Here at Jet Cooper, when we kick off a new project we spend at least 1-2 weeks of doing pure research and strategy centered around the user. This is not just the product manager’s job, or the creative director’s duty, it's the responsibility of the entire project team (made up of a product manager, lead designer, and lead developer), which helps ensure we all begin on the same page.
Often times we hear the term "gamification" used to refer to in-game/in-product reward systems. The application of game mechanics has become a significant trend and will continue to be so in the near future. Although it can be a value-add to some products, it cannot be blindly applied; especially when information products are involved. There are other things we can learn from the gaming industry that I believe to be much more valuable, specifically that of creating immersive user experiences.
A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
Wait for it, you should feel a gnawing feeling churning in your stomach right about now. Let me guess, was the first answer that came to your mind $ 0.10 cents?
Here at Jet Cooper, projects are led by cross-functional teams (referred to internally as pods), comprised of a lead designer, lead developer, and a product manager. We work very closely together, quite literally sitting side-by-side, right from day one to conceptualize and deliver great mobile and web products to ensure a superb user experience. For web-based products, a huge part of this collaboration takes place in the browser.
"Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system."
Sound familiar? It’s a basic principle used by software developers called “Don’t Repeat Yourself” (or simply DRY), which I feel has many implications that can be directly translated to the world of interface design.