The Sports Class that Became a Family

user research impression

Once upon a time, there was a group of people, who lived in a small town in an industrialised part of the Netherlands. They were all older than 60 years, some of them even in their 80’s. They told a story about how they were going to sports clubs and classes, and how the people there became their close friends, sometimes as close as family. They spoke about the difficulty they could sometimes have in getting to the class, or how they would forget. Then these people told us about this magic box, that would alert the sports club of members who wanted to come but could not, and that friends would then call them or pick them up. That the magic box would arrange for carpools and shopping to be done by their sports friends, all at times when these friends were going anyway. And how they were happy with the possibility to do the same thing for someone else another time. Continue reading

Complexity versus Simplicity

If only today’s technology were simpler! It’s the universal lament, but it’s wrong. We don’t want simplicity. Simple tools are not up to the task. The world is complex; our tools need to match that complexity – From: Living with Complexity by Donald A. Norman

If a design oversimplifies the interaction, it gets restricted and can lose functionality, or worse, lose the interest of the user. Earlier in the design of the toolbox, working with a company with little previous user research experience, I made the mistake of presenting an iteration of the toolbox, that was too simple, and it was perceived as condescending.  Continue reading