1 Week, 1 App

In the video above, the Nordstrom Innovation Lab goes through the process of designing a Sunglass iPad App in one week. The Innovation Lab works on one week experiments. When someone has an idea, it is the the job of those working at the Innovation Lab to prove whether that idea will work. Customers walk in the store and normally take lots of pictures of themselves wearing sunglasses.  The idea was to improve upon this process The Innovation Lab is not located in a room with chemicals and beakers. Those working in the lab situated themselves in the store to ensure they received customer feedback on what they were building which is what JB, the lab manager, says is a “flash build”, which is when a software team comes to a surprise location and builds an app. By doing a flash build, the developers on the team can swap in features and present it to customers on the fly for instant feedback.

The app they had to make in one week was an app that helped customers pick the best sunglasses for them. Jeremy, a developer, details how they use story maps to create the app by outlining all the steps a customer would take in buying sunglasses. A designer named Kim, a designer, mentions how she created individual paper slides that worked as a paper version of an app. Customers would be presented with a paper slide and based on what button the customer taps, she would change the slide. These paper prototypes helped the team create a design that was intuitive to the customer.

On day 4, a sunglass buyer came in and put on polarized glasses. However, she was surprised to see the picture she took came out black. The team discovered a bug that the polarization of the iPad running up and down with the polarization of the glasses running vertical cancels each other out. By placing themselves in the store, the team discovered a bug through customer feedback and promptly fixed the bug by putting the app in landscape design.

In the end, the app let you take pictures with sunglasses on and then let you later preview the pictures. After one week, the developers found their flash build a success. They were able to get the most important goals done and improve customer experience.

Posted in Tech News

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