Shruti Barton MA Creative Economy
On a Diet with Eewei Chen, Director of Solution Design, BSKYB
“What is a lean start up?” asked Eewei. Well, a lean start-up (nothing to do with dieting or fat-free fry-ups): uses validity learning, scientific experimentation and iterative releases to deliver products and services that accurately meet customer needs with the minimum of initial funding.
That’s exactly what we created in our two day introductory Creative Economy workshop.
Our challenge? To design a mobile app to allow Jeff to find interesting things to watch on TV.
But who was Jeff? Our team’s ‘Jeff’ represented the target audience of a 25-30 year old average guy with a 9 to 5 job who loved to party with his mates and watch cool films. The trouble with Jeff was that he had little time and wasn’t fussed for trawling through film databases to pick a film which surprised him. OK, so some of these details were assumptions. Assumptions in my world of recruitment have always stood for the “mother of all fxxx ups” but in this instance we were creating an assumption in order to prove or disprove it by way of experiment. We focused on Jeff’s desire to be surprised and thought it would pretty surprising to have a film choice made for you based on your mood – until nearly everyone else came to the same conclusion, that is!
We brainstormed and doodled, laughed and sighed, until we came up with PIXIT, an app which would get Jeff to take a photo or draw a picture (thanks Draw Something for the idea) and, through image recognition technology, would quickly present him with the name of a film to watch and links to watch it through LOVEFiLM, iTunes, or at the cinema.
(less amorous strapline ideas included ’The most surprising way to shortlist your move choice”, “The interactive movie choice”, “You draw, we find”, “Doodle. Shoot. Watch”. “Pix U a Movie”).
We took our paper prototype out into the campus and asked unsuspecting individuals what their thoughts were on the app. Admittedly, a few more open questions and a bit less hand-holding is required here (click link for market research interviews), but you get the gist:
We quickly figured out that people liked the concept but weren’t necessarily as creative as us and so didn’t want to draw for themselves. Along came the idea to include emoticons for the less artistically gifted. Two maternal types thought their kids might like a go (kids, really? I thought this was for grown-ups), so we included the film ratings to ensure they would be directed to appropriate viewing materials. A link to connect through Facebook was added for convenience (seems like the whole social networking thing for any business is a pre-requisite in this mobile age), not to mention access to Jeff’s network if he shared it with his Facebook friends….
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