It’s hard to take hard decisions in business: Nike Story

http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/19/nike-says-the-fuelband-isnt-dead-new-color-options-coming/

Nike was said to be shutting down its FuelBand department on the heels of layoffs on Friday, signalling a significant exit of the wearable fitness device market by one of the more prominent companies involved in the space. That’s not quite true, however, according to information provided to Re/code by the company.

 

There were indeed some layoffs, Nike confirmed, but it also said it’s still committed to the Nike+ FuelBand SE, plans new color options for the gadget and should support it and continue to sell it for the foreseeable future.

[...]

There has been some speculation that Nike plans to shift focus to software in the future, and possibly support the hardware efforts of others, including Apple. Apple is rumored to be working on an iWatch with health-tracking features, and its CEO Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board of directors.””

 

Nike has 3 options:

1. Shutdown it and look for NPI options

2. Partner with tech leaders of the market (Apple, Google) and continue produce hardware while the software and eco-system is developed by partners

3. Completely disrupt this emerging field, as fitness and health used to be his Nike’s stronghold. However it won’t be easy for Nike to separately build the eco-system tha can talk to internet of things! If Nike can do this, it can re-create history like before.

 

It will be interesting to watch, where Nike is moving.

Nike Story: Classic Portfolio Decision Taken in Right Time

Nike Story: Classic Portfolio Decision Taken in Right Time

 

Nike is purportedly killing off their wearable hardware efforts, including the FuelBand.  why? because it is a right decision taken by their portfolio management team. The market of wearable and health gadgets which Nike formerly entered as a part of their growth strategy, is being threaten by new entrants mostly tech giants like Apple , Samsung , Google who not only have the potential to penetrate the market with a faster rate than Nike, but also has the road-map that aligns to their business models through innovation at the eco-system level. Going through a simple SWOT analysis indicates this fact very strongly. 

“Because the wearables market is about to get really, really crowded — primarily by devices that will do everything the FuelBand does, and more.”

And guess who’s on Nike’s board? Apple CEO Tim Cook. Throw in the fact that Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is right around the corner, and the pieces seem to fit together almost too well. If Apple was ever going to let Nike know that it might be time to get out of the dedicated-wearables game, it’d be right about now.

 

 

Google Glass – now a step closer to compatibility as per SXD

http://www.techgig.com/tech-news/editors-pick/Google-Announces-Special-Prescription-Frames-For-Glass-21513

In SXD (http://www.slideshare.net/MobileWish/sx-overview) I had proposed one example parts of the device in google glass can be made detachable…currently  Google’s sudden announcement on “Google get Glass to fit on spectacles” actually can be seen one step that makes Glass more compatible with SXD principles.

Patent : Touchscreen Display and Navigation (US 20130198677 A1)

Patent : Touchscreen Display and Navigation (US 20130198677 A1)

ABSTRACT
A document to be displayed on a touchscreen display device is arranged to have a hierarchical structure of categories, each category including at least one sub-document. A sub-document of a first category is displayed on a touchscreen display device. A first gesture is received through the touchscreen display device. In response to the first gesture, a navigation is made to a beginning sub-document of a second category.
Publication number US20130198677 A1
Publication type Application
Application number US 13/690,147
Publication date 1 Aug 2013
Filing date 30 Nov 2012
Priority date 1 Feb 2012
Inventors Samir Kumar Dash
Original Assignee Cisco Technology, Inc.
Export Citation BiBTeXEndNoteRefMan
Classifications (3), Legal Events (1)
External Links: USPTOUSPTO AssignmentEspacenet

DOWNLOAD the patent: US20130198677

Don’t get Confused: UCD vs UCSD

In my last posts I discussed about Usability Design and User-Centered Design (UCD) and User-Centered Systems Design (UCSD). But many confuse between these two.  So in the following I am trying to differentiate these two:

UCD vs UCSD

UCD is differs from the UCSD in the following areas:

  1. Goal: The goal of UCSD is more on the process than the user so as to make the final product/system more usable. UCD rather focuses more on “users” of the product and not the design process. More focus is spent on understanding the user and their need.
  2. Process vs. Techniques Set: UCSD is about system development where as UCD is mostly a set of tecniques and process sets to be used with in UCSD 
  3. Perception: The DNA of UCSD is about changing the mindset of the professionals in the development process so that the designing aspect of usability can be put into practice freely and with higher priority. The UCD process is not about the changing perception about the priority of the design in the whole process.
  4. Broadness: UCSD covers the whole process that includes the areas which are even not part of “designing” whereas UCD can be seen as a subset of UCSD focusing of the “design process sets”.

UCD Models and Process

There 3 different models that support UCD in varying degrees and follow the ISO standard Human-Centred Design for interactive systems:

  1. Cooperative Design: This involves designers and users on an equal footing.
  2. Participatory Design (PD): Inspired by Cooperative Design, focusing on the participation of users
  3. Contextual Design:  “Customer-Centered Design” in the actual context, including some ideas from Participatory Design.

All these UCD models involve more or less a set of activities grouped into the following steps  mentioned below:

  1. Planning: in this stage the UCD process is planned and if needed customized. It involves  understanding the business needs and setting up the goals and objectives of the UX activities.  Also forming  the right team for the UX needs and if needed hiring specialties fall into this step.
  2. User data collection and analysis: This step involves data collection through different applicable methodologies such as user interviews, developing personas, conducting scenarios , user-cases and user stories analysis, setting up measurable goals.
  3. Designing and Prototyping : This involves activities like card sorting, conducting IA, wire framing and developing prototyping.
  4. Content writing: this  involves content refinement and writing for web and similar activities.
  5. Usability testing: This involves is a set of activities  of conducting tests and heuristic evaluations and reporting to allow refinement to the product. However Usability Testing can have its set of steps involving similar activities such as planning , Team forming, testing , review and data analysis and reporting.

All these are similar to most of the steps that fall under Usability Design as UCD can be seen as a subset of process with in Usability Design.

So many processes: What is where?

After going through multi relation models in all these processes and sub process discussed in this post and the previously discussed posts,  it might be little confusing to visual all the overlapping and dependable process sets. So here is a simple representation diagram that roughly shows the overlapping relations:

processes-relation

Face tracking for CUPID

In CUPID http://samirshomepage.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/cupid-common-unified-programs-for-instruction-delivery/
I had proposed a face tracking camera monitoring student activity and intelligently responding to the user’s behaviour to provide a meaningful Offline Self-certification Manager (OSM)…

To test the concept here is a simple face tracking POC that intelligently determines if the user is not looking at the screen/away and if he is not active (sample showing a few second delay in movement as “sleeping state of the student”)

Funny , isn’t it? yet it can act as a meaningful agent in improving offline training content and players.

Usability Design and User-Centered Design (UCD)

The Usability Design is roughly a subset of the UCSD process that matches the “Do Iterative UCSD” step of the UCSD process.

usability_design

The usability design outlines the steps in the development process involving usability design aspects. The process can be divided into three main phases:

  1. Requirements analysis: This step is synonymous with planning and analysis phase of typical software development life cycle(SDLC).
  2. Growing software with iterative design: This is the design and testing phase and development phase of typical SDLC.
  3. Deployment: This is same as deployment phase of typical SDLC.

 

User-centered design (UCD) is a set of design processes in which “the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage”. It is characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process involving designers who take the lead responsibility in foreseeing and solving the usability problems the users are likely to face while interacting with or using the system/product. UCD focuses on understanding the behavioral aspect of the user interacting for the first time so that the user’s learning curve in using the system can be evaluated in order to optimize and reduce it. User-centered design philosophy emphasizes on optimizing the product around “how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behavior to accommodate the product”.

Constantine and Lockwood define UCD as :

‘. . . loose collection of human-factors techniques united under a philosophy of understanding users and involving them in design’. . . ‘Although helpful, none of these techniques can replace good design. User studies can easily confuse what users want with what they truly need. Rapid iterative prototyping can often be a sloppy substitute for thoughtful and systematic design. Most importantly, usability testing is a relatively inefficient way to find problems you can avoid through proper design’. (‘. . . loose collection of human-factors techniques united under a philosophy of understanding users and involving them in design’. . . ‘Although helpful, none of these techniques can replace good design. User studies can easily confuse what users want with what they truly need. Rapid iterative prototyping can often be a sloppy substitute for thoughtful and systematic design. Most importantly, usability testing is a relatively inefficient way to find problems you can avoid through proper design’.

Putting it straightforward UCD is all about 4 factors which are mostly related to the end user :

  1. Needs of users
  2. Limitations of  users
  3. Preferences of users
  4. Business objectives of the product.

This helps in achieving the following benefits:

  1. User satisfaction through more user friendly product experience
  2. Increase in customer /user loyalty.
  3.  Making the product more relevant and valuable for the user
  4. Product / system is more value added as users

 

 

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(c)2012-13 : Samir Dash. All rights reserved.