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EchoUser Debuts Pioneering Design Framework at SXSW

New Process Brings User-Centered Design to Engagement Optimization

AUSTIN, Texas, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SXSW Interactive 2014 –EchoUser, the Any Experience design firm, will debut at SXSW Interactive 2014 a new design framework, called the CAPTivate Framework, to help interaction designers and developers incorporate the most important medium for their users, time. Current design tools — journey maps and flow models — fail to represent how people engage in scenarios repeatedly over time. As a result, many companies don't take a user-centered design approach to engagement, which can lead them to interrupt users at inopportune times or miss opportunities to engage users at more opportune times. EchoUser knows that interaction designers have the power and responsibility to redesign how people spend their time, and with the CAPTivate Framework, they finally have the tool to do so.

EchoUser will discuss the new CAPTivate Framework during its SXSW Interactive session, titled "Time: The Invisible Design Medium," presented by Boaz Gurdin, experience researcher at EchoUser.

"At EchoUser, our mission is to create compelling user experiences. We believe everything can and should be designed, including time," said Mick McGee, president and co-founder of EchoUser. "The framework that Boaz developed for accounting for time within user experiences is a great progression of our all-encompassing way of thinking about design."

I sat down with Boaz to discuss the CAPTivate Framework and why time as a medium is so important.

Q: Why is 'time' such an important medium for designers to master?

Boaz: The technology being produced today is having a huge effect on how we spend our time. We spend more time on iPhones and BlackBerries than with our family. We're addicted to Facebook, leaving us less productive during the day, which leads us to taking work home. There is information overload, which often negatively influences our focus. Applications such as Twitter and Facebook, whose business model is advertising, have figured out engagement and have researched the best ways to maximize time on each site. Unfortunately, productivity applications haven't caught up. As interaction designers, we're always thinking about how we can better understand the goals of users and the best approach to reach them. But to date we haven't had a great way of achieving that for the aspect of time.

Q: In a nutshell, what is the CAPTivate Framework?

Boaz: CAPTivate is a design framework to increase specific engagements that takes into account context, activities, plans and triggers. Thinking about all these aspects for target users allows interaction designers to more effectively design for their time.

Q: How can the CAPTivate Framework help designers change the way they think about time?

When most of us think about time, we imagine a calendar. I should know, I spent three and a half years designing the Hotmail Calendar. For longer-term projects that go beyond the typical day or week or month views, some people imagine a Gantt chart, that timeline view that project managers use to map out activities over months and years. But what these existing calendar and timeline views can't take into account are the random interruptions that actually take time away from getting work done.

Because we can't predict exactly when interruptions will happen, we'll never get to point where we can determine how our users spend every moment of their lives — so designing what users will do on a given Sunday at 3:02 PM is a futile exercise. But by increasing or decreasing the frequency that users engage in specific activities in the specific contexts, we can pretty effectively design how people spend their time. My hope is that by getting better at designing how people spend their time, we can maximize the goals of both users and businesses

Additional details on how designers can use the CAPTivate Framework are available on the EchoUser blog.

Session Details
Boaz will explore the new CAPTivate Framework in the session, titled: "The Invisible Design Medium," taking place Tuesday, March 11 at 12:30 PM CDT at the Four Seasons in the San Jacinto Ballroom. More information about the session is available here.

About EchoUser
EchoUser is the Any Experience design firm. EchoUser blends research, design and testing in an end-to-end UX solution that helps our diverse clientele deliver the ideal product and service experience. Based in San Francisco, our clients include Cisco, Google, NetApp, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Threadflip and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). For more information, visit www.echouser.com.

Media Contact:
Elissa Davis
Bateman Group for EchoUser
[email protected]


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