If these screens could talk: building a bridge from screen to life.
Prototype for an online shopping assistant
My parents recently gifted each other with an "Amazon Alexa" for their 45th wedding anniversary. A friend forgot to lock her car because she had grown used to driving a Tesla. Left on its own, Spotify turns into a radio whose tracks are based on user listening habits. And for safety's sake, Waze discourages users from physically engaging with their GPS interface while driving.
What unites the above list of seemingly disparate experiences is evidence of an increasing technological trend towards touchless, intelligent interfaces.
Today, we not only want our interfaces to be intelligent, but we also want them to be humane: we like it when Waze cares about our safety, we like it when Siri tells us ridiculous knock-knock jokes, we want Alexa to tell us a story where we're the central character, we want to feel held, we want to feel engaged.
Prototype for a user onboarding. Because of the many questions and their intimate nature, I opted for a registration that spoke like a human with a reassuring, conversational tone. There are elements in the design that propel users through the process: a sense of movement, a status bar, words of encouragement, positive feedback. Most importantly, instead of hitting a dead-end, the onboarding concludes with search and recommendations.
In the early spring of 2017, I helped a French startup redesign their personal shopping service with this futuristic perspective in mind. The startup's main attraction was an algorithm that could precisely determine and preselect the user's exact clothing size across hundreds of different online vendors. The goals of my participation were to 1) increase user onboarding and 2) redirect users to become comfortable with the new and improved search utility.
In response, I introduced a chatbot-like voice throughout the service. The voice took on the appearance of smiley-faced "mascot" who was rather neutral in terms of body size, race or gender. The mascot provided objective recommendations about clothing style and size. The mascot created a sense of humor and spoke to users' sensibilities. In essence, the introduction of this happy-go-lucky figure helped build a more consistent, recognizable brand - it also helped alleviate tension and generate acceptance in what could be perceived as a very private, uncomfortable space.