PHYSICAL DESIGN & USER EXPERIENCE DEVELOPMENT
user experience framework
Our team conducted a project kickoff bootcamp with the client to determine their core values, brand essence & equipment business objectives.
Observing that several of the clients' existing frameworks fell into a triangular structure, we took advantage of this familiarity and outlined a master experience framework in a format that could be better understood with the client's existing vocabulary.
Supply Chain Research
We examined the complete supply chain from distributor to operator and finally to the consumer.
Mapping the beverage routine
We made it a priority to analyze and understand the user's beverage routine to identify opportunities for improvement and engagement. Aside from identifying the high level steps, we drilled down and examined all potential user actions associated with each step in this routine. This work provided a foundation for exploration around the potential impact of new equipment solutions to the beverage routine.
Zones of Engagement
New fountain equipment call for new solutions to communicate presence and functionality while also inviting interaction from users. The Zones of Engagement framework serves as an early stake in the ground for outlining potential equipment communication methods.
The four zones our team outlined were Attraction, Observation, Initiation & Interaction.
User Experience Feature Curve
In order to fully engage with consumers, any solutions should employ a clear user experience strategy. This strategy included development of the user interface and form factors as components of a greater whole. Additionally, long term fulfillment of this UX strategy entails facilitating and encouraging continued user interaction through future implementation of expanded equipment features.
From the initial research and UX development, four Fundamental Concepts were defined to serve as the basis for ongoing refinement: Human Proportions, Iconic Form, Personal Interaction & Innate Functionality.
The equipment’s human similar proportions will make it approachable.
The equipment should express itself as personal and encourage interaction.
The equipment should be immediately recognizable as itself.
The form of the equipment should guide the user towards the intended use.
Our team combined our research on the beverage routine with the Zones of Engagement framework and the Fundamental Equipment Concepts to outline the idea consumer journey of interaction with the new fountain equipment.
At this point, our team had a choice to make.
We could choose path A:
Design for our client a beautiful, functional fountain beverage machine that compared and competed with the competitor machine on the market.
Or we could choose path B:
Compete without competing and design next generation equipment that not only delivered exceptional product, but also created an entry point for interaction and engagement with consumers, creating a brand platform for our client that allowed them new channels to speak to and serve their consumers.
This was an easy choice.
With our initial consumer journey and design objectives outlined, it was time to look at how these ideas could play out in a physical space that worked for the wide variety of situation the equipment would need to live. Three systems we looked at took different approaches to solving this problem. These were not aesthetic design concepts, but explorations into consumer and operator mindsets.
Cup, Ice, Drink was purely pragmatic. How might we get the consumer through the 3 key steps as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Functional Modules was, as you may guess, a modular approach that could be customized based on each specific local.
Community Oasis looked to create a gathering point, where choosing and collecting was a more social experience.
As the design moved forward, we narrowed our focus on physical designs that would be immediately recognizable, while also allowing the hardware to away into the overall experience. These two goals may have seemed contradictory, but if successfully enacted they would be the basis for a physical design language capable up supporting and augmenting our client's strong brands while also becoming a portal into an expanded consumer experience appropriate to 21st century brands adjusting to shifting retail landscapes.
The vision for the ideal state of the equipment's physical design was to become a blank slate for the experience. A full video screen fascia with the exception of clear physical interaction points. While not in use, the machine can broadcast brand messages, assist in way-finding or find clever ways to express its personality. When in use, the large touch displays allow for a deep immersive UI.
Final Design Refinement
Visual design language
This machine was the first in an expanding catalog of equipment, our team developed design principles to outline key attributes and signature elements to highlight specific design details that together, prescribed the client's visual design language.
Creating an Immersive UI
Transition from Physical to Digital
INVITE AND EMBRACE
Beneath the umbrella of holistic experience design, the visual design language draws the user towards the equipment, however as they draw near, the bridge is crossed from the physical experience into the Digital Interaction Experience.
The final screen size landed at 40”, which afforded the space necessary to create screen zones which serve to invite users at different physical distances & engage them with varying depths of digital experiences.
interaction experience curve
We circled back to the Zones of Engagement framework from our initial UX development and layered this over the final physical design and screen zones breakdown to outline interaction elements that invited the user to approach the machine and escorted them into the digital experience.
Persona: Bringing Equipment to Life
Everything has a personality that sends an emotional signal. To give this equipment a meaningful character, a personality needed to be imbued into the user experience that invited the user to further engage with the equipment. To create this personality, we look learnings from proven experiential contexts and created a profile using two common personality tests.
All user interactions with the equipment are influenced by and serve to reinforce its persona. The machine's persona is present even while idle, anticipating its next chance at interaction.
Idle mode is the first opportunity for the machine to visually express personality.
equipment detects user
Wake up transition to ready mode.
When a user approaches, the machine snaps to life and transitions into ready mode
User makes selection
Ready mode transition to program mode.
User selects a trademark brand and the machine transitions to programming mode.
Persona is the tie that unifies the established product brand perceptions with the machine interaction. Providing a platform to design the perceptions and expectations of the user experience for the entire equipment lineup. Persona is the beginning of the machine's future.
IMMERSION BEYOND THE POINT OF DISPENSE
Borrowing from the Eames film “The Powers of Ten,” for a moment, imagine the user experience of the UI is the first order of magnitude in a much larger experience, unified and aligned under the common goal of creating customer engagement through immersion.
User experience extends beyond the user interface
Why create an immersive user experience?
A conduit to consumers
The premier fountain becomes the client's flagship presence. With continued development of the user experience manifested and different levels of magnitude, the equipment experience will evolve to serve as a portal for the client to connect directly with the consumer.
benefits of the immersive ux
Each increase in order of magnitude of the immersive UX results in benefits to all stakeholders.