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Automotive (large company)

A

Interviewee

31 Designer

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

1, 4

Project Outcome

Successful

Industry

Transportation

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

Medium

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_FunandProductive

Company

Automotive (large company)


"No. But we want you to research like this and without demographic in that core consumer." And this one was entirely trusting. And when we said, "We're not going to go and see your core consumers," they were totally fine with our process. They trusted us and said, "You're going to get us there." Yeah we're going to get you there. [2345],[2346],[2347]
And phase one is actually starting to design something. So phase zero, we manage to take the client from ... I was going to draw but ... take the client from asking us for a phase one project to saying, "You need to do a phase zero project first and understand what the areas of importance are." So, we kind of reframed the brief well enough to be flexible for us. And we, then, got a fantastic team of people together. Again, it hugely comes down to the client. Their acceptance to live with your response to that brief. Right? And not try and control you. I mean, I've also worked other automotive manufacturers where they've said, "No. But we want you to research like this and without demographic in that core consumer." And this one was entirely trusting. And when we said, "We're not going to go and see your core consumers," they were totally fine with our process. They trusted us and said, "You're going to get us there." Yeah we're going to get you there. [2307]
But it was really successful for the client and for the team. Just because of the impact we had on their organization to stand out their, what was called their brand DNA day. Where all the internal groups, their advertising partners have been working on stuff. And the project we did was the one that the CEO put up on the pedestal and went, "The rest of it's sh*t. We're going to do that." [2349],[2350],[2348]
We had, I think, the first phase of that project was really successful because ... it wasn't necessarily financially successful for us. But it was really successful for the client and for the team. Just because of the impact we had on their organization to stand out their, what was called their brand DNA day. Where all the internal groups, their advertising partners have been working on stuff. And the project we did was the one that the CEO put up on the pedestal and went, "The rest of it's sh*t. We're going to do that." [2308]
But, it just worked well because we managed to, of all things, put the jigsaw puzzle together of the team versus what the process was about very effectively. [2351]
But, it just worked well because we managed to, of all things, put the jigsaw puzzle together of the team versus what the process was about very effectively. And I think that is ... an issue at IDEO is ... a consistent issue that we're not very good at is matching team to task. [2309]
So, in this case, we knew that it was a certain type of research and we crafted the role for the right research and we got the right research for the project. And we knew that we needed a certain type of designer in this case. Much more strategic thinking. Not necessarily a form giver. Someone who's very capable of telling stories around the work that we're doing. [2310]
. And it's interesting that success, for me, wasn't just the fact that we delivered a wonderful end result that got shipped around the world for this company and everyone saying, "Yes we should do that." Success was a lot down to the internal feeling of the project. And it's one of those things where it's project where I felt I grew. And probably, everybody in the room felt they grew as well. Because we didn't know how to do it when we said we were going to do it. So, we wrote a brief that said, "We're going to build this experiential prototype that someone's, pretty much, going to be able to sit in front of. And interact with. A full car dashboard." We're going to have tested it. Which was a kind of breakthrough thing for us. [2312]
And it's interesting that success, for me, wasn't just the fact that we delivered a wonderful end result that got shipped around the world for this company and everyone saying, "Yes we should do that." [2353]
got shipped around the world for this company and everyone saying, "Yes we should do that." [2354]
It came down to, in that first phase, absolutely putting the right team together and aligning it around a common goal. [2355]
So, it came down to a trust in client. [2352]
So, it came down to a trust in client. It came down to, in that first phase, absolutely putting the right team together and aligning it around a common goal. In the second phase, the project ... so, the first phase was a team of five people. The project grew to a team of 10 people that were actually down here. Which is probably one of the bigger projects we've run in here in the last couple of years. And it's interesting that success, for me, wasn't just the fact that we delivered a wonderful end result that got shipped around the world for this company and everyone saying, "Yes we should do that." Success was a lot down to the internal feeling of the project. And it's one of those things where it's project where I felt I grew. And probably, everybody in the room felt they grew as well. Because we didn't know how to do it when we said we were going to do it. So, we wrote a brief that said, "We're going to build this experiential prototype that someone's, pretty much, going to be able to sit in front of. And interact with. A full car dashboard." We're going to have tested it. Which was a kind of breakthrough thing for us. [2311]
So, it kind of pulled together so many disciplines. And there was one point, in one of the rooms out here, where we kind of, as you said, "Where do ideas come from?" Late at night, someone going, "Well, we need to test these interfaces. And if we test them on a screen, that's not driving." We're literally like, "Well, let's go and buy a golf cart and actually have people drive whilst they're using this stuff." And that's not going to work. Going to be litigation or [inaudible 00:18:30] all over the place. [2314],[2361],[2357],[2358],[2313],[2360],[2359],[2356]
In here. And the client came in to watch the usability test and was blown away. Because we did this in, like, a week. And they have a six million dollar driver simulation room. And they're like, "But, this is more effective. You can change it really quickly." So, little tasks like that were really positive. I think the general fact that we grew as a team because it was that stretch goal. We didn't know that we knew how to do it. And, actually, going into it, we didn't know how to do it. [2365],[2366],[2367],[2364]
In here. And the client came in to watch the usability test and was blown away. Because we did this in, like, a week. And they have a six million dollar driver simulation room. And they're like, "But, this is more effective. You can change it really quickly." So, little tasks like that were really positive. I think the general fact that we grew as a team because it was that stretch goal. We didn't know that we knew how to do it. And, actually, going into it, we didn't know how to do it. So, we curated this huge community feeling. So, that, for me, was ultimately why it was so successful and what was successful about it. Less about the object and more about the experience we had together. [2317],[2318],[2315],[2316]
So, we curated this huge community feeling. So, that, for me, was ultimately why it was so successful and what was successful about it. Less about the object and more about the experience we had together. [2363]
So, we curated this huge community feeling. So, that, for me, was ultimately why it was so successful and what was successful about it. Less about the object and more about the experience we had together. PROJECT ID [2362]
So, in the first phase there's probably five of us. And in the second phase, up to 10 at one point. And bridging, what was interesting about it was the collaboration that bridged across studios as well. So, we had Shanghai building things for us. We had [Paloalto 00:20:31] building stuff for us. [2368],[2372],[2370],[2371],[2369]
So, in the first phase there's probably five of us. And in the second phase, up to 10 at one point. And bridging, what was interesting about it was the collaboration that bridged across studios as well. So, we had Shanghai building things for us. We had [Paloalto 00:20:31] building stuff for us. So, it was that kind of huge company community effort to it. [2319],[2320]
But, to be honest, you have to treat everybody as having the same level of input and the same level of ... if they have a point to make, then you have to leverage that into the decision you're making. [2322]
I mean, the first phase, it was me, basically, representing the client and the project manager working with me. But, to be honest, you have to treat everybody as having the same level of input and the same level of ... if they have a point to make, then you have to leverage that into the decision you're making. In the second ... what was, again, great about the second phase. Was the fact that it got so much bigger that we allowed one interaction designer to grow in his own team. And he led that team. So, I'd consider him an absolute decision maker. It was pretty much, I gave him the brief of the interaction design, and he went off with four people and made it happen. And then we had a design lead and an engineering lead. So, maybe, four people. [2321]
The way we split the team up in the set ... I mean, the first phase, it was me, basically, representing the client and the project manager working with me. But, to be honest, you have to treat everybody as having the same level of input and the same level of ... if they have a point to make, then you have to leverage that into the decision you're making [2373]
The way we split the team up in the set ... I mean, the first phase, it was me, basically, representing the client and the project manager working with me. But, to be honest, you have to treat everybody as having the same level of input and the same level of ... if they have a point to make, then you have to leverage that into the decision you're making. [2374]
You know what? Usually 20. Because, in the end, we were bringing in people from all functions. It wasn't just product development. It was [R&D 00:23:12] it was advanced concepts, it would be marketing, it would be brand. Everybody. So, easily 20. Yeah. [2375],[2376]
But, at times, during the process, they frustrated us because we would push and push and push. And we'd say, " Look at what's happening in the world with regard to some of the consumer electronics or other big trends happening and interfaces and experiences." And push them to the point of them breaking and saying, "No, we can't do that." [2377]
But, at times, during the process, they frustrated us because we would push and push and push. And we'd say, " Look at what's happening in the world with regard to some of the consumer electronics or other big trends happening and interfaces and experiences." And push them to the point of them breaking and saying, "No, we can't do that." And then you sit back and six months after the project's finished, it's [inaudible 00:24:51] Six months after the project's finished you see something come out. Concepts show in Detroit or something and you'd be like, "sh*t. That's what we talked about." [2323]
They must be kicking themselves now. [2378]
The way of doing it would literally be on a laptop such as yours with someone in a desk and someone hacking away at it. And the usability testing is out of context. And when it is in context it was bizarre. It was task-focused. And, literally, they would tell someone, "Can you set the car to 72 degrees?" And that would be the testing. And if someone couldn't do it, they would wait until the person was almost crying from frustration from the fact that they couldn't do it. Which, to me, proves that you've got a problem if someone can't do that. [2324]
But what the company would do, would then go and try and repeat that 60, 70, 80, 100, 200 times to prove that it was a problem. [2325]
Whereas, there's a lot of research that's been written around statistical relevance of usability testing that says that, after six or seven people, you've got 80 percent of the problems. So, there's no point in just documenting that you know that that's a problem. f*cking fix it. So, we actually presented some statistical figures of one of the interim ... one of the final presentations that made their group vice president go, "sh*t, in 18 weeks, you've managed to get six iterations of this design in front of people three times." We would barely have got one because of the way we have to work. [2326]
So, they did test it in their own way. And then they modified their test method based upon what we did. [2327]
" We want a new iconic gizmo interface in the car that we can put in every car." [2379]
And we managed to blow it up to say, "It's kind of not relevant. If you want us to just do it like a control ... " They're also fascinated with the iPod touch [inaudible 00:28:25] They were like, "We want one of those." All our f*cking clients come to us and say, "We all need iPod [inaudible 00:28:33]." [2381],[2380],[2382]
But you need to not look at this [inaudible 00:28:49] or interaction thing. You need to look at the experience of being in the car." And, sure that doesn't mean seats and whatever. But, that means everything that's what we would call a graphical user interface or a tangible user interface. Things that people touch to control the car experience. [2384],[2383],[2385]
F*cking beer bottles, paint canisters, everything. And, so, we managed to blow it apart and say, "Okay, that's fine. But you need to not look at this [inaudible 00:28:49] or interaction thing. You need to look at the experience of being in the car." And, sure that doesn't mean seats and whatever. But, that means everything that's what we would call a graphical user interface or a tangible user interface. Things that people touch to control the car experience. That sh*t needs to be considered. And we managed to get them to that point. Which was pretty landmark, I think, for them. [2328]
I don't think it would have been as impactful and successful. I mean, it literally would have been the way the company has always done it. Try and reduce it down to one little small thing that they can replicate everywhere. Whereas we're talking about platform approach. That's actually a lot scarier. So, when you talk about the risk of [inaudible 00:30:01] it was pretty ballsy of them to be able to go there. [2329]
Whereas we're talking about platform approach. That's actually a lot scarier. So, when you talk about the risk of [inaudible 00:30:01] it was pretty ballsy of them to be able to go there. [2386]
We had enough money. Clearly we quoted based upon the large scale nature of this. So, we certainly had enough funding. [2330]
And we delivered it. We managed to do it. So, they actually ended up cutting a week out of an 18 week schedule. Which, when you're doing something as big as this, was huge. And we still delivered. [2333]
Time, interestingly, was a factor. That's another reason why I would consider the project successful. In the second phase, I remember, the team cranked through Christmas. Then we got a call from the client saying, "Yeah, you know we were going to present to the executive level committee on January 22nd? Can we move that forward to January 15th?" I'm like, "F*ck." I've got a model being built in China. And we delivered it. We managed to do it. So, they actually ended up cutting a week out of an 18 week schedule. Which, when you're doing something as big as this, was huge. And we still delivered. [2331],[2332]
So, we spent time just hanging out. So this kind of, to a certain extent, was a reinterpretation of our research process. It wasn't about observation necessarily. It was about hanging out with these real people who, to be honest, are defining where the industry's going bit by bit. They're the bleeding edge. And that one piece of contact with what's going on out in the world was probably one that we all refer back to as the most inspirational. [2388],[2389],[2387]
So, we spent time just hanging out. So this kind of, to a certain extent, was a reinterpretation of our research process. It wasn't about observation necessarily. It was about hanging out with these real people who, to be honest, are defining where the industry's going bit by bit. They're the bleeding edge. And that one piece of contact with what's going on out in the world was probably one that we all refer back to as the most inspirational. There's one guy who, in the end, we did me with him. He lived down in downstate Illinois. We usually pay our respondents like 200 bucks and tremendous time trying to schedule them and everything. This guy, after we hung out with him and talked to him online, drove up here without us asking. And was just excited to climb around in the back of his car and show us this sh*t. And he didn't want to be paid and it was just this amazing experience of ... Everyone talks about, in this world where we're all online and we've got so much access online, the trusted advisors, the experts that crop up in these incredibly obscure areas. He was the expert. He was truly an expert in his field and just couldn't be happier to actually share it with people. [2334]
You have to challenge the way that we do research. And that's one of the reasons I think the process is interesting and needs tending to it right now. Because we live in a world where you should be able to find the experts anywhere and connect with them anywhere, anyhow. Because everybody's publishing what they know somehow. [2335]
And this company took a lot of the elements, very much, at face value. So, they were like, "Yeah, but you designed the steering wheel to look like [inaudible 00:34:44]" I'm like, "That's not important." So, that was one learning experience for us. Actually, the prototypes that we hand off at the end of that kind of phase of a project are pretty much just actors to tell the story of the concept. Does that make sense? [2390]
How many ideas? Wow. It was funnel effect. So, in the first phase, we presented an aspirational concept. Which, actually bit us in the ass a little bit because the aspirational concept was intended to illustrate five moments in the experience of being inside this car. And this company took a lot of the elements, very much, at face value. So, they were like, "Yeah, but you designed the steering wheel to look like [inaudible 00:34:44]" I'm like, "That's not important." So, that was one learning experience for us. Actually, the prototypes that we hand off at the end of that kind of phase of a project are pretty much just actors to tell the story of the concept. Does that make sense? [2336]
So, and it's been this before. This whole idea that sometimes clients take our work, too much, at face value when it's just supposed to illustrate your point. [2337]
The design department hated us because their designers have design in the name. But their designers are really stylists. And we're fundamentally working at a different level to those guys. [2391]
The design department hated us because their designers have design in the name. But their designers are really stylists. And we're fundamentally working at a different level to those guys. And I'm not trying to knock those guys at all. They're incredibly talented. My master's was at the Royal College of Art. I did vehicle design there and I just couldn't cut it. Those guys are f*cking fantastic. Just, they don't do what we do. [2339],[2338]
So, the relationship was good on the whole. But, absolutely, in a corporation that big, you have to be able to navigate the politics and understand. A lot of the time we spent onboarding the design department to feel like we weren't trying to usurp them. We weren't trying to take their jobs. We were actually trying to work with them. So, we actually designed, at the start of one of the phases to start on the second phase. [2340]
We weren't trying to take their jobs. We were actually trying to work with them. So, we actually designed, at the start of one of the phases to start on the second phase. [2392]
This huge collaborative design session, specifically to say, "We're going to take all of your ideas and we're going to filter them in." So, we made specific checkpoints and design reviews where we actually got them to input with us and design it with us. [2393],[2395],[2341],[2394],[2396]
It was tough at times. But it should be. Because it means you're working hard. But, yet we had enough time to have a lot of fun. An awful lot of fun. And, as I said, it's one of the best project experiences I've had because people just pulled together. [2401],[2399],[2397],[2343],[2402],[2344],[2400],[2398]
t was tough at times. But it should be. Because it means you're working hard. But, yet we had enough time to have a lot of fun. An awful lot of fun. And, as I said, it's one of the best project experiences I've had because people just pulled together. [2342]
Reference Tags
[2345] Communicating ideas across domains,[2346] Organizational encouragement,[2347] Trust,[2307] Great example - IDEO's Methods,[2349] Effort justification,[2350] In-group bias,[2348] Self-relevance effect,[2308] Great example - Individual & Team outcomes for future efforts,[2351] Organizing effectively,[2309] Indecisive leadership,[2310] Organizing effectively,[2312] Ikea effect,[2353] Effort justification,[2354] Communicating ideas across domains,[2355] Organizing effectively,[2352] Trust,[2311] Great example - Individual & Team outcomes for future efforts,[2314] Appropriate resources,[2361] Believes one has a hopeful path,[2357] Believes one has high agency,[2358] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2313] Decisive leadership,[2360] Listening disposition,[2359] Organizing effectively,[2356] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2365] Creative Confidence,[2366] Trust,[2367] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2364] Win-win conflict about relationships,[2317] Communicating ideas across domains,[2318] Great example - Individual & Team outcomes for future efforts,[2315] Great example - Team Dynamics,[2316] Trust,[2363] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2362] Empathetic disposition,[2368] Appropriate resources,[2372] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2370] Communicating ideas across domains,[2371] Organizing effectively,[2369] Trust,[2319] Appropriate resources,[2320] Communicating ideas across domains,[2322] Promote autonomy & sense of ownership,[2321] Decisive leadership,[2373] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2374] Trust,[2375] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2376] Communicating ideas across domains,[2377] Status quo bias,[2323] Insufficient Feedback,[2378] Hindsight bias,[2324] Anchoring,[2325] Anchoring,[2326] Better Than Average,[2327] Better Than Average,[2379] Lack of real innovation mandate,[2381] Anchoring,[2380] Lack of real innovation mandate,[2382] Pro-innovation bias,[2384] Anchoring,[2383] Communicating ideas across domains,[2385] Premature idea evaluation,[2328] Forceful conflict about ideas,[2329] Confirmation bias,[2386] Risk compensation,[2330] Appropriate resources,[2333] Believes one has high agency,[2331] Planning fallacy,[2332] Resilience,[2388] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2389] Empathetic disposition,[2387] Listening disposition,[2334] Anchoring,[2335] pro-innovation bias,[2390] Anchoring,[2336] Insufficient Feedback,[2337] Insufficient Feedback,[2391] Alignment,[2339] Better Than Average,[2338] Empathetic disposition,[2340] Communication issues,[2392] Communicating ideas across domains,[2393] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[2395] Communicating ideas across domains,[2341] Organizing effectively,[2394] Organizing effectively,[2396] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2401] Balanced workload pressure,[2399] Believes one has a hopeful path,[2397] Believes one has high agency,[2343] Great example - Team Dynamics,[2402] Optimism,[2344] Organizing effectively,[2400] Rosy retrospection,[2398] Trust,[2342] Romanticized notion of team

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MADISON BARNETT
I get my inspiration from the fictional world. I’m a social geek. Completely exploit 24/365 catalysts for change whereas high standards in action items. Conveniently whiteboard multifunctional benefits without enabled leadership.
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