IndustryFitness subscriptionTaskDeveloped five platform concepts that combine digital and physical spaces to improve fitness, mobility, social engagement and immersiveness. OutcomeDuring the project, a complete platform framework and prototype of the digital products were created to help envision the future of Nike. The prototypes were also later used to pilot products and services in cooperation with Nike's innovations team. Furthermore, the project helped Nike to further define its product vision and strategic roadmap for the next 3 to 5 years. Contributions
IndustryConsumer electronicsTaskThe project began by closely examining various lifestyle shifts and technologies that are related to home. The research consisted of in-depth anthropological investigations on social interactions that take place at home and other private and semi-private spaces. With the intention of inquiring, deconstructing and reframing emerging social issues around media consumption, we identified a number of areas that helped to refine our focus; before committing to deeper, micro-level research. They included areas such as personal spaces, social functions and spatial attributes that are specific to N. American households. The methods of data collection ranged from conducting surveys and contextual inquiries to identifying lifestyles, preferences, media consumption patterns and interior layouts related to home occupancy. Once the data were analyzed and then compared based on cultural and regional segmentation, our team synthesized five perspectives and their corresponding concepts based on a series of design exercises. Afterwards, each concept was constructed further with support of use cases, storyboard, revenue model, growth strategies, key statistics and behavioral trends. OutcomeUpon completion, our proposed home entertainment appliances and their integrated wellness platform based on AI and blockchain were presented to the CEO for the purpose of guiding 5 and 10-year investment strategy and road map of flat screen and mobile products. The final deliverable was also incorporated into LG's vision of the future for CES 2019 and 2020. Contributions
IndustrySports and entertainmentTaskCrafted a complete fan experience across mobile, smart TV, subscription services, fantasy sports and live events.BackgroundOur newly-formed digital product team at NFL was formed to revamp the digital ecosystem owned, operated and licensed by NFL—in the interest of repivoting its moderate growth in media consumption.ProcessTo achieve our objectives, we first needed to have a complete understanding of how American football fans consume content related to NFL and their tribal mindset. We initially tackled the problem by gathering insights about the fans' emotional needs and motivation—segmented primarily by age groups, income brackets and the types of communities they live.Thereafter, we analyzed numerous types of existing public and private spaces in the context of football to find out how current digital experiences fit into people's daily lives. Once we had a deep understanding of NFL fans and the platforms they use, we conducted numerous audits to measure the performance of NFL platforms to comparable products and services—including direct and indirect competitors. Followed by the audit, I organized a series of team exercises to envision what NFL could look like. Based on the vision and other intelligence we've gathered thus far, I led the team to develop a "fan experience" playbook to help enhance the feel and function of products across multiple platforms; with a goal of triggering desired personality traits in digital products. Some of these medium-term strategies included: optimizing content taxonomy through fan-centric language, expanding editorial sections and player and fan-generated content as well as optimizing content and in-app features based on time of day/week.In addition to developing fundamental product experiences, our team also focused on short-term improvements that increased efficiency, task completion rate and other usability and engagement-related metrics in two to three folds. For example, we assessed readability and scannability of various types of information such as tabular, text-based, real-time and infographics that are aggregated on mobile and other digital devices. Other improvements and additions include: next-gen stats based on real-time performance, movements and biometrics gathered from stadium and wearable sensors; redesign of fan events and digital tools used for wayfinding, activation, schedule, reservation, ticketing and VIP services. OutcomeOur team drastically improved fan engagement as much as 500 percent across platforms. The number of daily return visits and videos watched per session increased as much as 40 percent. The app rating also grew by 46 percent, reaching 4.8 out of 5 in both iOS App Store and Google Play. Our team was able to increase the overall consumer brand sentiment and satisfaction rating by 10 to 30 points through cross-functional collaboration with numerous internal groups. Contributions
IndustryFood tech and therapyTaskCreated an immersive, non-profit platform designed to enhance ingestible and diversify the methods of consumption.How It WorkedThe platform consists of open embedded tableware, ingestible schema, SDK and other resources that are aimed at decoupling physical limitations of food and permitting food to greater capabilities beyond physiological and sustaining functions. The technologies allow participants to experience consumption in a transformative way by altering vision, gustation, olfaction, audition and touch. ProcessI led a team of over 50 experts including scientists, chefs, architects, engineers, 3D artists, industrial designers, writers, fabricators, etc. to bring our vision into functioning products. By applying disciplines such as science, design and engineering, our team experimented with a variety of methods that combine multisensory experience with eating, drinking and administering. Our team also designed tableware for a number of applications based on anthropometry of hand and orofacial morphology. Other experiments include creating neural interface that utilizes EEG and tDCS to stimulate appetite.OutcomeSince the public launch, the project has inspired and amassed a huge number of followers through hundreds of media outlets and social media. Through the execution of our project and the learning we shared, it has led to a number of spin-off products and research initiatives. The work has also been featured on numerous books, documentaries, films around the globe. Contributions
IndustryFood and packaged goodsTaskDeveloped the first-ever olfactory-enabled mobile game to help promote microwavable popcorn.How It WorkedThe game, known as Poptopia, operated in tandem with Pop Dongle, a device that combines a heated scent diffuser, scented wax depository and speaker powered and controlled by a 3.5mm audio jack. When the diffuser is connected to a smartphone during gameplay, a player is able to digitally pop a chain of animated "kernels" by applying butter. When a kernel is popped, high-frequency signal through the 3.5mm jack activates the diffuser—triggering a delicious, buttery popcorn scent along with auditory and haptic feedback.OutcomeThe product was later distributed through online auction and influencers benefiting charity. The product was reviewed on dozens of tech blogs and it garnered millions of views on social media.Contributions
IndustryNootropicsTaskDeveloped a consumable platform that optimizes psychological well-being of consumers based on a wide range of social contexts.ProcessOur team developed and proposed a new platform that integrates consumables with hardware, software, service, deep learning and big data for the purpose of maintaining well-being and facilitating convex growth through horizontal integration. The team conducted extensive research based on 26 key domains such as biochemistry, neuroscience, food science and bioinformatics algorithms. Based on the research findings, our team facilitated a series of design exercises that helped to: define utility and product characterization; identify customer pain points and market opportunities; prioritize values based on customer perception and profitability; and interpret key economic indicators based on product categories and activities. Subsequently, a framework and ecosystem of the platform were developed based on consumer activities, locations, ingredients and their physicochemical properties. Upon client approval, the platform was developed further by incorporating revenue models, growth strategies, customer segmentation, strategic partners, etc.OutcomeThe platform concepts and non-functioning prototypes were later presented to C-level executives as an experiential activation. The work was later incorporated into the 5-year strategy and investor annual report.Contributions
IndustryPayment serviceTaskDeveloped early product concept and alpha of world's first mobile wallet.ProcessDuring the initial stage of the project, our team conducted a series of sprints that consists of research and concept development, with a goal of identifying product strategies for early adoption and speculate product evolution over the course of 5 to 10 years.Furthermore, we examined the payment industry and wallet culture through secondary research and participating in numerous ethnographic inquiries. One of the ethnographic fieldwork involved cataloging various contents and possessions found in wallets from hundreds of participants and then using the collected data to understand deeper cultural and functional significance of wallet in N. America. We also performed, heuristic evaluation, where we followed and interviewed the participants to understand how they use their wallet throughout the day for payment and non-payment-related tasks.With the purpose of positioning the product for mass adoption, we analyzed a number of product attributes such as speed of transaction, ease of use, repeatability and product perception.Finally, during the design phase, we translated our key insights and use cases into several concepts and prototypes that were later implemented gradually into alpha, beta and production.OutcomeOur team developed a successful design framework and design language to communicate the utility of mobile payment service to the consumers and partners (e.g. American Express, MasterCard, Visa, HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics, Blackberry and Sony Mobile). Furthermore, our team accurately predicted the evolution of UI prior to the introduction of the flat design trend. As such, we accounted for product evolution that matures from skeuomorphic design (that mimics physical characteristics of a wallet) to flat design that promoted efficiency of use over affordance as the use of digital wallet became ubiquitous. In 2015, the original joint-venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon was acquired by Google and the product was eventually integrated into Google Pay. At the end of 2018, Google Pay reached 25 million active users and carried about 860 million transactions.Contributions
IndustryRetail shoppingTaskDeveloped a mobile app called Target Cartwheel for moms that provides coupons and social currencies with a goal of driving customer retention, number of visits to retailer and amount of purchase per visit. The app also provided integration with its credit card, called Target RedCard, to drive customer engagement.How It WorkedThe mobile app encouraged moms to replicate their couponing behavior through digital means as well as incentivizing them to discover and share coupons as social currency with their friends, families and "deal hunters."OutcomeSince launch, Target’s Cartwheel has surpassed 7 million users. The active users on average increased their trips and spend at Target by nearly 30 percent, driving hundreds of millions of incremental sales from targeted households. In 2019, the mobile app has since been rebranded to Target Circle.Contributions
IndustryFoodservice and paymentTask
Developed a customer experience and technical framework for on-demand food ordering app that significantly improved convenience and reduced numerous frictions during drive-through and pickup order.ProcessThe proposed platform integrated mobile apps for iOS and Android, RFID tag placed on the dashboard of customer's vehicle, connected POS system, order fulfillment service and cloud infrastructure. While the primary objective was to increase number of repeated orders per customer, our team recommended a series of criteria that eliminated wait time, improved order accuracy, reduced frictions during order pickup in restaurant and drive-thru. The platform also allowed the restaurant to track and manage the quality of order and service based on peak time and expected amount of time for order preparation, customer's arrival and post-arrival wait. Other work included heuristic evaluation and secondary research that helped our team identify pain points related to order and pickup, motives for using drive-thru and high ROI improvements for the growth segment of the target audience.OutcomeIn less than a year from launch, the app has been downloaded 3.7 million times and it increased sales by 30 percent—largely driven by customization. Today, online orders make up about 20 percent of total sales.Contributions
IndustryDigital content marketplaceTaskImplemented a complete redesign of digital content marketplace for games, steaming video and music services and cloud storage.ProcessBy combining cultural research, in-home field research, heuristic evaluation, customer surveys and competitive analysis, our team helped to overhaul the Sony PlayStation and Entertainment Network to improve user experience, ease of use, engagement and revenue. Our team also came up with platform strategies based on product strengths/weaknesses and existing brand recognition as well as high-impact, high-ROI features that offer meaningful, unique value propositions to consumers over competitors’ services. In order to overcome Sony's corporate constraints at the time of development, our team helped to evolve product vision and ethos by performing the following: aligning discrepancies between consumers' perceptions, expectations and the actual products; eliminating contradiction between company's values and products; and repositioning company's stance on media format and digital rights management.
Once these issues were documented, we translated product-specific pain points, complaints and cultural considerations into a prioritized list of recommended features and improvements.
A culmination of previous efforts led us to a final solution, which combined ten disjointed services into a single platform in ways that dramatically improved ease of use and elevated the brand loyalty of PlayStation brand.OutcomeUpon the completion of the project, the redesigned platform and strategic playbook were gradually rolled out over a decade and have played a significant role towards the growth of the platform to 94 million active users.Contributions
IndustryDigital game distribution service TaskRedesigned the eShop shopping experience by optimizing various customer workflows and disjointed systems (e.g. Nintendo.com e-commerce, Nintendo ID account management, My Nintendo loyalty program, Mii customizable avatar and marketing content) to increase game purchases on the new 3DS models.ProcessThe product strategy, which consisted of system flow diagram, visualization of ecosystem, UX and feature recommendations and technical specifications, were presented and then integrated into major product update.OutcomeThe eShop equipped with new purchase flow dramatically increased the number of view, download and purchase of games and other downloadables. Thus achieving industry’s top spot in the market for non-tangible digital platform and a significant increase in profit and brand loyalty for Nintendo. The eShop strategies for 3DS were eventually integrated into Nintendo Switch.Contributions
IndustryEco-transport and mobilityTaskDeveloped a strategic playbook and a series of mobile apps that assist customers during pre and post purchase of electric vehicle.ProcessAs a part of the public unveiling of Nissan Leaf, the first mass-produced electric vehicle to be sold in N. American market, our team developed product marketing strategies to position the product to the early adopter's mindset, increase appeal of electric vehicle and educate consumers about product performance in the context of environment, savings and social status. Next, our team developed a series of consumer-centric mobile tools to help rationalize and visualize potential buyer's decision process at dealership without needing to interact with pushy salesperson. In tandem, a tablet app for salesperson was developed to promote transparency, create sense of authority and build trust between the dealer and potential buyer; the app all together improved speed, efficiency, accuracy and ergonomics. The digital experience was then integrated with owner's portal for seamless management of tools and services.OutcomeOur team helped to position Nissan as a global leader in delivering the best in-class customer experience for zero-emission vehicles. From 2010 to 2018, 400,000 units of Leaf were sold, positioning Nissan as the largest EV manufacturer in the world.Contributions
IndustryTelecommunicationsTaskDesigned digital, assistive tools for wireless customers to improve their pre, peri and post purchase experience in attempt to combat decreasing market share.ProcessThe tools for Sprint customers were designed by our team with a goal of offering a friendly, authentic experience without overwhelming the customers with overwhelming amount of information often found in utility bills. We achieved this by designing a series of digital products that delight and assist customers with interactive infographics and simplified tools instead of opting for endless list of text and PDF files.
First, our team completely redesigned assistive tools for Sprint's new and potential customers. The redesign involved dramatically simplifying the process of comparative shopping for all of the first-tier wireless plans.
Second, we created an entirely new experience for reviewing a wireless bill. Our team primarily relied on heuristic evaluations and interviews to help identify and deduce complexities of reviewing wireless bill. The proposed experience incorporated friendly and paternalistic UI attributes and delightful data visualizations.
Third, our team proposed a crowdsourced walkie-talkie-esque app that can eliminate long customer calls and significantly reduce the number of followup calls.
Lastly, our team streamlined and gamified family data allowance management, so that parents can easily monitor and balance between their child's allowed screen time, rewards and monthly budget.OutcomeThe revamped customer experience along with rebranding helped to add 967,000 new subscribers within a year, helping them to defend their position as a third biggest wireless carrier in the US.Contributions
IndustryOnline multiplayer gamingTaskCreated a new social media dashboard for Call of Duty Elite subscription service to increase player engagement and daily habit for Call of Duty Black Ops II and other online gaming franchises.How It WorkedThe framework consists of standardized modules where activities and performances of player and community are tailored and rotated for individual players based on their engagement, skills and other historical metadata.OutcomeThe integrated dashboard increased user reengagement as much as 40 percent—leading to increase in sales of in-game items and premium subscriptions. Upon release of Call of Duty Black Ops II, sales reached over $1 billion 15 days after the video game’s release, setting a record for the military franchise and the gaming industry.Contributions
IndustryVideo streaming serviceTaskDesigned and prototyped Video On-Demand (VOD) apps for web, desktop, mobile, set-top box and social that augment DIRECTV subscription and viewing experience.ProcessIn an agile team of two (a software engineer and myself wearing numerous hats), the project began by conducting in-depth research on consumer behavior and trends, followed by a series of forecasts on the progression of content consumption over the next five years. The primary goal of the research was to identify a series of shifting behavioral patterns that aided in foretelling of future media consumption. The overarching patterns were then used to litmus test specific use cases and model product concepts.Other tasks included understanding the cause of high subscription cancellation rate and identifying new product categories with a potential to disrupt the marketplace while maintaining the bulk of DIRECTV's core revenue model. The research findings were eventually translated into feature sets, sketches, wireframes, UI designs and functional prototypes.Based on a number of interactions patterns found in physical and digital products such as set-top box, TV remote and printed publications with TV listing, I proposed a motion design for the UI optimized for various types of input (e.g. computer mouse, keyboard, multi-touch and touch gesture and TV remote for desktop, tablet, smartphone and TV) and user types based on their familiarity and usage of traditional cable TV vs. new media.Some of the metrics used to measure and test the ease of use, efficiency and accessibility included: minimum number of clicks, taps or presses on touch-enabled displays and physical remote; average amount of time spent on specific user actions; percentage of successful tasks based on use cases; and pass/fail results based on standards set by WCAG, Section 508 and ADA.OutcomeOur product vision and the functional prototypes received great support and enthusiasm from DIRECTV's internal teams. Our prototypes were then presented to the board of executives for approval to further develop them into full products. However, due to the board's lack of support towards the new, supplementary revenue models, the products were never released to the public.Contributions
IndustryMobile deviceTaskConducted a series of "multimodal" usability studies for a new smartphone with updated form factor and OS with a goal of improving customer and brand experience. Benchmarked the quality of experience achieved through hardware and software integration by leveraging both quantitative and qualitative methods.ProcessAs a part of product launch for the new BlackBerry Torch 8900 smartphone, a first flagship phone in the series powered by the new BlackBerry OS 6, our team conducted a series of tests to ensure the best possible customer experience for the OS, mobile web browsing and hardware integration.First, our team created a dozen or so user scenarios based on a day-to-day usage stats provided by the client. Using these scenarios, we tested to identify varying levels of user pain points while operating BlackBerry OS including its home screen, settings, mobile browser and BlackBerry site.The result of the tests were recorded, ranked and visualized based on five modalities—efficiency, effort and simplicity; findability and visibility; consistency, memorability and recognition; time perception; and predictability and affordance.By visualizing quantitative usability data, our team was able to pinpoint high-priority features as well as specific steps when the quality of experience is at its lowest.Other experiments included eye tracking and testing UI color combinations under various environmental conditions such as lighting (direct sunlight vs. shade) to improve accessibility.OutcomeOver 95 percent of participants who tested the new device were able to successfully perform common tasks and access specific features with little or no difficulties. Upon the release of the product, BlackBerry continued to maintain high customer satisfaction rate and brand loyalty through its usability and ease of use.Contributions
IndustryMMO GameTaskLed the UX and UI design as well as game mechanics for Neohomes, a major update to Neopets franchise. The new home-building game allowed its 30-million
players to build, share, buy and sell virtual environments and in-game items such as furniture and home accessories.ProcessIn an agile team of two, I worked closely with a software engineer to create an expansive online world and digital marketplace for virtual currency (Neocash and Neopoints) and tradable goods. I also provided parental guidelines and feature recommendations related to consumer safety and privacy
protection standards such as Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.OutcomeWith the introduction of Neohomes, our team substantially increased player engagement from a median session time of between 20 to 30 minutes to 40 to 130 minutes—an increase of over 400%. As a result of high engagement, company revenue rose by 30% as the number and amount of microtransactions grew rapidly.Contributions
IndustryPet careObjectiveDespite owners' desires to include pets in their everyday activities, pets were not included in the digital experience prior to 2010. The Cat Cat Revolution is a digital game that allows both cats and humans to participate in play through a species-appropriate interface. The game applies Human-Computer Interaction principles to pets and casts pets as participants in the gaming experience. ProcessDuring the pilot study, pet owners characterized the game as a mutually positive experience, describing the game as a fun way to play. CCR explores the effects of including pets in the digital experience.OutcomeThe research helped to create a whole new genre of pet products that offer digital mediation between owner and their pet. The paper has also been cited in over 40 research publications around the globe to further our understanding of human and animal behaviors in relation to technology.Contributions