Midwest UX 2014 Recap: Strong Ideas, Loosely Held

User experience transcends the browser or the smartphone. How do designers test ideas when your target is not an app but an entire hardware platform? Simon King (@simonking) explains his company's unique approach to this question.

The first half of the talk reiterated the importance of the "Fail Early, Fail Often" principle. Rather than sink lots of time and effort into a design that we then hang on to designers (and teams) should be willing to let bad ideas go. Low fidelity prototyping makes this easier by avoiding the costs involved in scaling up to a near final product before mistakes are caught.

IDEO's solution offers a bridge that makes it possible to test designs not only on a single device but across almost anything with a processor. Whether it be an Arduino, an iPad, or something else entirely, as long as it can speak a few key phrases that device can become part of a richer experience. NOAM passes messages, known as "lemmas", back and forth in a way that enables rapid prototyping of Pong walls and driving simulators.

For those looking to do prototype beyond the screen this framework could be a stepping stone to faster releases. If makerspaces and hardware prototyping spark your creativity watch the video to get an introduction to a potentially helpful abstraction layer.

Video made possible by the generous and hard work of the Midwest UX team