3D Culture: A multidimensional approach to better storytelling.

How 3D Culture Works

Three-dimensional experiences can be traced to the early 1900s, experimenting with 3D-filmmaking. Around the same time, the concept of “Culture” as we know now, started to shape up. Both disciplines were trying to create a vivid representation of an object, a situation or a behaviour in order to understand it. Scientists use mathematics or physics, while anthropologists use  social concepts. More than a 100 years passed already and we still trying to figure things out.

Virtual reality, 3D experiences and three-dimensional selfies are part of the normal, so it’s organic to think about culture in a three-dimensional way, or what I like to call, 3D Culture. Borrowing from concepts from 3D modeling, we could say that its possible to create a model of an object (situation/moment). We should be talking about a “multiverse” approach, but lets move in little steps. I worked plenty with 3D artists, experience designers and collaborated with researchers and analyst on multicultural projects, so inadvertently I became a 3D Cultural Analyst, rendering situations into models, creating a mental sculpture to have a 360 understanding. We model culture using our own algorithms (thoughts and perceptions) shape and texture our objects (experiences) and look at it from many angles (situations). Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense, keep reading, we are almost there.

Our brain is an organic 3D living scanner, we collect information and data from many sources. We model situations, ideas, actions and behaviours based on new input and within our own archives and mental 3D library of emotions, thoughts, memories, sounds, smells and flavors. We give this objects meaning through texture mapping and create high poly experiences. The result is a beautiful, amazing 3D model of who we are and how we see the world. All in real-time.

This mentally interactive, three-dimensional cultural model reflects and shapes our story and how we behave, on a daily basis. Our ideas, thoughts and beliefs, even the music we listen, the food we like or the books we read are part of our 3D cultural model, shaping our identity and framework to our ‘why we do things the way we do’. And it’s passed down from one generation to the next one.

Culture is wide and filled with many layers, and naturally we tend to simplify things pre-modeled objects, royalty free-ideas of what something means. Words come with a significant amount of conceptual baggage. For example, think of the word “Argentina”. Did your mind conjured images of tango, gauchos and delicious steak?…and what about California…Hollywood and golden beaches? or India (colorful dances, spicy food and Ganesha). Or in reverse, the words ‘fiesta’, ‘nachos’ and ‘5 de mayo’ in a single phrase invoques the idea of Mexico. So wrong on many levels. The reality is that words convey powerful notions of “Argentinean” or “Indian” qualities. How people dress and eat is just part of it, and really a very small indicator of all the symbols, traits, diversity and depth that each amazing and unique culture. Also, culture exists beyond its ‘Wikipedia’ country description. Office buildings, universities, shopping markets, public transportation, coffee shops, anywhere people interact and share the same language, slang, interests and values creates culture: a subculture. They can be united by a music style, a game or a concept, food or sports, uniting complete strangers from around the globed, with opposite cultural into a single hearted vision.

Spoiler Alert!  you can’t design for everyone.

But we can focus on a subculture and inspire culture from the inside-out, enabling ambassadors. This shift build space for growth, mixing innovation and design with relevant insights into the deeper layers of cultural behavior. Its an opportunity reinvent and a vibrant playground for talent to make better products and services.

 

People are people no matter which country you are, and you’ll find interests and tastes as diverse as their inhabitants. From gender identification, tradition, decision-making process and concepts of self. We could try to isolate subcultures using this parameters. Spoiler Alert!  you can’t design for a whole culture. Appealing to everyone is a waist of resources and time. What we can is to focus on a subculture, inspiring culture from the inside-out as ambassadors. Become and real influencer. A 3D cultural approach allows us to take a fresh look into situations from various directions and views -like a 3D camera moving around a virtual scenario-. so we can identify opportunities and challenges and had a quick understanding without investing much time. 

Subcultures thrive within culture and sharing similar values, beliefs or behaviors, but “updated” to reflect their current life experience. Happens a lot with expats for example, were we adapt our ‘mother-culture’ re-significating to continue cultural survival and cultural evolution. “Tex-Mex”, “Chinese-American” “Techno-Jazz” “Newyorican” are everyday simple examples. You can be Argentinian, speak spanish at home, polish with friends, and english at work Italian father and Argentine mother, raised in Buenos Aires, lived in the US half your life and living in Poland. That’s my crazy 3D cultural model.

3D cultural models are a multi-method approach using traditional tools, ethnographic observation, media investigation, data research, social behaviours and sub-cultural pointers to create a playground to analyse key and relevant findings. highlighted by cultural heritage, geographic momentum and social influences to generate a valuable framework to capitalise cultural-data opening new avenues for further research under the cultural-technological evolution umbrella. 3D cultural modelling gives flexibility to change angles quicker without re-formulating the scene, can easily help us calculate effects and behaviours, and get a subculture estimate with a 360 experience perception. This is not overriding classic techniques but a supportive framework to play with those variables, a view of the world through multiple lenses, from the individual to the collective, creating a storytelling that empowers, encourages and represents people transcending time, culture and language, and finally understanding that diversity is the one true thing we have in common.


Transforming Anxiety into Creative Energy

Fast-paced enviroment, calendars max-out with meetings, full inbox, and 4pm calls leave us with very little time for strategic activities. Even the best jobs and the best teams experience this pressure in one form or another. The harder you work and the more motivated you are to succeed, the easier we feel we have no time to accomplish what is important to us and also to the organization advance. A week goes too fast and too furious.

Time constraints can get the better of you, and this anxiety bleeds over into how we interact with people. We want to inspire our team, but we literally don’t have the time.  How can we find the precious balance, be a good leader and still get things done? The answer maybe a bit hidden in between of meetings and dayly routine.

Small moments, big opportunities

Every day is a combination of smaller moments. So if we take those moments apart,  into smaller, more manageable situations we can make more sense of our busy schedule. With this deconstruction process we can take any situation apart and then assemble it back together in new and unexpected ways (my partner specializes in fashion pattern deconstruction and was the inspiration for this idea). Elements on a situation may have been intermingled and the way you deal with one will impact on other parts of the problem. 

How we use the small moments and brief interaction in our day? Small gestures and invisible situations can bring out the best leadership inspiration. We cannot fix everything, but we can make a difference. It makes me think of the small pebble creating big ripples in the water. I dont think even the pebble knows what is creating behind. Leading and inspiring is something you get better with practice and its done in step by step.

The first thing is to identify what these small moments in our everyday conversations and interactions at work, and even at home. We are too busy to take time but with little attention you’ll see them very clear as Neo sees the ‘Matrix’. You can seize a small moment into a learning opportunity.

Finding the ‘smaller parts’ can be a challenge, but once you identify this, everything becomes much easier and more productive.

Making space in our busy schedule is a challenge, but this terraforming creates an opportunity to growt and a vibrant playground for talent to make better products and services. Creativity is an energy and whether you realize it or not, you emit and receive energy. We have an electromagnetic field in which creative energy flows naturally, but when the polarity is disrupted our team creative energy system is affected. Is vital to pay attention, because is subtle but escalate quickly.

Become a power converter that change anxiety into creative energy

One of our focus, besides deadlines, meetings and product development is to motivate team members to grow, encourage intelligent dialogue, infuse confidence, and empowering the reach their best of their skills.Everything we do is fueled by it and foster creative energy is vital to the team and the work.  

Find quick opportunities to grow a creative playground

  • Don’t try to solve the problem, listen first.

  • Create a space for dialogue and growth.

  • Give specific, constructive feedback.

  • Take time to know people.

Don’t try to solve the problem…first listen: When someone comes to you for help, we rush giving people suggestions when they ask for help. Ask them what they think would be a good solution and then create a space to implement it or try it out. By this, the team member can develop ownership of the solution, as they learn how to seize the opportunity and make a change.

Create space for dialogue and growth: People are afraid to admit a mistake because of the consequences, understandable. But when someone comes and says, “I think I made a mistake.” Don’t jump at it with all your artillery. Create an environment for growth and show them you trust them, even when there’s a mistake in the middle. We all make mistakes, remember. Think about the time you screwed-up and how you’d liked to be treated. This is a critical moment, especially in the process of innovation where failure is essential to the exploration process.

Give specific, constructive feedback: Concentrate on positive and specific suggestions on the situation and behavior. Not the person. Kindness and accuracy are important. Finally, what was the impact of the conflict or situation? Feedback is not criticism or praise, it is about observation. It’s timely and specific. It describes but doesn’t judge, and brings an understanding of the situation or issue. It’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways to develop others, creating a pattern of learning and growth.

Take time to know people: teams are made of people, personalities and attitudes. Recognize the diffences and look for ways to connect similar interest. A quick ”How are you, how’s everything? can open up a dialogue. Kindness is never out of fashion, and a bit of empathy can overcome frustrations and give you understanding on and how to offer support. It’s about build connections to inspire growth. Especially with creative teams, artists, designers, developers, well…everyone. Strive for authenticity, not perfection. Remember that conversation is with people, not to people.

Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash

New Book on Amazon

New Book on Amazon!! Feel Warm Inside: Funny sayings for leaders of all ages.

Feel Warm Inside: Funny Sayings for Serious Leadership is the perfect antidote to traditional books about leaders and leadership! This book is a funny, honest and imaginative view of life and leadership, that will help you on your very serious journey of becoming the leader you were meant to be. Doesn’t matter if you are an experienced leader or if it’s just you and your cat…this book is for you. After all, the true measure of a great leader is not their title, or the location of your office, but their ability to adapt. Good attitude, humor, and the right mindset can help you navigate into the weird, unpredictable and ever-changing world of adulthood…and the workplace.

Feel Warm Inside is a collection of funny, motivational sayings that celebrate the irony of adulthood while at the same time delivering a thought-provoking and often hilarious dose of self-awareness and inspiration for leaders of all ages. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be you. You are far better that your Instagram pic.


Using Analytics to Predict Hollywood Blockbusters

Analytics helps us to connect pieces of research, identifying the right elements to create a unique experience. “Jurassic World” movie is the perfect case study on how research, facts and behaviors can support a multibillion dollar franchise.

Not Another Sequel

We all went ”ugh… please-not-another-sequel!” when we heard the rumor of a Jurassic Park sequel. Apparently, we were wrong. Against all odds and rumors, the dino-action sequel literally ate box office records, with a staggering 208.8 million domestically this weekend, making it the highest grossing opening weekend film of all time.

As of today, Mr. T-Rex is the richest dinusaur in the world. 1.672 billion USD box office worldwide. Raawrr!! Grossing a total of $652,270,625 in USA and $1,019,442,583 internationally. Roughly $600 millions are from Asian markets, China and South Korea leading in Asia; UK, France, and Germany in Europe and finally Mexico and Brazil in Latin America respectively.

The industry is changing the way they do business and technology is doing its part. Analytics tools had proven to be successful, making connections between pieces of research, identifying facts and behaviors. Jurassic World is relevant example of this The audience ‘body language’ was pretty clear: On that weekend, the re-post rate for Jurassic videos on YouTube was 45 to 1 (the average is 9 to 1). The trailer on the official Universal channel got 66.6m views (multi-channel networks money well invested) Twitter almost broke: #JurassicWorld peaked at 63K. The “conversation” for the film was very high and very positive on social media that weekend. Thousands and millions share trailers with their community, on multiple social channels. And that’s intent of purchase…like a kiss. Plus, no big sports events or soccer matches on TV that weekend. Add shirtless Chris Pratt and school calendars and TV were packed with dino-theme curricula. Finally, people just love seeing Pterosaurs munching on tourists! Go family-friendly entertainment! Jurassic World broke box office, scoring the biggest opening weekend in history with a sweet $511.8 million in tickets sales worldwide, outdoing even Harry Potter.

Timing is everything

“Jurassic World” was shrewdly positioned as the June blockbuster to beat, ceding April to “Furious 7” and steering clear of “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” May release. After “Tomorrowland” flopped over Memorial Day, there was some gum-flapping among box office analysts about whether Universal erred in not putting “Jurassic World” over the four-day holiday. In retrospect, it was the perfect move. The box office, which was coming off of three consecutive lackluster weekends, needed to cool down before it could heat up again.

“You could see this coming after a number of films that didn’t live up to expectations,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There was just this hunger for a big summer tentpole film.”

The studio benefited from timing of another sort. Over the past decade and a half, the fourth “Jurassic Park” saw various filmmakers and screenwriters, such as “The Departed’s” William Monahan and “I Robot’s” Alex Proyas, come on board before getting tossed aside after failing to find the right creative direction for the film. The tortured development worked in “Jurassic World’s” favor, giving it distance from “Jurassic World III,” which is generally considered to be the series’ nadir, and lending the franchise a feeling of freshness.

Premium formats are prime

The Indominus rex, basically a T-rex on steroids, demanded to be seen on the biggest, widest, most souped-up screens possible. That meant that “Jurassic World” got a major boost from premium large format and Imax screens, along with 3D showings. The sequel took in 48% of its domestic opening weekend receipts from 3D screens while setting new high-water marks for Imax and private label PLF screens.

Those formats were in their infancy when “Jurassic Park III” was in theaters — 3D was still a novelty and Imax was reserved for nature films.

“I use my kids as a bit of a barometer,” said Anthony Marcoly, president of worldwide cinema for 3D-maker RealD. “They’ve seen the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies before, but they’ve seen them on TV or DVD. They haven’t had a chance to see a ‘Jurassic’ movie on these big [premium large format] screens or in 3D. People wanted to be brought into the world of ‘Jurassic’ and to see it in a grand fashion and just be drawn into the story.”

It also helped that Trevorrow talked up the virtues of seeing “Jurassic World” with all the extra bells and whistles on promotional videos and by appearing before screenings at the Imax TCL Theater in Los Angeles.

“This is a shared experience,” he told the crowd at one of these events. “It’s why we go to the movies.”

The exhibition industry has taken its knocks for not keeping up with the digital revolution that has upended the entertainment landscape, but “Jurassic World’s” success with tinted specs and sprawling screens demonstrates the lengths that theaters have gone to differentiate their experience from the one found in the living room or at the keyboard. Times have changed, of course, but some of it’s for the better.

Dinosaurs ripping apart humans = appropriate for children of all ages

It’s been 26 years since “Jurassic Park” first illustrated the dangers of bringing velociraptors back to life, and in that time one generation of film fans has come of age and another has emerged. That means that a group of moviegoers who were first weaned on popcorn pics with that first film have grown up and were eager to introduce their sons and daughters to the magic of a T-rex rampage.

To familiarize a new group to the pleasures of the park, Universal reissued “Jurassic Park” in 3D in 2013 in conjunction with its 20th anniversary. It also primed the pump in a nice piece of corporate synergy, hosting a special presentation of “Jurassic Park” last week on NBCUniversal Networks that included interviews with Pratt and Spielberg. The film and TV stations share a corporate parent in Comcast.

The PG-13 rating made the prospect of seeing pterosaurs treat tourists like birdseed something of a family event. That resulted in an opening weekend crowd that was 39% under the age of 25, a demographic that hadn’t been born or was barely verbal when the first film debuted.

“We’re getting everybody and that includes parents with kids,” said Carpou.

Hollywood take note. That’s how you build a blockbuster.

Making Sense of fragmented audiences

Audiences consume and interact with information in unexpected ways, so you have to be tuned in real-time. Consider what’s going on in the analytics and reports, and out of them. Data is generated and delivered by the same audience you are trying to connect, from video channels, chat, social media and tweets. Paying attention to the ‘vibe’ or body language cues can go a long way. Use them to your advantage. Analytics can be tricky, but they are just the tip of the data iceberg. Keep your cool, be yourself and be responsive. Pick your actions accordingly and maybe it could be the start of an unforgettable relationship.

Yesterday afternoon, Marvel Studios showed some chivalry by releasing a poster (a tweet by president Kevin Feige) congratulating Steven Spielberg and the Universal Studios team, Director Colin Trevorrow and golden boy Chris Pratt for beating the hero team, since their lost their title as the previous record holder. With these numbers, we will be seeing more Jurassic (probably without ‘The Park’) in the future.


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Cost efficient UX web redesign

Understanding the business

The best way to grow bussines is to improve how users interact with the information, supporting their juourney not only digital but all the way to the experience.MileagePlus is the loyalty program from United Airlines that offers a variety of rewards to its members: from earn miles through travel shopping, dining, through literally everything you can do. Every time they swipe the airline or partner credit card, the members receive a certain amount of miles. And also, they can use those miles for travel, dining, shopping, or receive special benefits.

Understanding users to create a better experience

Earning Premier status is based on qualifying activity during the previous calendar year (January 1 – December 31). Once you qualify for Premier status, the status is valid from the date when you qualified through the end of the following Program year.

There are 5 levels or tiers of membership, from General to the most sophisticated depending on how much miles you have, earned and spent. There were 5 categories, with each one having different requirements, different rewards, different benefits, partners and so many combinations you wouldn’t believe. And every single level has its own rules, visual identity and significance. So the trouble multiplicated by 5. Also, depending on the city, the time and the kind of activity you have, the messages were different. From “Hi (Your Name) Welcome” to an interactive 6 lines of text disclaimer! insane.

Involving everyone in the Team

Qualification requirements for Premier members are complex and translating everything to a mobile app that makes sense. it was a huge challenge and a wonderfully committed team of developers, researchers, business analyst, testers, and visual designers. It took months of work, from research, creating road-maps, analyzing pains and gains, points of touch. And the prototyping, more testing, re-designs, and usability reviews to arrive at the final product.


UX Designers: BESTIAS FANTÁSTICAS Y DONDE ENCONTRARLAS

Cada vez que me preguntan  “¿Que es un diseñador de UX?” Lo primero que pienso es… ¿por donde empiezo?. Parecería que un especialista en UX es como un  animal mítico del que todos hablan y, pocos han visto uno.

WTF es UX Design?

El primer punto en este camino es aclarar que que diseño de UX no es diseño visual. Muchos conectan equivocamente al especialista en UX con diseño gráfico y, viceversa, muchos diseñadores graficos son “diseñadores UX/UI” (esta mezcla de disciplinas me da miedo!!) Si bien ambas disciplinas comparten ADN, la realidad es que son dos criaturas muy distintas. El rol de un especialista en UX es muy diferente. Es importante tener una vision holistica de las disciplinas que intervienen para generar una experiencia de usuario, pero el profesional de UX es una bestia aparte, a menudo, incomprendida por las empresas, y considerada como un lujo. “El diseño no es sólo cómo se ve o cómo se siente: Diseño es cómo funciona”, nos dijo una vez Steve Jobs y, realmente estoy deacuerdo.

Diseñador es alguien que aplica metodologías y prácticas de Design Thinking para resolver cualquier tipo de desafíos, ya sea de negocios o personales. Quizás aplicas estos procesos durante tu dia y no te das cuenta. Yo he visto a mi madre “Prototipar” con post-its haciendo una lista de mercado y como podría ahorrar tiempo en el supermercado a partir de un diagrama de ‘navegación’ y sus ‘objetivos’ de compra.

El segundo punto en esta definición tienen que ver con el enfoque que se busca en cada proyecto o cliente. Para algunos, el rol del UX specialist va mas allá de la plataforma y ven a los usuarios como clientes que utilizan herramientas digitales para interactuar con las organizaciones y sus productos. Para otros, es una especialidad dentro de la experiencia del cliente, pero en cada uno de sus definiciones, el punto en común es el usuario.

El especialista UX busca representar y comprender al usuario -y aun mas allá de eso- educar a las organizaciones y equipos de trabajo, acerca de las necesidades, desafíos y puntos críticos de los mismos, y luego alentar al equipo, trabajando en conjunto para crear una mejor experiencia.

Perfiles de UX designers segun su background

INVESTIGADORES 

Disciplina de nicho, muchas veces es considerada un lujo más que una necesidad. Los investigadores ayudan a las empresas a desarrollar un plan de investigación para conocer en profundidad a su publico y usuarios a través de diferentes metodologías. Encuestas, entrevistas, pruebas de usabilidad y resonancia de marcas, estudios etnográficos, etc, proveen a las empresas datos cuantitativos y cualitativos revelando preferencias, detalles, lógica de interacción y emociones para el uso de productos y cumplimiento de metas de negocio.

ESTRATEGAS

Desarrollan proyectos de investigación y diseño. Toman los datos y conclusiones obtenidos en la investigación y los sintetizan en un sistema de diseño de alto nivel, crean identidades o perfiles de usuario, escenarios y journeys. Los estrategas generan un sistema de diseño abstracto que sirve como modelo conceptual para crear un modelo concreto y real.

ARQUITECTOS DE INFORMACIÓN

Los arquitectos de información son el punto de transición entre la estrategia y el diseño, aportando una vision general del usuarios a quienes esta destinado el producto o servicio y resolviendo el diseño abstracto en una experiencia completa. Desarrolla los site maps, wireframes, describiendo en detalle cómo las interacciones del usuario deberían comportarse desde un punto de vista funcional.

DISEÑADORES DE INTERACCIÓN

Muy parecido a los AI, con la diferencia que su resultado proviene de la evaluación Heurística (EH), un análisis de usabilidad y calidad de uso de una interfaz desde patrones existentes, relación entre el sistema y el mundo real, consistencias y estándares, flexibilidad de uso, diseño minimalista y/o experiencia personal.

STORYTELLERS

Proporcionan una comprensión detallada de las estructuras de contenidos (noticias, sub-títulos, teasers, cuerpo, imágenes, etc.), taxonomías (estructuras jerárquicas para categorizar y relacionar el contenido) y el storytelling emotivo que forma la historia generando en una narrativa global que crea un impacto y adhesion en el usuario.

DISEÑADORES VISUALES

Los diseñadores visuales tomar el wireframe y lo convierten en diseño, recursos o assets necesarios para hacer un producto real. Muchos diseñadores cuentan con background en print, tipografías, identidad de marca, etc. Los buenos diseñadores visuales entienden que la usabilidad, elementos cognitivos y jerarquías de la UX pueden son afectados por color, tipografía y composición, teniendo un fuerte impacto en la experiencia de usuario más allá del atractivo estético.

INGENIEROS DE UI

Transforman los documentos de diseño en productos reales. Dependiendo del nivel de complejidad de los proyectos, pueden tener un background como ingenieros de software o experiencia en desarrollos web. Son pocos los profesionales de este subconjunto que puede realizar todo, desde investigación hasta implementación.

Espero esta mini guía sirva de ayuda a la hora de buscar un perfil, ya sea generalista, especifico o híbrido de estas disciplinas. Lo importante es tener en claro cual es el foco del proyecto o de nuestro cliente, nuestro primer usuario. Te comparto una frase de Donald Norman, un capo de la ciencia cognitiva, Co-Fundador del grupo Nielsen y ex VP de Investigación de Apple:

“No es suficiente que creamos productos que funcionen, que sean comprensibles y utilizables, también necesitamos construir productos que traigan alegría y emoción, placer y diversión, y además, la belleza de la vida a las personas”.


La realidad aumentada (AR) y la realidad virtual (VR) han dejado de ser una “novedad” para transformarse en una realidad, impulsando no solo un modelo de usabilidad del futuro, sino también un potencial cambio de paradigmas en el ecosistema de negocios.Esta tecnología virtual no está solamente limitada a los juegos o al entretenimiento. E-commerce, transporte, medicina y moda se verán revolucionadas en el futuro cercano que, más que una moda tecnológica, promete ser una nueva forma de experimentar el mundo. Si bien estamos acostumbrados a las experiencias digitales, el diseño y desarrollo de experiencias e interfaces para VR y AR siguen siendo algo nuevo y muchas veces implican un gran desafío, tanto desde lo tecnológico hasta su usabilidad. Miremos algunos conceptos claves, desafíos técnicos y modelos de negocio posibles de esta nueva manera de interpretar la realidad.

Read english version here...

Realidad Premium

Las interfaces de usuario de AR han mejorado mucho, más allá del aspecto tecnológico, presentando la información de forma 'más natural', en tiempo real y principalmente, donde se encuentra el usuario. Pero en definitiva, la AR no deja de ser una “opinión” o punto de vista respecto al mundo real. Para las empresas puede representar un objetivo que, incorpora información adicional para aumentar esta opinión. Todas las formas de ver el mundo son opiniones: buenas, malas, útiles, etc. pero al fin son solo eso, opiniones, expresadas a través de datos (texto, imagen, vídeo, etc.). Por ejemplo, una imagen satelital de tu barrio (realidad) cubierta con nombres de calles, flechas u otra información es una 'aumentación'. En sentido amplio, el mundo es una plataforma y lo que vemos representado visualmente y como interactuamos, es la UX de nuestra vida.

Herramientas de diseño AR/VR

Antes de pensar en diseñar una interface de AR/VR, deberíamos preguntarnos cómo funciona. Las herramientas para diseñar y desarrollar prototipos de interfaces de realidad virtual y aumentada son diferentes de las utilizadas en el diseño y desarrollo de aplicaciones digitales tradicionales, por ejemplo, InVision, Adobe o Prototype, etc. Incluso no solo el software sino también tenemos que contar con una maquina potente como para procesar toda la información y en algunos casos gafas especiales o dispositivos para testear los resultados. Incluso para los diseñadores es difícil encontrar inspiración y más aún encontrar información sobre buenas prácticas y metodologías de desarrollo de AR/VR, ya este campo esta “virtualmente” inexplorado. Existen miles de fuentes y libros acerca de prácticas y metodologías de desarrollo de web y mobile, pero para diseños virtuales muy poco se sabe, y hasta podemos contar con los dedos de una sola mano casos de éxito comercial.

¿Como funciona el proceso? Un sensor (cámara) observa parte de la realidad. Esta imagen se combina con metadatos/catalizadores (etiquetas de geolocalización, gráficos o códigos específicos a nuestra app) y desencadena un evento correspondiente. Por ejemplo: Vamos a un museo o un lugar histórico, y una etiqueta de geolocalización en nuestra app o dispositivo nos muestra un gráfico sobre una pintura o un monumento. Esta 'match' de metadatos sobre el objeto o lugar recupera la información pertinente al respecto, combinando elementos sobre la imagen original, desencadenando un evento que muestra información pertinente.Para realizar este proceso los dispositivos tienen que contar con sensores de alta calidad, conexión en tiempo real y una UX clara y precisa. Comprender “la escena” es clave, para poder activar el ‘matching’ de información y generar la imagen “aumentada”. Estos elementos relevantes se obtienen a través de la interacción con el usuario, captando su atención a medida que observemos su contexto inmediato, intención y comportamiento, por ejemplo, seguimiento de mirada, tacto, gestos y reconocimiento de voz, determinando qué componentes del mundo real aumentar

Metodologías para diseñar interfaces AR/VR

Si bien se han producido algunos desarrollos exitosos, continuamos en una etapa de investigación y desarrollo. Empresas como Apple, Amazon y Google actualmente impulsan esta tecnología. Pero la realidad es que estamos ‘jugando’ o experimentando y los resultados de nuestras interfaces todavía no sean lo suficientemente intuitivos y de gran usabilidad como con nuestras appss web o mobile. Aunque compartimos muchos parámetros y disciplinas con nuestra contraparte mobile, crear aplicaciones de AR/VR ni se compara con ella. Una experiencia o interface de AR/VR mal o pobremente diseñada podría poner en peligro la integridad física de sus usuarios. Sumergirse en una experiencia de realidad aumentada o virtual es otra historia. El año pasado estuve en la muestra de Björk y hubo gente que salía con dolor de cabeza, mareada y desorientada. He visto gente caerse de sillas en eventos con gafas de realidad aumentada.

Asimismo, imágenes y arte que parecen espectaculares y vibrantes en un website, en AR/VR no funcionan. Los desarrolladores deben ser precavidos en este sentido. Conducir un testeo de usabilidad de estas tecnologías es todo un tema, además recordemos que estamos trabajando en 3 dimensiones. Técnicas que son eficaces en desarrollo en 2 dimensiones son a menudo ineficaces para experiencias AR/VR.

En búsqueda de una experiencia inmersiva, creamos con mi equipo salas de wireframing en 3D 'real', hecha conelementos cortados en papel y cartón colgando de hilos, con anteojos hechos por nosotros mismos, simulando una interfaz, y testeandolos en una sala a oscuras.

Nuestros usuarios voluntarios (amigos y parientes) 'navegaban’ nuestro mundo virtual como si fuera una interface 'tamaño natural'. Sin casco virtual, ya que los costos eran prohibitivos, pero tuvimos un acercamiento real que nos permitió entender los desafíos del usuario al desarrollar la experiencia. Creo que a medida que haya mayor crecimiento comercial en el área, mayores serán las herramientas que aparezcan, pero por el momento, todo es bastante casero.

Tipos de plataformas

1-Teléfonos móviles: ya hay mucho dicho respecto a telefonos móviles. Poseen cámaras de alta sensibilidad, capacidades de geolocalización, reconocimiento facial y numerosos sensores que posibilidad una experiencia contenida y focalizada.

2-Vehículos: el parabrisas del vehículo proporciona una interfaz ideal para la representación de información localizada. Muchos de estos vehículos “inteligentes” tienen ilimitada energía (eléctrica/solar) y puede soportar gran cantidad de datos y comunicaciones. Fabricantes europeos de autopartes ya están desarrollando proyecciones translúcidas de AR, que permiten a los pilotos o controladores ver información sin tener que retirar la vista del camino.

3-Dispositivos “usables” comúnmente llamados wearable techcomo gafas holodecks (como los fallidos Occulus o Google Glass) y sensores “usables”para piel, vestimenta o zapatos, que aportan datos ambientales y biométricos para ser procesados por las aplicaciones. Muchos de ellos todavía en etapa de investigación y con limites en potencia y transmisión de datos, son caros, y les falta el condimento de ‘masividad’ o necesidad’como tienen los celulares hoy en día.

Parámetros básicos para un prototipo de AR

Estas categorías nos ayudaran para visualizar la experiencia de manera holística aplicando ciertos parámetros o elementos que nos ayuden a acercarnos al objetivo de nuestra experiencia:

Desencadenante o “trigger”: Es el evento o la observación sobre el cual el “aumento” se produce. Proporcionando información acerca de los lugares de interés cercanos, habilitando a los usuarios a buscar restaurantes, hoteles y tiendas, u obtener más información acerca de ellos como los anteojos Vuzix Blade o Apple Smart Glasses.

Interactividad: es cómo los usuarios interactúan con la información 'aumentada' a través del gesto, mirada, voz y posicionamiento, incluso a través de la voz o sonidos.Un ejemplo de alta interactividad pueden ser anuncios que se abren automáticamente para revelando descuentos al acercarme. Esto lo vimos en la película Minority Report.

Naturalidad: Eventos desencadenados por objetos de realidad natural, reconocibles o integradas al medio ambiente

y/o con objetos físicos, tal como lo está utilizando Amazon.

Preguntas a la hora de diseñar una UX de realidad aumentada

Paradójicamente la realidad aumentada “aumenta” los problemas y desafíos, amplificando los mismos retos de usabilidad de las interfaces tradicionales, ya sea sobrecargar los usuarios de información o de como determinar una acción especifica. Para abordar problemas de usabilidad, los diseñadores deben centrarse en ciertos puntos clave:

1-¿Puede el usuario notar la diferencia entre la realidad y ’aumentación’? La confusión podría llevar a errores del usuario si una aplicación transmite una impresión errónea del mundo.

2-¿El 'aumento' (y no de precios en la canasta familiar) está alineado con la realidad? La alineación en tiempo real es muy importante ya que la realidad puede cambiar rápidamente. Por ejemplo, una app de navegación de AR, la señal de tráfico cambia su estado constantemente, pudiendo ocasionar un accidente si la info aumentada bloquea o no esta actualizada.

3-¿Cómo puede un usuario transicionar entre AR apps y aplicaciones tradicionales?Siempre hay que tener en mente al usuario, ayudándolo a resolver tareas, o en su búsqueda de contenido e información. Es una experiencia global y la AR es un elemento genial para la transición. Por ejemplo, dentro de un ambiente tradicional dedicar un lugar condicionado especialmente para AR.

4-¿Cómo debería organizarse la información 'aumentada'? Por ejemplo, si un producto viene en diferentes variedades, colores o precios, sería de gran ayuda una taxonomía coherente para agrupar productos relacionados/ alineados con la intención del usuario. Una aplicación de AR que presenta toda la información a la vez podría confundir al usuario.

Desafíos sociales

AR / VR es muy diferente a otras tecnologías informáticas tanto por lo que realiza y por sus características físicas complejas. Como toda nueva tecnología, pueden pasar años (o meses) antes de ser masivamente adoptadas. Entretenimiento, turismo y automóviles han comenzado a incorporar AR/VR a su terminología diaria de uso. La tecnología AR /VR es válida y útil dependiendo del contexto del usuario, y a las regulaciones que de privacidad que comparten con otras aplicaciones tecnológicas hermanas, la privacidad de los usuarios, de su ambiente y su seguridad son riesgos potenciales a tener en muy en cuenta. Hoy en día, los usuarios son muy escépticos -con razon- acerca de dónde y cómo las empresas obtienen nuestros datos personales y como mis hábitos de consumo ya están cualificados en algoritmos con nombre y apellido.

El futuro del negocio multidimensional

No hace falta ser un visionario futurista para entender que AR/VR se convertirá en un negocio durante la próxima década?- Si el E-Commerce y las plataformas VOD revolucionaron el mercado de como los usuarios consumen contenidos, servicios y demás aspectos de la vida cotidiana, imaginemos el próximo paso si incorporamos experiencia virtuales aumentadas. ¿Salir al supermercado sin moverte de tu living? Una locura no muy loca. ¿Comprarte ropa desde tu propio cuarto sin ir a una tienda? son aspectos que las grandes marcas como Amazon ya están implementando.

Por ejemplo, en lugar de mostrar anuncios por palabras clave, como en la web, la publicidad en AR podría mostrarse por metadata de geolocalizacion o patrones. Esta transición ya dejo de ser experimental para muchas empresas que ya están desarrollando un nuevo ecosistema de negocios.

 

Netflix, hace 14 años te enviaba 3 DVD de películas por correo, y recuerdo que era una increíble novedad, que termino desbancando a las tiendas de ‘Blockbuster’, forzando a los gigantes del cable a replantear su estrategia comercial. Esto paso prácticamente ayer.

Para muchos realidad aumentada y realidad AR son solo pruebas de concepto, pero tienen éxito y mucho potencial. Con el tiempo, nuevas herramientas y metodologías de desarrollo surgirán, convirtiendo a la realidad aumentada y virtual en una experiencia habitual para el usuario y como creadores del futuro, tenemos que estar preparados.

 

 

 

Creating a team identity.

Creating a team identity beyond language.

Audiences and markets have become globalized and teams have grown to an amazing ecosystem of culturally diverse talents, inspiring brands across the globe with unlimited growth opportunity and fresh perspectives. We have offshore teams with copywriters and designers in London, development & QC in Buenos Aires, software engineers in Chennai and marketing teams in NYC. Maybe your campus in Prague has members from different nationalities.

Inspiring and managing teams is a wonderful challenge, and with team members from different countries and different cultural backgrounds and languages, it requires also a fresh and diverse perspective as their teams itself. Wherever your team is in one office or globally dispersed, they are expected to deliver their best performance, creativity, and unique point of view into the game. So, how do we leverage, support and inspire such a diverse workforce?

Language and cultural differences.

One of the key components of every collaborative relationship is trust, and open communication among team members is key. Language proficiency is a challenge and can undermine trust between its members. Colleagues with different levels of proficiency could be perceived as less communicative or reliable, undermining healthy trust-building in each other’s abilities and skills. It is crucial to find ways to transform these differences, into creative energy. It’s important to explore those differences so we know how to interact and grow as a group.

A way to encourage this understanding of diversity is to create unstructured moments, not necessarily 'a meeting'- where everyone can share their cultural background and expectations about communication and working style. The team gets to learn more about each other by listening, sharing and asking questions and sharing about their backgrounds, even to learn what kind of food they like, or learn a traditional recipe from your home. It's amazing when teams discover that we are not that different after all.

Teams experience a lot of pressure, and members of multi-language teams frequently relieve stress by switching into their native tongue, inadvertently excluding other teammates from their conversations. We need to reverse language barriers and communication anxiety by encouraging open dialogue in teams as a whole, creating a "team identity" equipped with amazing different strengths and unique backgrounds, united in one vision. Like a team of superheroes.

Reducing language gap

The success and strength of every multi-national team reside in one basic -but rather complex- aspect: communicationHow can you measure the degree of language connection among team members? When people come from similar nationalities, the level of 'language distance' is usually low. Even if they come from different backgrounds, people can interact formally and informally, align, and build trust. They arrive at a common understanding of what certain behaviors mean, and they feel close and congenial, which fosters good teamwork.

Coworkers who are geographically separated, or come from different countries and cultures, could experience some kind of language anxiety that could prevent interactions. This originates from the inability to communicate, missing information and/or negative evaluation. This negative dynamics reduce team performance, and especially for creatives, artist, and designers, where creative energy, collaborative expression, and multi-team interaction is vital.

Creating a team identity

In a team, is important that everyone gets enough speaking time, and that everyone knows what they’re working toward. What’s our vision and why we are doing what we do. Bringing everyone around common goals and a unified vision is key. I can not stress this more! as evident it may seem, this is poorly done, and team members spot it quickly when is fake. Is has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it. Highlighting the importance of each diverse skill in your team will level up the group dynamics, and also how much value the team is contributing to the success of the service, product or brand. Be open about the unique appreciation for everyone’s input and encourage meta-communication. Each particular story amounts to create a more solid, trustworthy and collaborative team.

Bringing everyone around a unified vision is key. Its has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it.

Break down your common goal into actionable steps and outline each individual’s role and responsibilities. This reduces the chance of misunderstandings and lets everyone know that their contribution matters. Clarity of each team member’s contribution also makes it easier to address team performance as a whole. It sets expectations for what needs to be done, by who and when.

Building a team identity also entails finding common things between team members. Make space in your working day to promote team interactions, to get to appreciate each other team members. Perhaps there are teammates who share the same taste in movies, music or TV shows. Some may bond over hobbies or share information about their families, etc. Personal connections within the team make it easier to work together, trust and have a solid team identity.

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To be continued…

 


Real time design tools

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

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