Inspiration – Lotus Blossom

In order to understand how to address my design requirements, I decided to use a design tool called a Lotus Blossom. This tool asks for the user to gather the 8 most desired requirements for a design outcome and find a currently existing example that addresses the requirement very well. The user is next tasked to give eight reasons why this design is so effective at meeting its given requirement. The end map when presented visually appears as a blossoming flower, hence the name. A textural copy of my lotus blossom can be seen below, detailing the requirement, the example and the 8 reasons why the example is so effective.  An image of my Lotus Blossom can also be seen below:



Facebook & General Social Media

  • Self-esteem booster
  • Allows for self-promotion
  • Helps maintain relationships
  • Gives a sense of belonging
  • Selective self-representation
  • Builds social capital
  • Has a massive following
  • Allows for the gathering of information


Mobile Phone

  • Can cater to your every need
  • Small in scale
  • Allows access to constant information
  • Applies a sense of security
  • Can allow for the ability to integrate through information gathering
  • Allow for you to connect to ay one anywhere
  • Has new emerging functions, innovative
  • Can be worn as an ego boosting accessory


Phone Number pad and keypad

  • It is universal
  • Has an unchanged design
  • Works of the current user knowledge
  • Doesn’t have excessive information
  • Is not over designed
  • The market is used to it
  • Caters specifically to its market segment
  • Limited competition


Twitter and general social media

  • Allows for the control of content
  • Can be self-managed
  • Facilitates communication on a level playing field
  • Is not industry specific
  • Customizable home pages with a choice of themes
  • Only get the content that the users asks for
  • The platform is very simple and only offers basic functions
  • Everyone can say what they want


Apple IOS

  • Show transitions, to make sure the user knows where they have come from
  • Use breadcrumbs to detail where the user has come from
  • Instead of having empty areas, offer subtle example of how to populate the area
  • Consistent design throughout
  • Offer shortcuts but don’t make them essential to follow
  • Use current patterns that the user is used to
  • Less = more
  • Don’t tell the user what to do instead subtly hint at them direction to go in


Apple Pay & Google Wallet

  • Uses a product that everyone carry’s with them at all times
  • Reduces the effort taken to complete a transaction
  • Removes the need to carry around any additional products such as credit/debit cards
  • You do not need to remember a pin number, it works on biometrics
  • Reduces transaction time
  • Can send money to anyone from your phone, a feature you can’t with the current solution.
  • The service journey is built off of an already existing system that was in place for cards
  • Simple step by step process



Google Analytics 

  • Can be lined to other services to add other functionality
  • Organises the data gathered into visual representations
  • Organises the data into categories without any user interaction
  • Is made up of multiple levels so you can get as little or as much specific data as you require.
  • It is a freely accessible tool
  • Still requires a user interaction to deliver full functionality, allowing for insights to be made
  • Doesn’t offer specific data as standard, allowing for the system to be simpler to understand.
  • Offers the ability for the user to display the most Important info, to them, first


AudioNote Lite

  • Offers real-time voice recording
  • Offers note taking that are timestamped to the audio recording
  • Allows for the addition of images in the notes
  • You can add notes or other content later to support the audio track
  • If the user is to tap on the notes it takes them to the point in the audio recording that the notes were taken in
  • The app highlights the notes as you are playing the audio track, to allow for the audience to see what the user was thinking during the conversation.
  • The contact can be shared with others across many device mediums
  • It is a phone app and so is very portable and accessible.


I now intend to begin the ideation stage of my design process, using the 64 features above as inspiration. During this next stage I intend to develop a large quantity of ideas, and using a brainstorming exercise I will then individually analyse each ideas using a COCD Box technique.



Design Scope

Now that I am coming up for the halfway point on this project I thought it valuable to have a Re-analysis of the design scope. The design scope included such aspects as the design challenge, the design objective, the predicted users, KPIs, barriers and the design requirements.

The Objective

To gather the insights of NCRs key stakeholders by bridging the gap between those that drive the product development, and those that interact with the finished product.

Predicted Users (and what they offer)

Riggers – by feeding in the insights from the first customer interaction with the product as well as any installation issues that they personally may have.

Customer Engineers – by feeding in the customer complaints they receive regarding the servicing of the machinery. If there is a regular occurring fault this could be fed into the system.

Accounts Team – if there is any special requests or questions about the future of the industry the accounts team will be one ones that are asked. This information could be fed into the system to inform the company of any questions that the customer is starting to ask.  Accounts will also be the first person that the customer comes to if they have a problem with the current or old products.

UCD Team – Will manage the service/product in order to facilitate the exchanges of information between the development team and the customer facing stakeholders.

The Design Challenges
  1. Providing an effective incentive for the users
  2. Finding a way to maintain continued use of the service/product
  3. Making sure that the service/product can be used by all transitionally
  4. Making sure the correct amout of effort is being implemented to receive valid content
Most Important Measures of Success (KPIs)
  1. User Satisfaction: an increase in the satisfaction of the users.
  2. Resolution Timescale: the speed of resolution when acting on a gathered insight.
  3. Actionable Insights: quantity of insights gathered that can be actioned on.
Design Requirements

I split the requirements into three separate fields, seen below, and asked myself what the most important requirements are for each of the sections. I then selected 8 requirements at the end as the most important. The final 8 requirements will then be used to develop a lotus blossom (design technique).

Physical – Usage Environment

  • Portable
  • Transferable
  • Accessible

Relational – Interactions with Others

  • Transferable
  • Unobtrusive
  • Unbiased
  • Simple
  • Clear

Activities – Operations of Use

  • Simple
  • Intuitive
  • Familiar
  • Comfortable
  • Manageable

Emotional – Non-Functional

  • Enjoyable
  • Motivating
  • Clear
  • Intuitive

Rational – Functional

  • Accessible
  • Clear
  • Informative
  • Supportive

Most important Requirements (in no particular order)

  1. Manageable
  2. Portable
  3. Intuitive
  4. Familiar
  5. Motivating
  6. Transferable
  7. Unbiased
  8. Accessible

The next stage of my process is the ideation stage. I will now begin to develop some ideas around a potential outcome to solve the project objective. Considering all the above aspects I believe I have an effective grasp of the challenge at hand.

Insights Toolkit Update

After the initial development of the “Insights Toolkit” I asked the design team here at NCR to have a look over the content and recommend any changes that they felt necessary. I was given several recommendations about the general content, mostly revolving around the impression that the participants would find certain aspects confusing. I have since altered several aspects of the toolkit and added some further pages, in an attempt to make it easier to follow. The images below show the pages that have been added. please also find a link to the full PDF here: Socially Mobile – Insights Toolkit

Socially Mobile - Insights Toolkit-page-003 Socially Mobile - Insights Toolkit-page-004 Socially Mobile - Insights Toolkit-page-005

Insights Toolkit

In a previous post I discussed how I was in the process of developing a toolkit that I intended to use to understand the key stakeholders within the ATM service journey better. I have since completed the design of this toolkit and it is now (after a quick look over by some peers) ready for dissemination. The toolkit is split into 5 sections as seen below:

INTRODUCTION: A brief explanation of the project and what the toolkit serves to facilitate.


WHO ARE YOU?: A persona style questionnaire that asks the participant some background questions about themselves and the role they play.

Persona Quistionare-page-001

TIMELINE: A visualisation tool that allows the participant to map out there role within the service journey and annotate each action with who they interacted with and what the action involved.

Your Timeline-page-001

INSIGHTS MAP: A visualisation tool that allows the participant to map out how they felt during each action on their timeline. The participant is also asked to explain why they felt such a why during their highest and lowest points.


ACTORS MAP: A visualisation tool that allows the participant to map out there proximity to any other key stakeholders during their activity’s on their timeline. The participant is then asked about their best and worst experience of communicating with another.

Actor Map-page-001

I now intend to disseminate these toolkits out to the key stakeholders within the ATM service journey. Once I have collected the results I will be able to map out the most valuable aspects of the service journey and understand where the communication pressures and challenges lie. With this information I will know what areas to target and how to best appropriate any design solutions.

Sharpening the Project Focus

I recently had a discussion with one of the designers here at NCR that works across many mediums. The discussion started with a brief explanation of where my project was going but it eventually twisted into a project reforming exercise.  He explained that the project I was currently managing was very large, a point I had made myself, and explained that having such a large field to work with is not only difficult, but also not realistically manageable with the short timeframe. Acknowledging this he then recommended some directions that would be more fitting, without stating that anyone direction was the correct one to pursue. This level of feedback and commentary was very welcome as it presented a large degree of insight without controlling the project direction. Through the questions he asked, I was able to see the areas of my project that had holes or needed further detail. I found the questions that were asked very helpful to speculatively test the projects appropriateness. I took note of the questions for future referral and plan to ask myself them at every stage of project development.

It was also recommended that I look into other companies or industries to see how they have tackled the problems that I am looking into. Taking particular interest in the internal communication systems of larger companies I feel that this exercise could prove very valuable to my understanding of how communication systems work. I am interested in finding out how social media is used as a communication tool with larger companies and if it is widely considered to be effective.

The main questions that came out of the discussion are:

  • What information can each of the stakeholders provide and is it necessarily valuable to the platform as whole?
  • Whose perspective is the most valuable and is that perspective shared?
  • What benefits will this platform have for its uses and will they function as a big enough an incentive for its continued use?
  • If the platform is going to be have a lot of traffic daily how will the large amount of data collected be managed and maintained?
  • How is the content provided by contributors received/displayed, distributed to the relevant departments and controlled by those that receive it?
  • If the platform is to be presented as for internal use only, how do you facilitate the influx of consumer insights?

The above questions really ask how the platform will function in the face of known pressures, as well as to highlight key design decisions that must be addressed. I now intend to really have a think about what direction I intend to take the project. I still intend to send out several copies of my “Insights Toolkit” in order to learn more about the key stakeholders, however I believe that given the new insights I have gained I will be able to focus on the few rather than the many.



Understanding the Customer

I was recently lucky enough to be invited along to a few NCR strategy presentations that were being held for one of NCRs customers. The presentations started with the company in question detailing their current strategies and the pressures that they currently face as a company. This was a great experience for me to understand what ailments were presently affecting this specific customers industry and how the company was trying to tackle them. The initial presentation was then followed by a series of NCR lead presentation that revolved around NCRs current strategies and services. During these presentations NCR tried to address some of the pressures that there customer was facing, recommending solutions to their problems. This was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the services being developed by NCR and the relationship that is had between NCR and its customers. The discussions that were had were very interesting and informative allowing me the opportunity to build on my current perceptions of the service delivery offered at NCR. Unfortunately, and understandably, I cannot go into too must detail in regards to what was discussed; however I can say that the experience was invaluable to my learning.

I now intend to use my knowledge gained to build a better understanding of the frame of stakeholders that play essential roles within the NCR service journey.