Thursday, October 12, 2006

The next step in simplicity

Philips approach to user centered design ...

"It is common knowledge that we are living longer and diseases such as obesity and diabetes are becoming increasingly widespread. This year's Simplicity Event addresses the issue of 'A healthy lifestyle' with the introduction of the Philips Design simplicity-led design concepts to help people become more aware of their own well-being. Each idea is the result of collaborative work across the entire Philips organization that not only supports the Philips brand but also illustrates One Philips in action.

The launch of Next Simplicity, shown for the first time last year at Philips' Simplicity Event in Paris, was an outstanding success with more than 90 percent of visitors ranking it as 'very positive'. The fi rst Next Simplicity concept collection focused on product categories already in the Philips portfolio, looking at ways, on one hand, to reduce the effort required to operate them if they were advanced solutions, and on the other hand, to enhance the experience associated with more basic solutions.

... People-focused processes
"People are at the center of every idea and every concept," notes Yasushi Kusume, Vice President, Philips Design. Indeed, the starting point for the prototypes presented was the wealth of social and cultural research undertaken by Philips Design every year. "We began with the general research findings and took out everything relevant to lifestyle and healthcare. From there, we synthesized or 'integrated' the research in the form of 'easy to communicate' personas explains Bertrand Rigot, Design Director. "The themes were decided upon early on and selection criteria applied to all ideas that surfaced around them," adds Verb├╝cken.

Fourteen personas were created in total with an equal number male and female, ranging from young children to people over fi fty and representing a wide geographical spread. "There are two to four personas per theme," notes Kusume. These personas will be extremely visible at the Simplicity Event in the form of actors. "Before the visitors have the opportunity to visit the booths to see the prototypes, they will preview and hear from each of the personas in a projection space," he explains. Rigot goes on, "Their needs and desires will be presented in the form of wishes; "I wish I could lose weight, however going to the gym is boring," "I need help with revitalizing my skin and get rid of my wrinkles in a way that a lot of time or is harmful to my health in the long run," and others that fit with the concepts to be viewed. This prepares the visitor for what they will see without explicitly having to explain the themes," he says.

The demonstrations at the booths are aimed at answering the needs and desires of these personas who are the best representations of the needs of certain types of people. "By having the personas demonstrate the concepts, we believe that visitors will be able to identify with them, and better relate to and understand the solutions," says Rigot."    (Continued via Philips)    [Usability Resources]

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