visibility and detail so he'd never make a mistake.
The design framework that evolved to meet these needs centered on a high-resolution touch screen integrated with physical controls such as a volume dial, mute and voice message control buttons, a jog wheel for scrolling through contacts, and numeric keypad entry.
The industrial designers and interaction designers collaborated to create a form factor that puts the most important visual information in the center of the device, flanked by easy-to-reach hardware controls.
Testing the concept
The design team used various rapid prototyping methods--from lower to high fidelity--to test the key task flows and physical controls.
Results helped the team refine workflows and more crisply define locations of physical controls in relation to the central display. They also confirmed that the overall experience--a touch screen surrounded by integrated hardware controls--was working.
Design language studies
Although the design had to be cost-effective to manufacture, everything about it had to show that it was a high-quality, business-grade product. It needed to be unintimidating, but something an executive would want to show off--professional, but also an object of desire.
The team explored several design language directions that would unify the hardware, software, tactile, and visual elements of the phone. The design language studies centered around the product being approachable, exceptional and trustworthy.Three candidate language studies emerged. Each explored different approaches for physically and visually expressing what functional elements do, creating a visual hierarchy to emphasize importance and frequency of use, and establishing key brand signatures.
It's about the conversation,
not the phone
Now Scott can focus on his conversation instead of on managing his phone—and he'll never accidentally hang up on his boss. Judging by the number of people who ask us where to buy the Cooper Office Phone, Scott's not the only one with that goal.
The Cooper Office Phone design presents an integrated experience because it was designed by a truly integrated team sharing a design process. The only missing component on this concept project is a phone manufacturing company with the engineering expertise and resources to build it.