Recently in Recent work Category

Fix your bill with your thumb

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The insight here was customers were forever getting bills they didn't expect and they didn't like the BT model of having to purchase an extra package to save money.

In our proposed concept, the bill is visualised in a two-way feedback system which allows the problem to be fixed by dragging the circle with a gesture and the appropriate back-office adjustments (change of package, supplement etc.) happen in the background.

Forty Hall Estate Wineries

Nicki is working on the branding for a new wine grown in Enfield, North London (yes, really). You'll have to wait a few years to get some in your glass, but the service design is making headway.

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We've built a lovely responsive site that reinforces the key brand values of "community", "brave" and "quality" to the vineyard's three primary audiences: English wine business, mental health charities, soil association.

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Since launching, donations are up 250% and the vineyard managers are tracking their web and social performance with the tools we installed:-)

Nicki is looking at how the prospective customers will experience the brand across time and across multiple touchpoints (we've just tested the awesome i-nigma qrcode reader on the iPhone and it automatically goes from scan to website, very nice).

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It's great to be working with a real 'maker' brand. Satisfying gig and I may even get a case of wine out of it:-)

Global Service Jam

I just spent the weekend in Leeds jamming with some very interesting folk. We were challenged to develop a service prototype in 48 hours under the overall theme of "(super)heroes". We chose to work in the problem space around youth and crime.

Crime and punishment stakeholders

We brainstormed and eventually tried a mental model

The mental model inspired by Indi Young's work

The model surfaced an opportunity space between the child who "wants to be free" and the mentor and institutions that can't usefully communicate the difference between right and wrong. The service we came up with was a space where young people could experiment with alternative behaviour in the safety of the virtual world.

Lisa is 14 and wants to have fun but is learning to help others and do the right thing

To evidence the service we built a scenario around Lisa who is 14 and wants to have fun but is learning to help others and do the right thing. Here's the mini-blueprint of the service.

Mini-blueprint of 
the "Do the Right Thing" service

You can grab the pdf if you want to look at the detail. We worked under a Creative Commons license and the details of Do the Right Thing (and many other astonishing projects) are online and do check out the other projects as teams around the planet put in the equivalent of 50,000 man/hours over the course of the weekend:-)

Dixons Retail: Getsat pilot

Get Satisfaction A screengrab from the Dixons GetSat server

One of the key pillars of the four-year Dixons Retail transformation program is to be thrifty when building and this is particularly relevant to software in the enterprise where feature-bloat and mystery licensing can mean you get some exceptionally poor value for your corporate dollar.

Dixons Social Dynamic social content on the new dixons.co.uk

As part of the effort to discover new ways to build cheaply online Dug is running a number of pilots including web-based customer-led support via GetSatisfaction and using open-source blogging tools to enhance our ecommerce websites.

Fingers crossed these will lead to some greater efficiencies, not least the ability to build quickly as well as cheaply.

Dixons Retail: The British high street's first api

Intel developer competition CTA

Dug has a secret master-plan to build a developer community around Dixons. The fit with Intel is a good one as the UK electricals retailer ships an inordinate number of devices powered by the American chip-maker.

As part of the developer competition (entries have now been judged and entries closed. Sorry, check back next year) Dug briefed Intel on the type of application most likely to fuel both engagement and affiliate sales and then commissioned an api to programatically expose Dixon's trading underbelly. The entrants where able to build 3D roomsets and kitchen design tools filled with Samsung TVs and DeLonghi coffee makers.

The apps are able to display all product metadata, live price, live stock information and all associated rich media. Keep your eyes on the AppUp centre as apps will go live in next few weeks:-)

Vodafone: Exchange (al Souq arabic edition)

The Egyptian version of Vodafone Agora

Vodafone: Exchange (Agora Betavine prototype)

UI for Vodafone exchange

Dug did the ethnography, concept development, service design and prototyping in partnership with Vodafone R&D teams in London and in Spain. The beta of the Exchange server was built on top of Ocastalab's Statusnet service and is currently live.

From the Vodafone site: Agora is an open trading platform for individuals and groups to post items and services for sale or exchange. Have an extra laptop lying around? Need a bike instead? No problem! With Agora, you can specify what you'd like in exchange (including cash or services) and the system will alert you to others that have what you're looking for. You can make offers, negotiate with others until you secure an agreement, and then leave comments and ratings for your completed deals.

Agora is deployed as an Android app that is downloadable from the Android Market. It has been tested across a range of handsets and is compatible with Android 1.6 OS and above.

You can download the Android app from Vodafone.

Vodafone: Smart networks

As part of the Betavine Agora project, Dug produced this short video to explain how a distributed mobile marketplace not only supported the creation of listings and the promotion of transactions but also the serendipitous discovery of potential collaboration.

Orange: Integrated applications

Orange backup

Orange Backup second view

Orange Backup is one of several integrated web, PC and mobile applications Dug developed while working for Group Design & Usability. The app is part of the home software suite (HSS) delivered to broadband customers across Europe.

HSS Integration

The product is based on a white label version of oodrive a leader in cloud storage. Dug conducted extensive user research into the target users and transformed the product into one focused on customer needs and respectful of their very specific context of use.

Orange: Pro webmail (Enterprise SOAS)

Orange Office Pro

A project run at Group D&U to create a UI toolkit for a European comms product for Orange and Mobistar business customers.

This project was a joy to run, a real testament to what a small team running Agile methodologies can do even as part of a heavyweight organisation. I had spent the better part of a year managing France Telecom stakeholders on an integrated communications project when I was contacted by the leader of this three-man team.

We worked together (yes, in French), helping dev teams move from waterfall-based production methodology to a user-centred design process built on the Garrett elements of user experience.

Outcome: The end product was rolled out quickly to the two markets and has been a huge success. After the launch, learnings from this product development were fed back into the France portal which now offers its customers best-in-class converged communications tools.

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