Adobe produces Creative Jam sessions across the United States to promote its products and services. One such event was held in New Orleans, LA. Former co-worker, fellow designer Michael Alford and I attended the event as a team and we called ourselves the “Punomatics.” These events, usually held every year, are produced around the challenge of using a single app from their Creative Cloud suite to meet a design challenge. The Creative Jam I participated in with Michael was organized around Adobe XD, a user experience and user interface design and prototyping app.
Michael and I took home People’s Choice First Place Award and Judge’s Second Place Award and you can read about it here. We faced tough colleagues in this challenge and we havent even used Adobe XD very much before this! Serious high fives to Judge’s First Place Award, Team Mood Board Killers Tara Hebert and Bo Kim.
Participants must design an app concept within the three hour window. After the three hour time limit, participants must present and defend their work to the audience and a professional panel of judges.
Adobe provided the theme, “Let’s do it again“ for the central guiding aspect of the challege.
Michael and I decided to tune our approach to the theme using a play on the sound of “do it” as “duet” and we prototyped a karaoke app. Also, being just Michael and me, it was a visual duet. See what I did there?
As this competition required that we design the app’s user interface in three hours, we had no time for user testing! Don’t hold that against us! We’re inspired by Adobe’s challenge, but the app’s user interface is informed by user experience concepts that we assembled from day job experience and even ambient knowledge that we have gleaned as user experience-focused interactive designers.
The User Experience
- Always consider the users and their context. You won’t design an app which resonates with the users unless it meets them where they are.
- We chose subdued colors because the lower brightness values will be respectful in the darker environment of bars (where else do people do karaoke?). These muted brightness values cause less optical strain, especially in darker environments. Don’t blind your users!
- Super simple user interface! Knowing that karaoke is usually held in lounges, we know that the participants have voluntarily decreased their cognitive abilities.. Yes, I know it’s anecdotal and not data-enlightened.
- No account setup. Sober people sometimes have a hard time setting up user accounts. Do you think that inebriated users will be more or less successful?
The Developer Experience
This app won’t be difficult to develop (says the design guy!). The nature of such an app affords us the opportunity to drastically simplify the feature set, which accommodates a simpler user interface.
- No account setup. Less administrative overhead for the lounges which serve up this app.
- Each round of competition is a new one, so the data is throw-away data. We don’t need to implement complicated data stores.
- Karaoke competitions are throw-away events. We don’t have to retain statistics or analytics or even session data for more than 1 night. Maybe even a couple of hours at most!
As the awards in the additional images demonstrate, we tied with another team for People’s Choice Award and we earned second place in the Professional Judges’ Award too. The other teams were phenomenal and we were nervous facing such stiff competition. Congrats to the first place winners!