CompetenciesAffinity Diagramming User Research Paper Prototyping Usability Testing Wireframing Contextual Inquiry
Since 1967, Russound has been designing and manufacturing audio accessories. The company’s early products included hi-fi solutions such as speaker selectors, tape monitor switches and volume controls. Today, Russound delivers a complete range of multi-room audio systems, source equipment, volume controls, amplifiers, loudspeakers and intercom systems.
The UNO-TS2 is a wall-mounted touchscreen that controls a multi-room entertainment system. The UNO-TSV was an upgrade to the UNO-TS2. It was going to be a bigger touchscreen, with more meta-data to display, and a lot more added features (i.e. ability to control lighting and climate).
After conducting an extensive scoping process, we decided the best course of action would be to conduct in-depth field research with existing users of the UNO-TSV, facilitate paper prototyping sessions with Russound’s core product design team, and conduct usability testing with the prospective end users.
Contextual Inquiry & Affinity Diagramming
Talking one-on-one with your customers is one of the best methods for revealing and understanding exactly why and how they use a product. A contextual inquiry was first conducted with five customers in their home to get a better understanding of their needs and the environment in which they use their Russound product(s). This research yielded a vast amount of data that we later analyzed as a team by conducting an affinity diagramming exercise. Once completed, the affinity diagram helped us to list and prioritize the key features of the UNO-TSV.
Paper Prototyping & Usability Testing
How do you create an intuitive and easy to use interface that includes a large number of features? In order to truly create something that is in touch with your business objectives and your users needs and wants, you have to include the product development team and the users in the design process. This kind of collaborative product design can be achieved through the process of paper prototyping and iterative usability testing. Usable Interface conducted four paper prototyping sessions with Russound’s product managers, engineers and designers. After each paper prototyping session we tested the prototypes on actual prospective users. This helped us quickly discover which parts of the interface worked well and which areas still had trouble spots.
Over a period of seven weeks, we were able to deliver an interface for the UNO-TSV that went through 4 rounds of prototyping and 3 rounds of iterative usability testing. At the end of the project, Usable Interface documented the final paper prototypes into a detailed wireframe spec for the engineers and designers.