Matt Morphett & Shane Morris: Switching On My Ears

5 Apr 2012 - 1:19pm
463 reads
benfu
2012

Designing a hand-held device presents a number of challenges. Designing that device for use by folks with impaired physical abilities introduces another layer of complexity. Ensuring that the experience is appropriate for an audience from five year-old kids to ninety five year-old retirees controlling one of their senses is just downright difficult.

Matt & Shane recently worked with Australian innovator and international success story Cochlear to design device to help bionic ear implant recipients monitor and control their hearing. The design represented an evolution to a simpler more usable device.

Particular attention is given to:

- Design artefacts: wireframes and screen mock-ups showing evolution from early design concepts through refined user interface.

- The full UX lifecycle including; ethnographic research, iterative design cycles and usability testing with Cochlear implant recipients.

- The approach taken to coordinate design exercises across multiple teams including; industrial design, ergonomics, electronics, software design, graphic design and small-screen user interface design.

- The delicate balance required when attempting to improve user experience without completely confounding the expectations of a large and vocal existing user-base.

- The objective of this case study is to provide conference delegates with genuine insight into the design process by exposing the methods and also by showing the actual designs at various points of their development.

Along the way, we detail the pitfalls encountered and outline the practical solutions that were applied. Processes and lessons learned are applicable across UX projects of all types, not just mobile and hand-held product design projects.

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