Antonio Gould – Design and Product Management

He is a product manager and designer, was previously a developer.

Designed and managed “Teach your monster to read” for 4- 6 year olds. He is mostly concentrating on education for young children and the project has helped to teach 1.5m children to read.

Product management is responsible for:

Design, which entails a product or service that works for users and the process of developing purposeful and innovative solutions that embody functional and

Key process elements – researching, expanding your knowledge, then make sense of the research, and then find potential opportunities and then expand on the ideas.  They use a double diamond structure to research – one to form the ideas and the other to form how the project should look.

doublediamonddesignprocess

A teacher said: “As a teacher you can teach them how the letters sound, but you cannot keep saying them repeatedly, as there is just not enough time” and that “Children don’t think learning how to read is important”.

Think about the intended user: Ensure that you think about who you are designing for – don’t think your product is for everyone, think about what problem you are trying to solve and then think about the users.  They didn’t want to focus too much on one gender than the other, so they decided that monsters would be a good idea, as they aren’t gender specific.  Also they were not sure if teachers or parents would use the product, it has been found that teachers use it the most, but as they are setting up for about 30 children at a time and parents one or two, it does make sense why.  In addition, the children seem to spend more time playing it at school than at home.

IMG_4973.jpgResearching

Using ethnographic research helps to get different information than you would from ordinary methods.

They did user testing with children to ensure that all the problems would be ironed out – they could navigate easily, etc.

Simplicity

Keep things simple – don’t have things in the product that are unnecessary:- think to yourself “If this costs me £1,000 to use, would I keep it?” give every new idea for a product a price tag and decide if it is worth it or if the product needs it.

Be critical –

Why is design important?

  • De risk the process
  • Massively increase the chance the product or service will be a success – if it looks good and is usable the product will be used, if not the users will lose interest.
  • Avoids conflict

Things to know about

  • Service design
  • Lean – the lean startup, at each stage do as little as possible and figure out how doable an idea is.
  • Product management

Practice makes perfect:

  • Try different techniques, frameworks, models
  • Try on personal projects
  • Don’t worry if it feels overblown, better to err on the side of too much

But it’s worth it

  • Lots of work
  • Seeing people use your stuff
  • Better team relationships

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Questions

Q: If you have an audience and multiple ideas, how do you determine what you should aim for?

A: So you have an audience and a particular need, so you evaluate the different equations – you think about the impact on the users, what ages you should aim for

Q: Have you had a research group that you need to speak to, but are unable to talk to?

A: Yes, all the time – for example, with the healthy eating, schools that have issues with healthy eating will not want to discuss it, as they will be embarrassed, but those that are

Q: When you are working with a group of developers, how do you convince them that you have a good idea?

A: Show them something, explain to them how something could help.  Show them research and involve the developers in the research if possible – it does boost confidence.

Q: Simplicity – Do you make the smallest possible thing and not keep the ideas, or do you keep them in a pile of ideas that you can add to for product mark II?

A: That is actually one of the ways that you can convince clients to let ideas go, as you can say that we’ll keep the idea, but not use it yet, as it is making the product too big. (Lean process)

Q: When should you show your prototypes to your clients/prospective users.

A: With Instagram, you can put a picture online and then allow other users to like them.  As early as you can show your ideas to clients/prospective users.

Check out Antonio’s project ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’:

 

What can we take from this workshop and apply to our Interaction Design project?

Antonio mentioned his teams use of competitive analysis during the research stage. As well as carrying out interviews and surveys (user based research), we should also perform  a competitive analysis of street campaigns similar to our idea to find out their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The results of the SWOT analysis should reflect the potential outcome of our idea.

We plan to interview members of the public to establish whether or not they would stop at an interactive street campaign, how long for, why etc. It would be hard to directly ask someone what they ‘want’ out of an interactive street campaign, therefore it is our job to find out what they ‘need’ in terms of attracting engagement.

So, we need to speak to Amnesty and get a competitive analysis down, detailing how successful their previous campaigns were (especially the interactive campaigns), if the campaigns met the aims and overall ‘needs’. To get broader and credible insights, we shall research a variety of charities – as oppose to Amnesty alone, as they might not have a large quantity of campaigns to date that use interactive technology.

Antonio mentioned the Double Diamond design process framework and how it has worked for him and his team. Leading on from this, we shall look into the Double Diamond framework, along with other design process models, and apply to our project.


References:

Consultant, P. (2015) The double diamond: Strategy + execution of the right solution. Available at: https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights/blog/double-diamond (Accessed: 9 February 2017).

 


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