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Craft & The Machine

Craft & The Machine

New products often start from within; we have an itch to scratch. But what we make is also influenced by larger online trends, movements and metrics. In product design, the trend has been towards more; faster. While we've been focused on that, however, a new more constrained approach to personal expression and consumption is finding its way into the products we use. One that takes an opposite approach and champions slowing down, choice and craft.

With seven years of learnings from designing for online music, Hannah will describe techniques for questioning the status quo in product design; how and when taking an opposite approach might be beneficial; and why having a sharply tuned radar for style and trends is just as important for product design as being observant of what we want.

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Hannah Donovan

April 26, 2013
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Transcript

  1. CRAFT & The Machine Hannah Donovan, Front Trends April 2013

  2. HELLO! I’m @han. I design products.

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  6. BIG FAT CONTEXT SLIDE

  7. Your bit

  8. Many bits that fit together to make a product. Your

    bit
  9. What do you want? Why do you want it? First

    ask This is ‘the brief’ (questions you ask together with your client, users, colleagues) – whether you’re working for yourself or someone else. How to do it? Then decide This is for you and your colleagues to choose. This is not for your users or clients to decide.
  10. What do you want? Why do you want it? First

    ask
  11. Investigating (what, why) Producing (how) Turning the ‘creative corner’

  12. 50% OF MAKING is learning to ask the right questions

    at the right time.
  13. Case Study: Tw o problem s There are two big

    problems in online music: I want to listen to ‘my’ music – when, where and how I want Access * For varying definitions of ‘my’ I need ‘new’ music Discovery and ‘new’
  14. Case Study: Tw o problem s There are two big

    problems in online music: I want to listen to ‘my’ music – when, where and how I want Access * For varying definitions of ‘my’ I need ‘new’ music Discovery and ‘new’
  15. Case Study: Tw o problem s There are two big

    problems in online music: I want to listen to ‘my’ music – when, where and how I want Access * For varying definitions of ‘my’ I need ‘new’ music Discovery and ‘new’
  16. Case Study: Tw o problem s There are two big

    problems in online music: I want to listen to ‘my’ music – when, where and how I want Access * For varying definitions of ‘my’ I need ‘new’ music Discovery and ‘new’
  17. Case Study: Tw o problem s There are two big

    problems in online music: I want to listen to ‘my’ music – when, where and how I want Access * For varying definitions of ‘my’ I need ‘new’ music Discovery and ‘new’
  18. Access & discovery are examples of 1st and 2nd order

    problems 1st order Infrastructure Tools Needs 2nd order Community Play Wants
  19. Access & discovery are examples of 1st and 2nd order

    problems 1st order Infrastructure Tools Needs 2nd order Community Play Wants Government consensus Public gov.uk website
  20. Access & discovery are examples of 1st and 2nd order

    problems 1st order Infrastructure Tools Needs 2nd order Community Play Wants Government consensus Public gov.uk website
  21. Access & discovery are examples of 1st and 2nd order

    problems 1st order Infrastructure Tools Needs 2nd order Community Play Wants Government consensus Public gov.uk website Clean tap water Sodastream™
  22. 1 st or 2nd ? Both are important but require

    different strategies. Q uestion: the problem type
  23. Find out as early as possible which type of problem

    you like working on. It will make you happier.
  24. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones.
  25. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones. When everybody zigs, zag Our natural inclination is to go with the group. Creativity, however, demands the opposite” – Marty Neumeier Photo by davidsmalley on Flickr
  26. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones. When everybody zigs, zag Our natural inclination is to go with the group. Creativity, however, demands the opposite” – Marty Neumeier Photo by davidsmalley on Flickr 70s
  27. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones. When everybody zigs, zag Our natural inclination is to go with the group. Creativity, however, demands the opposite” – Marty Neumeier Photo by davidsmalley on Flickr 70s 80s
  28. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones. When everybody zigs, zag Our natural inclination is to go with the group. Creativity, however, demands the opposite” – Marty Neumeier Photo by davidsmalley on Flickr 70s 80s 90s
  29. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones. When everybody zigs, zag Our natural inclination is to go with the group. Creativity, however, demands the opposite” – Marty Neumeier Photo by davidsmalley on Flickr 70s 80s 90s 00s
  30. If you’re working on a second order problem, trends matter

    more. New trends often emerge in opposition to previous ones. When everybody zigs, zag Our natural inclination is to go with the group. Creativity, however, demands the opposite” – Marty Neumeier Photo by davidsmalley on Flickr 70s 80s 90s 00s …and we wanted to make a new music discovery service 201 1 it was
  31. In 2011, a lot of music apps were borrwing from

    online trends in general. 201 1 Status Quo Big data / algorithms Fast (real time) More content; a playlist as base unit “spreadsheet music”
  32. Imagined Opposite 100% hand-picked Slow Less content; a song as

    base unit Visual culture of music; personal expression If you want to create something playful, a good exercise is to imagine the opposite. 201 1 Status Quo Q uestion: the opposite Big data / algorithms Fast (real time) More content; a playlist as base unit “spreadsheet music”
  33. This Is My Jam 1 2

  34. New conceptual breakthroughs are invariably driven by the development of

    new technologies” – Don Norman Photo credit: Piemont Share on Flickr “
  35. New conceptual breakthroughs are invariably driven by the development of

    new technologies” – Don Norman Photo credit: Piemont Share on Flickr “ Are we doing it just because we can now? Often this indicates scratching at a first order problem; it’s not a product in itself. Q uestion: the itch
  36. matryoshka matryoshka The only thing that matches the thrill of

    finding a new favourite song is sharing it with someone else. 1 the original social media Music Q uestion: the behaviour
  37. 1. Blink and you miss it Want it later when

    you need some new music? Too bad, it’s gone! 2. It’s a different pace Reading a status update takes seconds. The average song is 3.5 minutes long. Rejecting ‘real-time’ Q uestion: the right pace
  38. Rejecting ‘real-time’ 4. Physical context matters You’re not wearing headphones

    or have speakers plugged in right now. Because you’re reading a feed. 3. Personal context matters How do I know if you really love this song or you were just listening to it? There’s no context. Q uestion: Context
  39. 1 million jams Shared slowly and thoughtfully. “This is My

    Jam is part of a growing, and overdue, movement… fucking delightful” “Here’s the deal: you get one song at a time and that’s all you get. That’s your jam. Simple. I like it” Chris Thorpe @jaggeree @ThisIsMyJam is closest thing I've felt for a while to the John Peel show I remember from youth. You may not like all but discovery is key.
  40. • Happens in the same room • Happens in real-time

    • You need friends • Works best with 1-10 people • You need a record player • You need records • You need to choose at the pace of a song (3 min) • You have to pick from someone’s collection • You can only share one thing at a time Constraints for playing records with friends: Q uestion: w hich constraints
  41. • Happens in the same room • Happens in real-time

    • You need friends • Works best with 1-10 people • You need a record player • You need records • You need to choose at the pace of a song (3 min) • You have to pick from someone’s collection • You can only share one thing at a time Constraints for playing records with friends:
  42. • Happens in the same room • Happens in real-time

    • You need friends • Works best with 1-10 people • You need a record player • You need records • You need to choose at the pace of a song (3 min) • You have to pick from someone’s collection • You can only share one thing at a time Constraints for playing records with friends: Q uestion: w hich constraints
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  44. We placed importance on personal expression and craft, and made

    it easy for your jam to have style* * I choose to use define “style as epithet” – e.g. the visual style of music helps you know what it might sound like. (From Michael Beirut’s article ‘Style: An Inventory’) Q uestion: the role of style
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  56. Question… “what are we making” and “why are we making

    it”? (Figuring out how is your domain) ‘what’ and ‘why’ during investigation period, before you turn the creative corner together the problem type: are you solving for a first or a second order problem? the itch: are you doing it just because “you can”?
  57. Question… the behaviour: does the tech you’re thinking of using

    fit with what people want? the pace: What speed will people want to consume the content at? the constraints: which one(s) makes sense for your product? the appropriate style: especially if it’s a second order product, what style will attract your audience?
  58. Question the OPPOSITE You might just create something new that

    meets emerging desires.