Moving Parts: 10 Tips to Help You Rock Field Research

Added 11/19/14 2:30 PM

By Zarla Ludin, Director, Insights

I spent the past three weeks in rural northern Michigan doing ethnographic field research. Just for clarity's sake: I wasn't in the Upper Peninsula. I spent time near Oscoda, Marion, Manistee, and Traverse City enjoying the peaceful drives on back roads and eating in small cafes. Granted, I didn't always get the best coffee in the morning, but hitting the road before sunrise (daylight savings hadn't yet kicked in), and watching the sun come over fields of golden crops and tree tops reminded me how much of the world I'm not exposed to on a daily basis. It's a good reminder for a researcher to have from time to time, because although I pride myself in walking into projects without assumptions, traveling is the best way to live it.

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Topics: Experience Design Research & Discovery

Highly Regulated Industries: Overcoming 3 Common Barriers to Success

Added 11/11/14 11:30 AM

By Rae Marie Guimond, Marketing Manager

Federal regulations, industry status quos, lawyers and potential litigation: it’s a daunting task to engage in design thinking to spur innovation and develop new products and processes in highly regulated industries. Even though successful outcomes could prove valuable, some people would say it takes too much time and money to explore how experience strategies and design thinking can positively alter end user experiences. We tend to encounter some common barriers when speaking with organizations in industries such as finance, pharmaceutical and healthcare.

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Topics: Design Thinking Experience Design Innovation Disruption

Many Minds for Design: DxB 2014 Social Innovation Workshop

Added 11/10/14 9:23 AM

By Syrena Huynh

Design Exchange Boston (DxB) hosted their 2014 DxB360 Social Innovation Challenge, an annual design thinking workshop, last month. In benefit of Boston Women’s Fund, this year’s challenge was led by Motivate Design, addressing poverty in the hopes of creating a more equitable future for affected women and children in Boston. The collaboration engaged 16 participants from varying professional, ethnic and economic backgrounds, challenging them to use a qualitative research approach to inform their social challenge solutions.

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Topics: Design Thinking Innovation Workshops

Business Innovation: The Kayak Mindset

Added 9/30/14 1:14 PM

By Mona Patel, CEO

I set out to design a company that operates like a kayak -- a nimble, fast team that can navigate rough waters and come through it all feeling great about what we accomplish each day.

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Topics: Design Thinking Inside Motivate Innovation Business Management

The What If Technique presented by Motivate Design

Added 9/26/14 10:40 AM

By Mona Patel, CEO

Why What If? What If expands your mind and opens up possibilities. Why is hunting for an answer and explanation -- it's closing the loop. The What If Technique helps you engage a disruptive mindset for innovation, design thinking and user experiences.

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Topics: Design Thinking Experience Design Innovation Disruption

The Business of Business Culture: Shift From Blame to Brave

Added 9/16/14 1:10 PM

By Mona Patel, CEO

Sometimes client work runs counter to your established company principles. After successfully working with a client for many months, one of my employees came to me seeking advice on how to handle a peculiar situationEssentially, the client lead wanted us to conduct a user research project using the wrong strategy. 

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Topics: Innovation Disruption Business Management

Let's Say Hello at the Future of Storytelling Summit 2014!

Added 8/28/14 11:30 AM

By Mona Patel, CEO

Will I see you at The Future of StoryTelling this October? I'm excited to attend this unique summit on reinventing the way stories are told. As a user experience professional, storytelling is at the heart of what my team and I do. It’s the reason I left a large company five years ago to start a boutique user experience and design agency.

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Topics: Collaboration Design Thinking Experience Design Inside Motivate

The Hunt for the UX Unicorn

Added 8/26/14 12:57 PM

By Rae Marie Guimond, Marketing Manager

Earlier this summer, we sat down with Lois and Jesse, senior UX recruiters at our sister company UX Hires (See Summer UX Hiring Trends: Courting Job Candidates & More Hiring Tips). When it comes to hiring UX professionals or applying for UX jobs. Lois had more to say about the idea of the UX unicorn:

"A unicorn is someone who does research, UX architecture, UX design, and the visual work. Truthfully, I see that they are often not experts in multiple areas -- they're okay in many areas and situations, but not necessarily an expert at any one thing or multiple things. I'd love to dispel this notion and say I've found a few truly expert UX unicorns, but I haven't yet. I keep running into this idea that they exist, and certainly others in the field believe so, but I advise caution when I hear people are on the hunt for a UX unicorn."

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Topics: Experience Design Inside Motivate UX HIRES Business Management

Three Tools for Startup Success

Added 8/20/14 2:30 PM

By Sean Echevarria, Business Partnerships Lead

Are you a startup? Here are the three free tools you need to start using now! 
Today, there are so many extensions, apps, plug-ins, and tools to choose from, but I find this to be especially so in the startup world. During the last few events that I attended, the group has ended up exchanging suggestions and recommendations for the tools that make their daily efforts seem like…well, a lot less effort. The problem is, no one person really has the time to test out every new great idea coming out of Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley. That’s why I have selected (a very manageable) 3 tools that will make your life easier. Whether you are struggling with social media strategy, web design or just embarking on the journey toward startup success, these tools will help you launch an idea, grow your network, and engage with your community.

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Topics: Lean Methodology Disruption Business Management The Amazing Startup Startups

Square Pegs…Designing the Best Online Trading Platform

Added 8/14/14 12:18 PM

By Matt Karp, Senior Design Researcher

For the average American, buying or selling a stock online can be fraught with emotion and skepticism. Investors have a lot to think about before they decide to buy or sell. They’re fully aware of the severe up and down swings the market has endured in the last decade as well as the popular writings of authors like Michael Lewis, who are increasing the public’s awareness about issues like flash trading.

Over the past few months at Motivate Design, we’ve led several research studies for a well-known online trading platform, including several usability tests for new designs and a larger, more exploratory study that examined the experience of what it means to trade using this client’s platform.

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Topics: Design Thinking Experience Design Innovation Visual Design Prototyping

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