“Throw away your joysticks, kids,” began the 1989 article of “Design News” praising that year’s must-have Christmas accessory: the Power Glove. At the time it seemed as if traditional video game controllers would soon be a thing of the past.But the Power Glove was anything but a success. While it was a design and technology coup, coolness is unfortunately a poor metric for product success. What the Power Glove lacked was customer insight. During the technology and design crunch nobody stopped to ask, “How is this device for playing games? Do people want to use it?” Thus, the teams rushed blindly into building the wrong thing.Customer insight is the most critical piece of the application and software creation process. You can build something sweet, but if nobody uses it you’re left with little more than a colossal waste of time, effort and money. On the flip side, customer insight applied to the process can result in more customers, increased market share and a better ROI.
Lead Experience Planner, EffectiveUI
RJ Owen is Lead Experience Planner at EffectiveUI, focusing on customer insight work including ethnographic research, design validation, co-creation exercises and expert design. In this role, he runs a variety of research methods to gain qualitative insight into a user’s needs and desires, and validates designs by performing user testing. He brainstorms with clients to invent new designs, and works with the interaction design team to actually design the application. RJ also plans the engagement, produces CI deliverables and presents them to clients. RJ started his career as a software developer and spent 10 years working in C++, Java, and Flex before moving to the design research and customer insight team at EffectiveUI. He truly loves good design and understanding what makes people tick. RJ holds an MBA and a bachelor’s in Physics and Computer Science. He is a frequent speaker at industry events such as Web 2.0, SXSW, Adobe MAX and 360|Flex. RJ lives in Denver with his family, enjoys really good coffee and often tries to read too many books at once.
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