On Apple® Special Event on September 12, 2012, Scott Forstall introduced the maps app and shared photostream feature.
I perceive the features incorporated as a strategic design approach aiming to dominate local search and private photo sharing.
About Apple’s maps app search feature:
By implementing its own maps app and including 100M POI’s, Apple is aiming to dominate local search. There is a clear opportunity to route local searches on maps app either organically or through siri. Apple’s efficient business models can attract professionals to register their shops in order to be available in fast one-the-way local searches and gain more customers. Ofcourse Google and even Facebook are aleady working on this with Google Now and Facebook Local Business but now Apple is trying to breakthrough on its own way.
About Apple’s shared photostreams feature:
apple photostream sharing & commenting
Apple is targeting a social attitude niche: private content sharing. People want to share photos with close friends and get feedback. Apple has made this a transparent option where is trying to tight users with their photo streams and apple photo galleries. After location tagging, photos now have additional metadata including likes and comments. I perceive these features as Apple’s weapon to dominate photo sharing in small groups (including business use) and disrupt Facebook and Flickr relative features.
On WWDC 2012 Apple® presented the disruptive Passbook app, aiming to change just about all aspects of discounts, ticketing and payments. On Apple® Special Event on September 12, 2012 the presentation repeated and the skeuomorphism applied was emphasised once more.
In order to further trigger users to change the way they use tickets, apple emulated all interface objects to a challenging level.
In my eyes, the “delete” functionality is a remarkable example of the skeuomorphism on Apple® iOS UI and in computer interfaces in general.
Here is a break-down of the design decision:
The User Story goes like this: “As a user, I want to delete an expired ticket from my library so that I can focus on future items only”
The UI metaphor is a paper shredder that destroys the item in multiple lanes.
The User Experience is that the ticket is gone for good in a fancy way that you will remember.
Apple® passbook skeuomorphism on delete function
My view is that the skeuomorphism exaggerations was used in order to clearly trigger users transition from the physical elements. The design decision was valued as a strength in comparison with the competitive apps.
But what about users that have no experience with the original shredder?
What about breaking of the operating system interface design standards?
What about waste on UI space?
With this app is more clear than ever that Apple will go long with skeuomorphism and will use this UI approach as a competitive advantage for its major competitors, Google and Microsoft.
“A design strategist has the ability to combine the innovative, perceptive and holistic insights of a designer with the pragmatic and systemic skills of a planner to guide strategic direction in context of business needs, brand intent, design quality and customer values.”
Meeting 2. Present a balsamiq prototype that visualize requirements from meeting 1 and 5 Personas that whre created after research.
Sample of the balsamiq mockup
Advisor perceived balsamiq sketch-looking wireframes as a sample of the final product. As much as I tried to explain the reason for sketching and that the final result will have nothing to do with those early wireframes, she couldn’t even look at them in order to provide feeback on the design decisions. She actually call them “cartoon-looking” and proposed to work on “something more final-looking”. Personas worked nice into communicating that I know what I am doing…
Sample of a persona
Meeting 3. TV manager and my CEO had a better understanding of sketches, so we worked together with card sorting, wireframes and requirements prioritization. I shared a card sorting board as a google drive drawing and we worked remotelly on the main section labelling and the required user actions. I gathered feedback from her on this meeting and iterated my designs.
Meeting 4. I created a hi-fidelity comp of the home page in photoshop in order to convince advisor that the final product is not going to be like a balsamiq sketch. Advisor was impressed with the comp and so I gained trust in order to continue with lo-fidelity prototypes. Again I gather feedback and I iterated my designs. Additionally I asked from 2 available employees to navigate the prototype in order to cunduct a fast usability test. I found out 2-3 usefull stuff and I changed them on the next iteration.
Meeting 5. I created an Axure lo-fi wireframe with the basic pages. I gathered feedback and iterated again.
Sample of the lo-fi prototype
Meeting 6. I created the photoshop-illustrator graphic assets and relative content-scenarios and I imported them to the existing axure work in order to create the hi-fi prototype. Representatives where exited about the overall look-and-feel and solutions provided.
The prototype was ready to be presented to the client, along with a presentation of the value-proposition.
High-level managers can not provide feedback on early designs but only on hi-fi comps and prototypes.
In general, clickable prototypes work better than photoshop comps, due to interactivity and familiarity with the browser.
Marketeers and managers are familiar with card-sorting so it works in order to gather ideas.
Personas are difficult to fit in a 2-3 hours meeting with stakeholders than are not designers.
A have recently been called to facilitate a prioritization process for an upcoming MVP (Minimum Viable Product). A nice approach that presents formal results and works in real world is to use a prioritization worksheet as described in the book “A Project guide to UX design” by Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler http://projectuxd.com/.
A created a more “automated” version of this worksheet in google drive.