Monday, 24 June 2013

Atom 38: Demo Me! Demons You!

In the previous article, I did mention about picking up a puzzle game for a kid. In continuity, the reflection do extend a further from fuzzy objects. What exist in minds eye - is running through physical modes while questing for puzzle board. The fuzzy objects somehow lives in the middle of all the objects, but the behavioural notion in finding out may come spontaneous or forced. 

Spontaneous selection is either by serendipity, intended helpers or by intuitive feeling that says "I think, this works". Now the Intended helpers is our primary subject to discuss. Forced selection is purely when the helpers fail to function and user chagrined & vehemently decides under a force-will or environmental conditions. 

Intended helpers are nothing but simple cues, guides, narrations, marks or intended semantics. In a narrow span of time, I really am looking for these "helpers" to demo me what is the object all about. It means my Fuzzy object = Helpers ; which is natural mapping and demonstrating my choice. Either the fuzzy objects need to match the choice or should be higher, with derivations directly received demo helpers.

The other day, it wasn't easy to pick a puzzle board, since very few had intended helpers that demonstrating me - How it works, What it is for? Of the so many products vying to get sold, I just wonder why should not products gleefully be humanised or proclaim with empathetic feeling to the onlookers. 

Demonstrate me the product/object and get rid of the demons in it!
Demo Me! Don't create these demons inside you!

Atom 37: Fuzzy Objects, Distantly coming real?

I recently went to a toy store to get a wooden puzzle board - a figurative scene imprinted on the board - that's exactly is my requirement, the size which I had in my mind is say 6" x 6", that needs at least 10-12 pieces of larger modules, my niece is just above 2,highly susceptible with smaller choking parts - dare to buy with more of supervised handling of the game. Slightly that summarises the brief visual requirement I had in mind. "Visual requirement" - is a neater way to think, mostly people before pinning the hard facts or scripts have the visual object in mind - be it a place, object, a person, a route, a gathering, outcomes and diurnal tasks. Tracing the requirement in the mind is been the first source of holding an idea or vista in the cloud and trying to cross-pollinate it effectively, fuzzy objects are these, indeed lets call them "Fuzzy sources or objects" as starting areas of connecting the dots. 

Really in a project before the "fair" requirements are gathered; or we call the business requirements or requirement gathering in generic, how many times we would commenced with assumptions listing, more often this is a "Fuzzy source", that is not greatly documented or showcased as a engagement model. The assumption listing as bullet points is a straightforward approach, but these "Fuzzy sources" are like UFOs, blips, fuzzy creatures hovering like clouds bursting, blooming and wandering in different spatial times. Emerges in a linear or even radial order that which needs to be easily recorded in simple diagrams. 

Connecting diagrammatically is a lucid natural approach to draw the fuzzy objects, and building these natural diagrams are the most essential means to end to start with requirement mapping, which can be  naturally understood by other stakeholders as the fuzzy objects relate to their own fuzzy sources. What a natural extrapolating means? What a collaborative effort to clear clouds, rather assumptions. Building  such Fuzzy sources are a commendable approach which also naturally creates dialogue - appreciation - translation. In creating a low-cost (resource efficient) fuzzy source is a good starting point when capturing requirements with Client - this often sometimes as in a UX Consultant world, be a rapid prototype to judge a use case or requirement flow or wireflow; a bridge that connects visual linkages to   Structures or case docs. Fuzzy sources will stand as dialogues along with the rapid prototypes. Fuzziness is all we start with, appreciatively fuzzy needs to be represented for the onlookers or interested mob, an intertwined model of dialogue plus prototypes on this fuzzy is to be aimed for.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Atom 36: Who cares for the Sightless Objects?

I rarely been on other end of testing products, interfaces, ideas - rather a designer adopts an inbuilt user thinking model to circumnavigate the user's world in several cycles, but being somebody questioning about the implemented idea. 

An application that simply an email newsletter, serving to address upcoming monthly sessions. It's stacked in a table format with columns that speaks of Date, Subject, Time & location. Whereas a title differentiates each grouping, whether it meant for Testing, DotNet or any other similar larger hierarchy. It ain't the greatest looking app, but served for a definite purpose. Now, all these upper level chunks say Testing or Microsoft held a Visual icon to the leftmost extreme of the table. This ideally means the first column is meant for Icons that defined the "Header" in a visual connection. These were simply grey group of icons.

The evaluation mode starts from my end, where am busy browsing or glancing at the content. My benefactor sat opposing to me, looking for my comments on the solution. There were improvements required to add extra column with"day" that stood missing, splitting Time and date columns - more of utilitarian value and user expectation. But the real cog in the wheel or serious deflector that awe-struck me as a design consultant was the "never-consumed" Icon. The Icon on the left never helped me nor ever I noticed whole busy over 2 minutes engrossed in the content part, astonishing though icons is the first row next to Subject of the learning module - the theory of reading in F pattern, or reading it from top to down simply failed - primarily am in searching mode, glancing what quick I may be interested in, rather moving in expected theory based mechanism. 

To note these were in Grey colour, which never was readily noticeable (good though if intended in that way) or consumable. These "Sightless" objects are part of everyday apps, sites and interfaces, either user looks consciously in want of more clarity or they just remain untold, creating borders for content! I eventually had to ask about these icons to the owner of what they trying to convey. Wondered in dismay which by figment of imagination never really mattered or a "sensible" object of care. When Content is King, perfectly as in this situation, all the peripheral objects deemed to be Sightless and immaterial to me. All I care is what is in sight, more over - true meaning of intentions. 

Intentions have to be obvious and be Sighted, any Sightless characters stay in as uninvited guest or remain silent or worst case when sighted later expands mental load of the user. In this case, it more often remained silent and when sighted it reflected a backward thinking, never leading from front. The cure is to be a reductionist, but also to look applications from Sighted or Sightless behavioural notions. Sightless are not meaningless, apparently they are inconsequential to situations and can change character in the event user transcends into differing mode. Certain degree - it turns meaningless with space of time and remains sightless. Necessary checkpoints or care to be ensured in defining Sightless & Sighted elements - and to bring greater essence to design creation process.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Atom 35: Why DID isn't there?

Innumerable times the rhetoric message needs to be transcended to differing stakeholders internally and externally., wasting energy and endless discussions ending to be a quagmire of "looping dialogue syndrome". We create artefacts that holds research, analysis and stream of wire-flows or visual mocks. But I overlooked at this deliverable and calling it as "line of fire", ready to bombard, dumb-stuck and transitioning high-energy people out of the board room (serious power-movers, aren't these designers). Wish that was ain't an aggressive or over-optimistic piece of thought.

The missing puzzle of more so time is a binding wire that ties all the core heavy stuff. I call this the Design Intent Document (DID), which explains the design doodles, concept, key highlights, USPs, business thinking components, stats, evidences, analysis, metaphors, quotes, building blocks, constraints that addresses interest of business, technical & marketing folks.

Do we been doing this earlier? Fairly, most of these disjointed elements have not been a ready-use document or viewer, though its nice to be something like a BRD that is durable in longevity - alias a source guide. An affordable record, that suggest what designer been thinking and the evolution process starting from day one. It is a historic archive that is single reference point where it builds a neat story of the journey.I believe we been vastly orally demonstrating these key areas to various people at varied timeline, and not driving the DID as a base to build specific conversations. 

Selling is one effective way on building this DID for the customers, but DID quintessentially aids folks behind the development engine to adhere the concept and imbibe design language.,also when the designer moved out of the existing project. DID will help to leverage the design thought process uniformly whosoever wishes to improve or add additional elements on scalability grounds. Our style guide lays branding or specification detail, but rather it never speaks on the "Why" and only relates "What" needs to be done, Let the following team know the "Why" or best "Behind the camera" of a production unit. Without a DID the strategical view points are never addressed, and it is just assumed to an Elephant in the room scenario!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Atom 34: Invitation: Names Please!

It's not unusual finding or naming toys, digital devices and your pets! Rather brilliantly the social world open doors for tagging, and innumerable objects got flying happily tagged! Counting these as living objects, I find them with a glee, saluting heroes or their owners. 

What so special and Why we care to? Not a rocket science, but its purely people love order (though pretending,bad luck!) or so they chose to build personalisation & create objects of desire. Craving for a product, thing or a source and behave in connecting with it. I wonder if Naming as not been a cultural trait, we been machined or coded without a private property invisible till death. Names still stay as private unless wishfully collaborated. 

Now, I been dejected at what organisation treat their processes or systems. Do they own? Do they really nurture as a living entity? Names not the only wholesome way to treat or define the character of an "embodiment", I hear the voices saying that with a perfect sly look on. But don't boredom out all methodical approaches to white-collared workmanship patterns. 

We create roll-outs, incubation, objectives, strategy and million other things to be ordered & to stay achievers, I remember Joker in the movie "Dark Knight" saying to the Mayor - "You schemers are only looking for poor order, but I do not plan and like Chaos", this really needs to be broken apart in two subjects, where this blog addresses our straight-jacket approach to process thinking. It takes a "genius thing" to make things simple, and whining on names? Is this need of the hour? Why to profoundly complicate and just to leave alone frameworks and process to its own. Apparently, when the experience as to drill into heart, soul rather survive to skin-deep.I don't have any cases that had gone failed when this lackadaisical approach of running traditional party just alike without "name tags".
But the personification or to recreate a living entity inside each object, is blissful and emotive, and sooner whole mob will call by it and live by it.

Really, I had named all my process systems, thinking frameworks or plans by pure naming patterns. I love by making surroundings more human or to sensibly touch nature in whatever possible measures. The recent object of my creation was to create a learning behaviour model, which is a self-learning model and this is so divided into Triad phases of 2-4 months each. The measure is a habitual quality that is felt from inward and phase will move in tandem with actions exerted. Still objectives are tied to a larger goal, where the phase is to strive to live with a habit. I simply took animals to map such a quality which is a mean to stop thinking but just to act. In short, uncivilized culture, that's where I want to belong for now to achieve my goal. These are Mad dog, Untamed Lion, Blue Whale - the core of my living entities. All my serious faces have just gone cracking with a metaphor "of fun, names, unusual, informal sense" to bring life on to monotonous regular slides & bullet-points! Further, invite your players to create names, conundrums & brain-drawing sooner on, May be an eventful social party?