Nicole wanted to express how grateful she is to the person, who helped her to organise everything (e.g. tickets, accommodation), when she decided to move to Sydney.
The person is a family friend, who knows Nicole’s parents, so she wanted make this gift really personal and asked their mutual friends what would that person like to have as a gift. She found out that a bottle of expensive spirit would be the best option. However, Nicole described that experience of giving the bottle as a gift was a bit unfortunate, because the bottle was sold in a cardboard package and the sales person failed to remove a security device that was attached to the bottle. The security device was not visible because of packaging, which is why it was not apparent that something is attached to the bottle until the person, who received the gift, decided to open the box. It was disappointing for Nicole to hear about the problem. She had to go back to the bottle shop with the proof of purchase and ask them to remove the security device.
My suggestion was to change the packaging of the bottle, so if the security device is attached it would be obvious from the first glance and the problem would be solved on the spot. Nicole accepted this solution as a possible improvement.
We discussed different options of packaging, including two transparent options (designer glass or plastic), two soft options (two types of material e.g. designer fabric/canvas) and a wooden box that couldn’t be opened without damage, so the store will have to attach the security device on top of the package.
Nicole was more excited to have a designer glass as a packaging for the bottle as it would add value and make the gift look more expensive. I also offered to make this designer glass look like a miniature copy of the Statue of Liberty, so it would remind that person about Nicole’s family, because they’ve met each other in New York. Perhaps, in this case the glass statue packaging would add even more value to the gift, because it may be used as an accessory for home decor.
We also agreed that it would be better to ensure that the glass packaging is made of tempered glass and will protect the bottle itself. We didn’t discuss the cost.
I tried to make a paper prototype, which looked funny, however, I didn’t save a picture.
How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?
At the first place, I would not recognise the problem myself, as I never had similar experience with hidden security devices. However, if I had a brief with the description of the problem, I would go for cheaper option such as canvas but it would not be the best option for Nicole. I believe that the process of capturing of the insights from the real person is very important as it helps to find a right solution and determine the boundaries of its future development.
What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?
I was sincerely interested to find out if I am heading in a right direction. It was easy enough to describe the solution and I believe Nicole could easily imagine how it could look like. It is important to discuss unfinished work as at this stage it could be easily adjusted to meet client’s expectations, assumptions could be proved or not and many mistakes could be avoided.
As a user, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?
As a user, I felt delighted that Nicole tries to understand my needs and discuss her ideas. I also was able to provide more information that I didn’t recognise as important at the first part of our conversation.
Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?
I would allow more time for initial interview, so it might help to capture some deeper insights and cover more aspects of the brief. I also would create a list of questions that would help me to evaluate the prototype.
I will definitely show an unfinished work to the client again in order to tailor it to the client’s needs. I will work on it and adjust it, as many times as required until I will receive a positive feedback that would convince me that the solution would perfectly work for the client.
What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?
I would design and use a questionnaire tailored to the client. I think that it is better to be prepared to speak to the particular client and analyse potential problem even before the discussion, so it would help to capture the insights in a better way and even allow to discuss some directions or high-level ideas, so the stage of prototyping would be based on deeper research.
PS originally this post was published on 10.03.2015 but then disappeared. I’ve sent an enquiry to Support and hope that the original one will be restored.